There’s a persistent belief in London that living “south of the river” is a bad thing, that it’s not a place you want to live. The problem with that opinion though is that it usually comes from people who don’t know a lot about London or who haven’t spent a lot of time south of the Thames! If you’re a student moving to London for the first time, or looking for a new place to live, you should check out South London. Here’s what you need to know.
South London is a great place to live for students because it is so diverse and often has some cheaper rents than some other parts of the city. If you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, check out LSE’s Bankside House just south of the Thames. It’s in a fantastic location and within walking distance of LSE. If you want to live in halls in South London, Butler’s Wharf in Bermondsey and Sidney Webb near Borough are great choices. They are also within walking distance of LSE and have lots of great shops, restaurants, and pubs near them (for when those are possible to go to again)! Outside the LSE residence system, some awesome neighbourhoods to look at are Brixton, Clapham, and Peckham. Brixton is well known, and Clapham is too if you are from the UK I think, but Clapham and Peckham are very underrated. I used to live in Clapham right across from Clapham Common and it was excellent. The Common is wonderful and it’s such a nice place to live.
The public transportation in South London can be tricky depending on where you live. If you are living in the southwest, you’ll only have the Northern Line if you are trying to take the Tube. There’s good bus connections, but you’ll probably have to take multiple ones if you are looking to get to campus. On the southeast side, there are more transport options and it is slightly easier to get to campus. If you find commuting bothersome, this is something to keep in mind.
The Wonderful Parks
London is famous for its parks scene, and South London is not exempt from that. While Hyde Park, Green Park, or Regent’s Park might get all the glory, South London has some great ones to offer. Even though it is usually quite busy, I find Battersea Park just on the south bank of the Thames across from Chelsea to be be overlooked amongst LSE students. Like I mentioned previously, Clapham Common is amazing and such a great place to walk. Wandsworth Common is also a nice place for a stroll if you are in that area.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a new place to live, make sure you check out some of what South London has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!