In the first of this two-part series, we dwelt on the considerable charms of Hampstead Heath. In part two below, we move south of the river to another underrated green space known as “Clapham Common”.
Where Hampstead Heath is huge and wild parkland, Clapham Common has a very different feel to it. Though it is not in central London, it’s similarly easy to reach using public transport and has good cheap hotels (below).
However, Clapham Common feels well-integrated within the city and you still very much feel that you’re in London. It’s a mere 220 acres (compared to Hampstead Heath’s 790) and has far less natural diversity.
But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in vibrancy and bustle.
You’ll observe scores of Londoners here going about their daily business. The atmosphere on a pleasant day is full of “buzz” and fun.
Clapham Common is great for a picnic and hosts many gigs and festivals which only further augment the atmosphere. In the evening you can stroll into one of many great bars and restaurants which surround the Common.
It also has playgrounds, fishing ponds, a historic bandstand, tennis courts, a bowling green and much more.
So if you want a piece of the “real London” then check out Clapham Common as a great alternative to one of the Royal Parks!
Recommended cheap hotels near Clapham Common
There happens to be another reasonable example close to Clapham Common in the shape of the Holiday Inn Express Wandsworth. Don’t expect anything special (it comes within the top 200 on TripAdvisor at the time of writing) but the hotel does provide sound value for money.
The location is very handy, close to a very busy British Rail train station and near bus stops that will get you into central London in no time at all. According to guest reviews, the staff are polite and efficient.
An added bonus is the fact that there is a handy Marks and Spencer food outlet next door, allowing you to grab some relatively healthy fast food (try their superb salads and sandwiches) on the go.
All in all, it’s a solid budget hotel. We’d recommend you consider it, particularly if you can get a good deal.
If you want even more value and a more intimate experience then 108 Streathbourne Road in Balham offers good B&B accommodation near Clapham Common at an attractive price.
It’s immaculately clean and you are well looked after by its owners, Mary and David. They’ll even make a home-cooked dinner for you to order!
This little gem of a B&B is currently ranked an impressive 3rd on TripAdvisor out of 291 B&Bs in London.
Photo credits: Holiday Inn Express (InterContinental Hotels Group).