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The London Borough of Wandsworth in South London extends southwards from the River Thames. Geopgraphically, it includes the towns of Clapham, Balham, Tooting, Wandsworth, Putney, Battersea and Earlsfield. It is also one of the most lush boroughs in London, boasting 670 hectares (1,700 acres) of green space.
The famous towers of Battersea Power Station stand at the water’s edge of the river. The iconic structure is currently under redevelopment with lots of exciting prospects planned to emerge, so watch this space (and the video above). Meanwhile, here are five more things to do when exploring Wandsworth.
Battersea Park and the Thames Path
Situated on the banks of the river Thames, the 200-acre Battersea Park has a variety of activities on offer. Families are entertained at the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and the children’s playground. Cyclists, runners, and skaters utilise the circular road around the park and as well as the sports fields, tennis courts and athletics stadium. For a slower pace of London life, check out the Buddhist Peace Pagoda, water fountains, and Pump House art gallery. The park is connected to the Thames Path which is well worth following for as long as your legs can handle.
Tooting Bec Lido
At 91.5 metres in length, Tooting Bec Lido is England’s biggest fresh water, open air swimming pool. The multi-coloured changing cubicles offer a glimpse into what leisure time was like for London’s ancestors. The pool is open for public use from late May until the end of September. There is a children’s paddling pool and a café onsite making it a great day out for families.
There are many beer garden pubs, cocktail bars, and Indian curry houses in Wandsworth. However, Chez Bruce takes the top spot in Wandsworth’s eating and drinking guide because it’s one of the best restaurants in the UK. The casual, Michelin-starred French restaurant can be found just across the road from Wandsworth Common, one of London’s many green spaces. Prices are of Michelin standard too, so if you’re on a budget, maybe opt for a lunchtime booking and only order a glass of wine.
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
The beginning of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race takes place on the river Thames at Putney on Sunday 6 April 2014. As this is one of the world’s oldest and closely contested rowing races, the atmosphere is excitable, to say the least. It’s therefore worth arriving well in advance of the actual start of the race in order to get a good spot either on Putney Bridge or along the Thames Path on Putney Embankment. The Dukes Head pub is a good places to station yourself for the action.
Battersea Arts Centre
Wandsworth’s beating heart of culture can be found at the Battersea Arts Centre in Clapham Junction. The diverse range of events taking place at the “BAC” include cabaret, poetry, interactive theatre, spoken word, comedy, workshops, talks, classes and debates. The space is seen as a place to nurture new, unfinished theatrical and musical works. This means that whatever performance you see, it will be creative and probably unconventional. There’s also a cool bar and café onsite which makes for an interesting place to simply hang out and soak up the atmosphere.