Laid-back Balham in South London boasts a lively scene of casual coffee shops, classic pubs, unique venues and some of the prettiest parks in the UK’s capital. Accommodation choices are delightfully varied, ranging from a trendy boutique in a Grade II-listed building to a renovated schoolhouse. Whatever your taste, Balham has something for you.
With almost as many trees as people, the English capital is known for its abundance of green spaces – and four of them surround this hotel. Clapham Common is a three-minute walk away, while a short ride on the underground will take you to Tooting Commons, Brockwell Park (each with its own lido) and Wandsworth Common. There are kettles and tea in every room for a good old British brew, while the apartment includes a homely kitchen with an oven, microwave and dishwasher.
Expect great value and a prime location at this Edwardian townhouse on the edge of the leafy parks and ponds of Tooting Bec Common. The 315 bus stops right outside the door, while a few stops on the Northern line from nearby Balham Station takes you into central London. Enjoy a home-cooked full English breakfast before strolling across the common to the Rookery Gardens, where a little café serves brunch bowls and locally roasted coffee.
Fancy a three-bed London apartment with its own private garden and Hobbit home? Then this deluxe pad bang in the middle of Brixton and Balham is for you. Enormous sliding glass doors and window walls lend this stunning rental a bright and fresh feel, while a roll-top bath, cream Smeg fridge and cloud-soft beds add luxurious home comforts. Cook up a storm in the kitchen of your dreams for an epic dinner party, or hit up the bars in nearby Brixton.
Choose this budget-friendly option for easy access to all of London’s top attractions, including the Brixton O2 Academy if you’re in town for a show. Stick around Brixton for hipster eateries and cocktail bars – head to the Blues Kitchen for live blues alongside spicy Cajun classics – or hop on the Northern line to the city centre. A low-cost, cooked-to-order breakfast is available every morning. You’ll also find tea and coffee, flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms in each room.
Discover British country charm without leaving the capital at the Windmill in the heart of Clapham Common, just 20 minutes’ walk from Balham station. Down in the gastropub, it’s all about Blighty’s best bits – British mussels and samphire with creamy white wine sauce, baked Cornish camembert and enormous Yorkshire puddings with a traditional Sunday roast. Artfully appointed rooms await upstairs, with bedside roll-top baths, retro radios and romantic mood lighting, while the stately Master Suite features a four-poster bed and cosy lounge area.
This Grade II-listed property between Balham Station and Tooting Commons has it all. A lively gastropub leads through to a swanky saloon bar, while the Club Room hosts the best up-and-coming music and comedy talent in London. Choose from twin, double or luxury king-size rooms, tastefully decorated in colour-clashing prints with roll-top bathtubs, bespoke artwork and mini fridges stocked with complimentary juices. Guests get 50 per cent off pub meals for the duration of their stay.
Tucked away on the quiet residential street of Lavender Sweep, between Battersea and Balham, this family-run bed and breakfast is top-rated for its great location and friendly hosts. Single, double and king-size rooms come with en-suite bathrooms, while the largest room features a separate sitting area and views of the garden. Guests are welcome to use the communal kitchenette, and there are plenty of wine bars, bakeries and brunch spots around.
Base yourself in Balham on a budget at this quirky hostel in south London, a renovated schoolhouse featuring shared dorm rooms with skyline views. Free breakfast is served in the common room, where you can browse the book exchange and mingle with other guests around the games room. For a night on the town, start at We Brought Beer in Tooting for casual craft beers on tap, then head into the centre to discover London’s exciting nightlife.
These recommendations were updated on December 15, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.