Putney Area Guide
With its stunning open spaces and rich architectural history, Putney has the feel of an oasis within the capital; it’s easy to forget it is only a fifteen-minute commute to the heart of Central London. Putney’s thriving community feel, excellent schools and rich network of sporting clubs make it a great location for families, while its riverside pubs, quirky cafés, independent stores and cool restaurants attract a dynamic community of students and young city professionals.
Putney was once called Putelei or Putenhie in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1855, it became part of the Wandsworth district of Surrey, and was included in the new county of London in 1889.
The first bridge between Putney and Fulham, consisted of a line of boats, was built in the first year of the Civil War, 1642, about 500 yards downstream of the present bridge. It was only in 1726 that the first permanent crossing was completed, being the second bridge across the Thames in London, after London Bridge, and it had a wooden structure that lasted for 157 years.
Putney’s rich history (dating back at least as far as the Normans) has created an elegantly eclectic mix of stylish accommodation, incorporating Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties as well as Art Deco, along with contemporary houses and apartments. Whatever your preferred style, you’ll be more than likely to find it in this fascinating area.
One of the great joys of living in Putney is the river walks dotted with pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants. The Duke’s Head and The Boathouse, amongst many local eateries, combine stunning views with great food, and the Half Moon hosts regular live music. The High Street is buzzing with independent stores and cafes, giving a real community feel. Try Grind and Artisan for the best fresh coffee, the superb sushi at Sushi54 and antipasti at Enoteca Turi.
For most Londoners, the amount of green space in and around Putney comes as a welcome surprise. The 400 acres of Putney Heath, infamous for seventeenth-century dueling, is a rolling mix of parkland, lakes and woodland, perfect for long weekend runs and rambles or lazy summer picnics. Wandsworth Park offers an equally elegant alternative of tree-lined paths, with the additional attraction of Putt in the Park mini golf.
Putney comes to the world’s attention at least once a year as the launching point for the Varsity Boat Race, and offers several rowing clubs on the Putney riverbank for rowers of all standards. There are also excellent golf and cricket clubs, namely the London Scottish Gold Club and Putney Cricket Club, founded way back in 1870, and All Star Tennis Coaching in Wandsworth Park.
Putney boasts a diverse range of quality local schools. Popular state primary schools include Our Lady of Victories, St Mary’s CE Primary School and Brandlehow Primary; there are two highly regarded Academy Schools, ARK Putney Academy and Ashcroft Technology Academy and private school options include the excellent Putney High School for Girls and St Paul’s School for Boys.
With the commute from Putney Station to Waterloo and Central London taking only fifteen minutes, Putney has some of the best commuter links in South West London. Putney Bridge and East Putney tube stations offer a twenty-two minute underground route to Piccadilly Circus, and the area is also well served by numerous buses to all corners of the capital. If you’re looking for a more leisurely London commute, the River Bus ploughs the Thames all the way from Putney Pier to Canary Wharf in the east which is a lovely way to start your commute.