London is full of wonderful residential areas that are perfect for families, it’s just a matter of knowing where they are! Whether you’re a young couple looking to settle down with a newborn, or a large family on the hunt for a bigger place, there is plenty of opportunities for you in the capital’s property market. In particular, living in South West London is great for that sought-after balance of peaceful family life and convenient links to central. There is plenty of green space, burgeoning cultural scenes, highly-regarded schools, and a thriving property market with a wide range of great family-friendly homes available.
Here, we’ll be looking at our three favourite areas of South West London for families with kids, looking specifically at the quality of life and amenities within the areas. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to pick up the phone and start discussing properties in the area with our friendly team! Or maybe you’ll just take these ideas as food for thought! Either way, we hope you come to appreciate the wonderful communities and opportunities to be found in this part of London.
Barnes is perhaps the closest you can get to village life in this bustling city, which makes it perfect for families seeking respite the pace of city life. The Barnes area is steeped in history, with an array of architectural buildings from Norman churches to Georgian townhouses lining its serene streets – and let’s not forget the iron-cast Victorian grandeur of Barnes Railway Bridge! There’s a safe and friendly atmosphere here that draws in a nice mix of young professionals, retired free spirits, and settled-down families like yours.
Read our Barnes area guide and browse some properties we have on sale in the area here.
Barnes is nestled within a large bend on the south bank of the River Thames, just over six miles west the City. Venture north and cross Hammersmith Bridge and you will enter… you guessed it, Hammersmith! And just a short south-bound journey will take you to the lovely districts of Putney and East Sheen – more on these later…
The properties in this area range from Grade II listed buildings on the bank of the Thames (some of the oldest in London), to period rural-style detached houses, to a number of modern apartments befitting of the most stylish families. There’s truly something for everyone, and plenty to satisfy those city-dwellers pining for a taste of the country.
Things to do
Did you know: a report in 2014 found that Barnes has the highest concentration of independent shops in the UK. You’ll never be struggling for ideas on the weekend – among these boutique finds are fine wine bars, cosy village cafés, and even a specialist cheese shop. Plus, there’s an M&S food hall, some long-standing riverside pubs, and even a farmer’s market which sets up by the pond every Saturday.
Barnes boasts some of the best independent and state schools in London, including St. Pauls, Tower House School, and The Harrodian School. Furthermore, many of the state schools having outstanding Ofsted ratings and there are highly-rated preps and nurseries to satisfy your little ones.
Waterloo and Central London are twenty minutes away on trains departing from Barnes and Barnes Bridge Station, both of which are located in zone 3. If you’re not much of a walker, the underground at Hammersmith is easily accessed in a 20 minute bus ride. Alternatively, the drive through to Central is very straightforward and often quite scenic!
Throughout history, Putney has always been known as a place where Londoners come to relax and enjoy some quality leisure time. The same applies today: with extensive green space in the form of Putney Heath and a vibrant cultural scene on offer, this premium area of London is irresistible for many families looking for a new home. But despite feeling like a city escape, Putney residents enjoy great links to central London and all the usual perks of city life.
Flick through the sales we currently have on offer in Putney and read our area guide here.
Putney is about 20 minutes east down the river from Barnes, boasting a similar riverside location with Putney Bridge offering a quick crossing into Fulham and the West End. Central London is once again in close quarters, sitting around seven miles east of the district.
Putney’s rich history (dating back at least as far as the Normans) has resulted in an elegant and eclectic mix of stylish accommodation, encompassing Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties, as well as a few stand-out Art Deco buildings to boot. And that’s not to mention a range of contemporary houses and apartments.
Things to do
Your time in Putney is likely to feature no shortage of beautiful riverside walks, peppered with the occasional pub outing, independent eateries, and some amazing restaurants. Whether you’re going for artisanal coffee or al fresco Italian, your experience will be tied together by gorgeous period buildings, stunning views, and a strong community spirit.
Popular state primary schools include Our Lady of Victories, St Mary’s CE Primary School and Brandlehow Primary. There are also two very highly-regarded Academy Schools: ARK Putney Academy and Ashcroft Technology Academy. Private schools include the excellent Putney High School (for Girls) and St Paul’s School (for Boys).
Without a doubt, Putney has some of the best commuter links for those living in South West London. The train from Putney Station to Waterloo takes only fifteen minutes, and both Putney Bridge and East Putney tube stations offer a twenty-minute underground route to central London. Furthermore, for a salty taste of the Thames during your commute, why not catch the River Bus from Putney Pier to Canary Wharf?
Steeped in history, bustling with activity, covered in green and brimming with residential charm, East Sheen is the perfect London spot for families. For many families, this friendly little district ticks all the boxes for education, amenities, transport and property. But in reality, the appeal of East Sheen is something intangible – a sense of calm and comfort which is hard to find in such a busy and fast-paced city.
Take a look at the East Sheen properties we have on offer and read our area guide here.
East Sheen is in a prime location between the southern band of the River Thames and the northern edge of Richmond Park, giving residents a nice dose of natural beauty. Residents are looking at a quick eight-mile journey into the city and even quicker journeys through to the nearby Kew Gardens, the West End, and of course Richmond Park.
East Sheen has no shortage of beautiful residential properties. Its streets are lined with houses in an interesting range of period styles and many different sizes. Smaller families may settle on a cosy Georgian cottage, while large families might want to invest in a larger Edwardian villa. And then there are, of course, a number of contemporary developments and flashy apartment blocks for those who enjoy a more metropolitan vibe.
Things to do
As well as being perfect for those weekend lunches and a couple of drinks – abound with picturesque beer gardens and pleasant restaurants – East Sheen has a great deal of boutique shops and cafés on its main high street. Populated with attractive mid-rise buildings, you won’t even need to head central for a proper shopping experience. East Sheen Common and the extensive Richmond Park offer plenty of green space for picnics, long walks, sports, and family days out. This also gives you the opportunity to enjoy a true London rarity: wildlife!
There are a number of popular and reputable schools in the East Sheen area, and many families are relocating here in order to improve the chances of their children getting a place. At the primary level, there is Thomson House and Sheen Mount (both of which enjoy “outstanding” Ofsted ratings). And the main secondary independent school is St Paul’s School – famous for its incredible rankings on a national level.
East Sheen is well connected to Central London, with trains from Mortlake and North Sheen Stations taking just over 20 minutes to arrive at Waterloo. The underground runs to Richmond, where District Line trains can take you to central London.
If any of these areas appeal to you and you’re raring to start a new life in South West London, feel free to get in touch with the friendly James Anderson team to discuss the next steps in achieving your dream home.