Wandsworth is one of the oldest parts of London. The area’s first reference goes back to the Domesday Book when it was a large manor before the ever-encroaching city swallowed it up. Following the Industrial Revolution, Wandsworth built itself up with a gas plant, Young’s Brewery, and the iconic Battersea Power Plant. Today, Wandsworth is very much a cosmopolitan place, filled with museums, parks, and leisure places that make it a place worth visiting. There are many things to see and do in this South London borough, so check out one of the many we’ve listed below and let us know your favourite spots in the comments.
Enjoy getting the TFL River Bus from Wandsworth Pier into town on a Saturday dusk. Watch the sun turn the river gold as it sets over the Thames and you pull into Vauxhall.
One of the most attractive bridges along the River Thames, Chelsea Bridge connects Wandsworth with the borough for which it’s named. It replaced the Victoria Bridge and opened in 1937 as a six-lane self-anchored bridge.
It was painted its recognizable red, white, and blue colours in the 1970s and is gorgeous to walk or drive across, especially at night when it’s illuminated.
During winter months, the lido is closed except to members of the South London Swimming Club. The Tooting Bec Lido is also pretty historic, having been in operation since 1906.
Wandsworth is certainly known for its green spaces, and Wandsworth Common is the first of them to appear on this list. At nearly 172 acres, it has a number of natural and manmade features such as lakes, fields, a footbridge, a nature education centre, and the Wandsworth Common Tennis & Bowls Center.
If you’re looking to get a quick workout, the fitness trail is highly recommended to run and exercise at the various stations.
Dedicated to the art and culture of the 19th Century, the De Morgan Center was founded upon William De Morgan’s ceramics and Evelyn De Morgan’s paintings and drawings.
The pair was credited with a reawakening of various artistic styles and the museum not only features their works but those of friends and family members.
The 5th biggest shopping centre in London! Great to pop in here to explore the booths and new stuff in the shops when in Wandsworth. It’s very well equipped with numerous cafes, restaurants and retailers.
It’s a chilled place to hang around even with a bunch of friends. There’s even a movie theatre that’s always worth checking out.
One of the most iconic buildings in the city, the Battersea Power Station was a coal-powered electrical station that opened in the 1930s and ceased operation in 1983. Besides its nods to history, it is perhaps best known as featuring on Pink Floyd’s album cover for Animals.
Today it is getting revamped into a multi-use development with offices, shops, restaurants, and flats.
This has to one of London’s smallest attractions. Wandsworth Prison Museum is situated in a garage, a few metres away from the perimeter of its penal parent. It’s probably the only former-garage to have been opened by a royal, with the Duke of Kent cutting the ribbon in 2008.
Inside, a huddle of cabinets and curiosities tell the story of the 160-year-old jail. It has held the famous and infamous over the years, including John “acid bath” Haigh, Ronnie Kray, Derek Bentley and escapee Ronnie Biggs. Its gallows have executed 135 people.
As such, it arguably boasts the greatest number of amenities for a park in Wandsworth including a Grade II listed Victorian bandstand, running track, sports fields, historical ponds, and even a skate park. All of these combine to make this a perfect place for an afternoon.
Tennis enthusiasts will want to make sure to visit this museum dedicated to the sport and to The Championships, as Wimbledon is known officially. It opened in 1977 at the centennial of The Championships and artefacts that go back to 1555 AD and the earliest days of tennis as we know it.
If you can’t make to the courts themselves, you can see the development of them through the museum’s exhibits.
For more to do in Wimbledon click here.
Soul Brothers Records is an amazing independent, specialist record store in East Putney. Starting as a mail-order business in the 90s it’s managed to not only stick around through the digital boom in music but now thrive with its own label.
For a more in-depth look into the store and its history, check out this great article here.
Dedicated to art in all its forms, the Battersea Arts Center is home to plays, lectures, music, and more. It is also home to the BAC Moving Museum, which houses a number of collections including the Wandsworth Collection, which it acquired from the Wandsworth Museum in 2016.
The building itself has quite a history, being a Grade II listed structure.
Kids can test out all-new moves and keep fit across a carpet of trampolines. They can throw themselves down the tumble track, achieve victory on the battle beam or go for gold on an Olympic standard trampoline! There’s also a dedicated area for under 5s as well as Mini Flipper sessions throughout the week for toddler/ parent duos.
Aside from bouncing kids can test their stealth skills and compete with friends in the Lazer Maze Room or challenge themselves to the grand title of ninja warrior on their specially designed course. Birthday packages are also available with themed party rooms.
From engaging directly with animals that they may have only seen on television to keepers who get on the kids’ level, the zoo will educate as well as entertain and certainly not leave the parents out.
While not the largest of Wandsworth’s green spaces, Battersea Park is undoubtedly the best. The 200-acre park borders the River Thames and other than the previously mentioned children’s zoo, this Grade II listed public space includes the Pump House Gallery, two cricket pitches (the headquarters of the King’s Road Cricket & Social Club), the Dog Walk of Fame, and the gorgeous Peace Pagoda.
With so much to do and being a gateway to much of South London, Battersea Park easily grabs the top spot.
On the south side of Battersea Park, adjacent to the ladies pond, lies the boating lake, where row and pedal boats can be hired. It’s available July-August, September weekends depending on the weather. There are various cafes to enjoy and toilets in the park too.
Putt in The Park is a new miniature putting golf course and fully licensed clubhouse cafe set in the beautiful and historic surroundings next to the Thames in Wandsworth Park, Putney. This exciting and challenging mini golf course has been specially designed to suit all abilities from the novice to the experienced golfer.
This museum charts the history of the sewing machine from 1850 to 1950. Among more than 600 machines on display are the first Singer machine, a unique machine originally owned by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, and a patent machine sent from America for the Great Exhibition.
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