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The Bedford Pub in Balham

As Clapham continues to reinvent itself as an upmarket south of the river enclave for fun young professionals and funky families, neighbouring Balham is catching up fast.

The majority of Balham is in the Borough of Wandsworth, although its SW12 postcode includes the Hyde Farm area east of Cavendish Road in Lambeth.

This area of south London is great for open spaces – Wandsworth, Tooting Bec and beautiful Clapham Common are in close proximity, and it’s easy to find the impetus for a morning stroll and breakfast at one of Balham’s many excellent neighbourhood cafes like the quirky Bertie & Boo’s (162 Balham High Road, 020 8772 9987, www.bertieandboo.com) before heading into central to see the sights.

Much like Clapham and Wandsworth, the shopping’s pretty good and aimed squarely at the upwardly mobile. Boutiques like Twist (25 Harbeson Road), Balham Bou (14 Hildreth Street, 020 8675 1007, www.balhambou.co.uk) and the M Boutique (9 Chestnut Grove, 020 8772 1201) offer trendy togs for the whole family, and the Dylan-referencing My Back Pages (8 Balham Station Road, 020 8675 9346) is a famous bookstore with an excellent second-hand selection.

As well as the superb nightlife around Clapham itself, Balham’s got some excellent pubs of its own: don’t miss out on The Bedford (77-79 Bedford Hill, 020 8672 8940, www.thebedford.co.uk) with superb regular jam sessions and the acclaimed Banana Cabaret comedy night every Friday and Saturday, with dancing until late afterwards.

Balham (zone 3) is served by the Northern Line and rail services to Victoria.

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Balham: Tube (underground)

StationZoneLine(s)Distance
Clapham South Station2Northern1.02 miles
Balham Station3Northern1.33 miles
Clapham Common Station2Northern1.55 miles
Clapham North Station2Northern1.92 miles
Brixton Station2Victoria2.12 miles

Balham: Rail (overground)

StationDistance
Streatham Hill Station1.18 miles
Balham Station1.27 miles
Clapham High Street Station1.97 miles
Tulse Hill Station2.23 miles
Brixton Station2.27 miles
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