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Battersea is a place in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Situated on the south bank of one of the Thames’s leafiest curves, Battersea offers lots more than just a chance to peek at Chelsea’s great and good going about their business over the water.
This stretch of south west London was once so famed for its lawlessness that the Victorian-era essayist Thomas Carlyle , the ‘Sage of Chelsea’, swore he would only venture across the Thames “with a good stick in my hand”, but Battersea’s combination of lovely green spaces and the vogue for riverside living sees the area thriving today with young families and no small amount of gentrification.
Although there are no underground stations in Battersea, brilliant overground rail services operate from nearby Clapham Junction Rail Station - it’s not in Clapham, not even near, but legend has it that no-one in their right minds would travel to a station called ‘Battersea’ back in 1863.
Often said to be the busiest terminal in Europe with 2,000 trains passing through daily, it’s a south-of-the-river stopping post for most services to Waterloo and Victoria, and so transport links to central London are very good.
Battersea Park at the waterside is a beautiful urban green space, site of the first ever football match under the new FA rules of 1864; a famous duel featuring Napoleon’s nemesis the Duke of Wellington; and home of a gorgeous Peace Pagoda with its very own resident Buddhist monk.
Two of the area’s best-loved sights are just east of the park: the UK’s most famous canine rescue centre, Battersea Dogs Home; and Battersea Power Station, whose idiosyncratic ‘upturned table’ exterior graced the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album and is a cultural landmark – now derelict, it hosts occasional gigs and there’s talk of major redevelopment into a cultural centre for 2012.
In the meantime, arts lovers can beat a path to the award-winning BAC (Lavender Hill, 020 7223 6557, www.bac.org.uk).
Battersea presently has 4 stations, these are Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Queenstown Road and Wandsworth Road
|Sloane Square Station||1||District - Circle line||1.99 miles|
|South Kensington Station||1||District - Piccadilly - Circle line||2.23 miles|
|Fulham Broadway Station||2||District||2.24 miles|
|Clapham Common Station||2||Northern||2.30 miles|
|Gloucester Road Station||1||District - Piccadilly - Circle line||2.52 miles|
|Clapham Junction Station||0.96 miles|
|Battersea Park Station||1.15 miles|
|Queenstown Road Battersea Station||1.16 miles|
|Wandsworth Road Station||1.80 miles|
|Wandsworth Town Station||2.28 miles|