Balham has grown up very quickly and is a more refined alternative to the bustle of Clapham with a bit of a village feel to it. It has a great selection of pubs, bars and restaurants as well as being in short distance to no fewer than 3 commons. The renowned Bedford pub which is home to the Banana Cabaret (Comedy) is one of the areas' biggest draws – you can arrive here at lunchtime and go through to the early hours, the entertainment changes around you.
The housing is mainly Victorian and Edwardian terraces – many of which have been converted and the most interesting housing is in the Heaver Estate. Built by Alfred Heaver, it was built in the grounds of the old Bedford Hill House, and became one of Balham's first conservation areas. Hyde Farm another conservation area, on which the Hyde Farm Estate was built, had been a prominent farm since the middle ages, and had been particularly known for its pigs. Nightingale Triangle which lies between Balham Station and Wandsworth Common is a quiet oasis popular with families and has large semi-detached houses. The prices vary massively from a one bedroomed period garden flat for around £250,000 to double fronted Heaver Estate house around the £2,000,000 mark.
Balham has excellent links to London being on the Northern Line as well as a mainline rail station with a 5 minute connection to Clapham Junction.
Entertainment is provided by the aforem
entioned Bedford and others. The Balham Bowling Club (Ramsden Road) – Is an unusual bar housed in an old lawn bowling club, enjoy a beer amongst old bowling trophies. This place has a lively friendly atmosphere with a good selection of beers and some very tasty Cornish pasties and sausage rolls at the bar. They also do a good selection of worldwide tapas. The Balham Tup - Big sports pub that gets rammed on weekends when all the Premiership big players are in action, worth checking out on Sunday evening for tasty roasts and the pub quiz. The Duke of Devonshire - Large recently refurbished pub that is popular on the weekend, a good place to get cheap shots on a night out but there are better places if you prefer a quieter drink. The one bonus is a large beer garden out back. Harrison’s (what used to be Balham Bar & Grill) has a good atmosphere and is backed by Rick Stein – it is a new opening but well worth a visit.
Sandwiched between Clapham South, Wandsworth Common and Tooting – Balham has many options on the doorstep. Clapham Common, Tooting Bec Common and Wandsworth Common are all within walking distance.
Balham Sewing Machine Museum (different anyway!). Transport Links tube next to mainline. The Bedford – late school nights. Harrison’s – first big restaurant opening.
Expensive property (work harder). Too many alehouses – difficult to leave.