Search for cheap hotels near South West London
South West London offers an interesting snap shot of the modern and historic side of the city as well as the wildly erratic distribution of wealth in the city. This area may be home to some of London's wealthiest boroughs, such as Knightsbridge, Kensington, Chelsea and Mayfair, but it also encompasses areas, which have only recently been regenerated, such as Earls Court, Clapham, Streatham and Tooting. This makes it a very intriguing area to explore, with an extremely diverse, melting pot community, where you will find some of London's greatest attractions, restaurants which range from budget to Michelin starred, shops which command the highest retail prices in London and the country retreats of Britain's great monarchs.
"The finest West Indian cuisine this side of the Atlantic"
Vauxhall is home to the MI6 building with its many satellites perched atop the Orwellian structure and it is also one of London's most popular gay hangouts, due to its high concentration of gay friendly pubs, which have earned the area the nickname 'Voho'. Brixton is very ethnically diverse due to the Windrush migration and here you can experience the finest West Indian cuisine this side of the Atlantic at Brixton Market, watch a gig at the Art Deco-style O2 Brixton Academy and see Electric Avenue, a tiny street, which was the first to have electricity in Britain. The street has even been immortalised in the Eddy Grant song 'Electric Avenue', which addresses the race riots in Brixton in the 1980s. Balham, an area just a 20-minute walk from Brixton also has a strong West Indian community and holds a food festival each year. Balham is also home to the Banana Cabaret, one of London's most famous comedy clubs, where Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand have all trodden the boards.
"The legendary, disused power station"
For tourists, South West London is a fantastic area to stay in, as transport links are very good for accessing central London, with many overground trains from the South West arriving in Victoria or Waterloo in 10-30 minutes or less. It is also one of the greenest and most picturesque districts of London, encompassing the London Wetlands in Barnes, Wimbledon Common, Streatham Common, Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common, home of London's largest Lido, with a host of outdoor activities such as boating, horse riding, open air concerts. Battersea, home of the legendary, disused power station, and Clapham are both very desirable residential districts, which have grown from industry choked, impoverished areas into rows of upmarket housing, quirky shops and trendy nightlife. In Battersea Park you can visit Battersea Children's farm and enjoy the fair and from Clapham Junction Station (oddly enough, not actually located in Clapham), you can access London with ease and many of London's suburbs too.
"The social event of the year"
Further to the centre of London, Chelsea and Fulham are home to some of the district's most exclusive shops, along the legendary King's Road, which rivalled Carnaby Street for counter-culture couture in the 60s. Sloane Square is home to The Saatchi Gallery and close by is the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where you can see the Chelsea Pensioners in their smart military jackets and you can visit the social event of the year, the Chelsea Flower Show. Fulham is home to Chelsea Football Club, so is the perfect stop off for any visiting sports fans and just outside of Chelsea, along the north bank of the River Thames, you will find the Chelsea Physic Garden, which dates back to the 16th century and houses many rare and exotic plants. Earls Court and Olympia lie to the west of Kensington and house two of the largest exhibition centres in the UK, Earls Court and Olympia, where you can visit lifestyle exhibitions, concerts and trade shows such as The London International Horse Show and The Royal Tournament. Earls Court and Olympia bear many of the hallmarks of the surrounding districts, such as the stunning town houses and bursts of greenery, but due to waves of immigrants since the Second World War, and a reputation for gay-friendly nightlife, the area has a more laid back, bohemian vibe than its affluent neighbours, making it an intriguing place to stay.
"Greats such as Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray"
Further outside of London, towards Twickenham and Richmond, you will come across Kew Gardens, a stunning complex of hothouses, ponds and forested areas and a great place to have a picnic. Wimbledon lies slightly further south of the River, where you will find theatres, shops and nightlife, and of course the tennis every year at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, where you can see greats such as Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray and Venus and Serena Williams battle it out for the championship title.
"Good transport links"
Transport links in South West London are very good, with tube stations such as Earl's Court and South Kensington servicing the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines, which will take you directly to Heathrow; King's Cross St Pancras Station (where the Eurostar terminates); and Victoria Station (where you can catch the Gatwick Express Train). If you are staying in the area, hotels in Knightsbridge are very exclusive, and can be expensive, so you are better off staying in South Kensington, where there is a good selection of mid-range accommodation options. Earls Court and Olympia are great places to stay because you can reach Kensington and major London attractions very easily from there and hotels tend to be cheaper, but the quality does vary a lot, so a little shopping around before you go will help to avoid disappointment. Chelsea offers some great boutique hotels, and some very grand hotels around the Chelsea Wharf area, which are definitely worth considering. They most cost a little extra, but you will get a fantastic atmosphere, a great location and a very chic room. Hotels in Battersea and Clapham range from quaint B&Bs and friendly pub hotels, to budget hotels with sparse amenities, and hotels in Wimbledon can be more expensive if you book them close to the tennis tournaments.