This forum has been extremely helpful and I am sincerely grateful for all of the sage advice and expertise I have received. We are looking at renting a flat in the Putney/Wandsworth area and I have received this description from the landlord. Can you tell me if it is accurate with regards to access to public transportation and perhaps fill in the blanks? "The flat is located in the delightful residential riverside area of Putney/Wandsworth in zone 2, just 12-14 minutes by train into Central London (Waterloo or Victoria). Within a 2 minute walk is the 87 bus that takes you directly to the Tate Gallery (30-35 minutes), Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square for just £2.70 return. The District Line tube is 10-12m away. A few minutes' walk away is the river Thames, a tree-lined riverside park, three excellent riverside restaurants, grocery shopping, and several pubs, while the charming and lively Old York Road restaurant and cafe district is a 7 minute walk away. Staying here, away from the tourist crowds, will give you the impression of living an authentic London life." Thank you!
Just a few thoughts. If they are saying so much about the 87 bus then it is more Wandsworth than Putney. The route is correct (The Tate Gallery referred to is Tate Britain rather that Tate Modern), although the cost is now out of date (£1.40 per single bus ride if paid by Oyster). The bus spider map for Wandsworth gives all the bus options:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/wandsworth.pdf The District Line station is probably East Putney, which is in both fare Zones 2 and 3.
The factual information looks fine, but to see if the place is actually near the attractions and transportations mentioned you need to check the address on an online map.
OK, I can be nicey nicey or I can be blunt. I'll be blunt. If you don't want that, look away now. ... ... Still looking? OK. I've googled the quote you gave which I can't find online so I guess it was sent to you directly. I looks to me like real estate agent speak, which I suppose is what you would get from a professional flat letting agent. It seems to use the old trick of mentioning a relatively well known and respected better neighborhood along with the actual neighborhood together so your eye will be drawn to the the better one (Putney). When I first saw this last night my mind imediately said, "Oh Putney, that sounds nice". I agree that if they are harping on the 87 bus it can't be. The 87 (one of the many London routes that either I have never ridden or don't remember doing so) Starts its life in central Wandsworth and meanders around south of the River to Vauxhall eventually crossing the River by Tate Britain and heading up Millbank to and through Parliament Square to and around Trafalgar Square and finishing just past there at Aldwych. They are perhaps right about it taking in round figures over half an hour to Tate Britain (I haven't checked) but is that where you are going? I had a look at that bus to Trafalgar Square which may be closer to where you are going and it is over an hour. The bus map for South West London is at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/south-west-london-bus-map.pdf
... more Wandsworth is equidistant from Putney and Clapham. They didn't say Clapham/Wandsworth. I wonder why. Nobody would go there, that's why. The Wandsworth Station is about right for time to Waterloo; to Victoria it would be a change at Clapham Junction. From Clapham Jct it is about 10 to either. My best advice is use Google Earth and look around the neighborhood. I'e run out of time as I have to go to work. More later.
I think Nigel is a bit unfair about Wandsworth. Putney might well be the place to go if you want your neighbours to be a nice middle class couple of solicitors with children called Josh and Tabitha. But Wandsworth is hardly some drug ridden hell-hole. A not totally infallible rule is to look how the residents voted last time - Putney and Wandsworth are both districts in Wandsworth borough, all good Conservative areas in the last general election. The location is fine, but the issue is how you feel about each day beginning and ending with a commute into central London (& at the same time as many, many other commuters). I will go against the general feeling so far and say go for it, but do realise Trafalgar Square is not on your doorstop. However East Putney is only 30 mins from Westminster by tube, it is not the hours commute perhaps implied above. Better is to use the national rail from Putney Station.
Thank you all for your comments. I think we are going to go for it, plan on seeing a different part of the London area and expect that we will need to allow for commuting time into/out of the city. Much appreciation for the transport links. I also found journey planner which seems to offer tube/train route suggestions as well. http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en Cheers!
Kerri, you may want to research the areas by going to Wikipedia and entering Putney, Wandsworth, and Clapham individually into the search box. You may want to read a profile of each area before you commit to leasing. What is the street address of the property? Some of us would like to do a Google search of it and look around a bit.
Thanks. We have gone ahead and secured our reservation as the reviews on trip advisor were descriptive and positive. We have also made the mental commitment to be open to an adventure so we should be ok. The address of the property is 48 Sudlow Road SW18 1HP LONDON.
Please post a trip report, Kerri, when you get back so we have first hand info... Happy planning ...
I did a Google map of your address and then went to street view for a look around. Cute block of little townhouses you'll be in. Several blocks north on the River Thames is the Wandsworth Pier. Don't know if the river boats travel into London from there, but if they do, that would be a very scenic mode of transportation to the main part of London. Have a great trip, and like Nigel said, come back and write a trip report and tell us about it.
Rebecca and Nigel - will post. The trip is planned for next June so I'll post when I return. Rebecca, thanks for the suggestion to view the property with google maps. Good way to take a virtual look around. Cheers!
There are boats from Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier to Blackfriars (stopping on the way a few times), but you'll have to be up early as there are only 2 eastbound at 7:40 and 8:10. Similarly they return at 18:05, 19:10 and 19:55. They are commuter boats - but free coffee, tea and toast are available in the morning, and a pay bar in the evening.
Kerri, The best way to take the bus from your rental flat in to London, in my opinion is: walk one block west of your flat to Putney Bridge Rd., catch the Number 220 bus (brown line on bus map) going north. It will turn right onto Putney High Street, then take you across Putney Bridge. Get off at the first bus stop on the north end of the bridge (Gonville St). Then get on the #22 bus. It will take you along King's Road to Chelsea, and then to Sloane Square, then to Hyde Park Corner, then to Picadilly Circus. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/ Once you are over the bridge and on the #22 bus, you've got it made. When you get to Sloane Square, there is a tube station, or you could just stay on the bus. You can always pick up another bus line from the other points along the route, but the #22 will already be taking you right through the heart of tourist's central London. Pick up a paper bus map when you get to London and look at the bus numbers and the way they interchange, to get where you want to go. Hope this helps.
I forgot to mention, if you get off the bus at Sloane Square and use the Underground from there on, you will want to access the Circle Line on the tube. It's the yellow line on all the tube maps, and goes in a circle around the city. To the east (as it looks on the tube map) of Sloane Square tube station is Westminster and Tower Hill. In the other direction (west or northwest) are Kensington and Notting Hill. Take a look at the map halfway down this article to see where Circle Line goes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_line_%28London_Underground%29 The other line that can be accessed at Sloane Square is the District Line, another handy tube route. Pick up a paper tube map from any station to study the routes and how they interchange. A lot of regulars here on the Rick Steves site use only the tube in London, and prefer it to the bus. Your landlord may be able to give you better directions as far as using the tube from your neighborhood, but I like to use a combination of bus and the tube. You see a lot more from the bus, but it's a little slower than the tube. The number 87 bus he mentioned will eventually get you to Westminster, but the first half of your bus trip from Wandsworth until you cross the River Thames at Vauxhall you will go through some rough looking areas. That doesn't matter as long as you don't get off the bus. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/ The bus route I gave you keeps you in more scenic neighborhoods. The ride over the Putney Bridge would be cool on the bus; you'd get a good view of the River Thames.
Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing your generous knowledge of the area. I will make sure to take your suggestions and those of the others along with us.
The 22 isn't the only useful bus from Putney; there are also the 14 & 74 which go by the South Kensington museums by different routes. The 220 goes on to the Shepherds Bush Westfield shopping centre if you are into that sort of thing. Already given you a link to the Wandsworth bus spider map; the Putney one is at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/putney-2213.pdf.
Perfect, thanks Marco!
Marco is right. I now prefer his #14 and #74 to my other choice. From where your flat is, if you can walk northwest up Putney Bridge Rd. about 12 blocks, it will dead end into Putney High Street. At that point, there is a bus stop labeled Putney Bridge Road (but it's actually on Putney High St. on the north side, about in front of the KFC or slightly to the left of KFC). If you wait at that bus stop, both the #14 and #74 will come by. If you don't want to walk that far and choose to take the #220 bus up Putney Bridge Rd., be aware that it does not stop at the above mentioned bus stop. You would have to get off the #220 at Putney St. Mary's Church and catch the #14 or #74 there. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants up on Putney High Street, so you may want to walk up there for that, too. A KFC, and a couple of pubs are there. Around the corner (to the left before the bridge) are Embankment St. and Lower Richmond Rd. which have a direct view of the river. Good place to stroll or to sit and eat a sandwich.
If you get to Putney Bridge there is a District Line station on the north side of the bridge called Putney Bridge. It is the Wimbledon Line and will take you directly along the southern half of the Circle line towards Tower Hill, calling at South Kensington, Sloane Square (16 minutes), Victoria, Westminster, and several City stops among others.