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For most people in London, Vauxhall is just one of the many stops on the Victoria line, or the quick pause that reminds them their train is only a few minutes away from Waterloo. It’s rarely discussed when areas to live in South London are the topic of conversation, but with the arrival of an American Embassy in the near future, modern housing springing up all over the place, great transport connections and a thriving gay village of underground clubs, it’s high time London started paying attention to Vauxhall.

The location, for one, is hard to beat - near the Thames, opposite the Tate Britain and in walking distance to Waterloo, it’s certainly in the busy, urban heart of the city. However, it’s still not nearly as expensive as you’d expect for such a location, even with the rapid rise in prices over the last decade, which for many settling here makes the slightly rough-around-the edges ambience more than worth it.

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Going out

Eating: The crumbling 17th-century Brunswick House has been transformed into a seasonal British restaurant, headed by chef Jackson Boxer. Bonnington Café is a vegan and vegetarian institution set in community gardens. Casa Madeira is just one of the many Portuguese restaurants in the area, offering down-to-earth food, with seafood a speciality. Head down South Lambeth Road to ‘Little Portugal’ for more bars and late-night cafés, such as Estrella Bar and Portugal Restaurant.

Drinking: Housed in a roomy railway arch near the station, Mother Kelly’s is a bottle shop and taproom with nearly 30 beers to tipple your fancy. On the far side of the Pleasure Gardens is The Black Dog, a historic pub offering seasonal food and drink, with a handsome stained-glass bar. If you can find it through the construction work, get your sea legs under the table at the Battersea Barge and settle in for the night.

Nightlife: The area is known for its LGBT+-friendly bars and clubs. Eagle London is a late-night bar with lounge areas, pool tables, a garden and a host of shows and club nights. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is an iconic and still fiercely independent London venue, famous for its cabaret acts and wild clientele.

Entertainment and culture: The Tea House Theatre is based in a Victorian pub. Alongside tea and cakes, it has a programme of plays, singalongs, poetry evenings and public debating nights. Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery presents work from his collection, along with exhibitions curated by the artist himself. Tate Britain, with its world-renowned permanent collection and blockbuster exhibitions, is just across the river.

Events: Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens hosts the St George’s Festival each April, with battling knights in armour, lots of mead and a dog show on the Sunday. Love Vauxhall organise events throughout the year, including Bearpit Karaoke in the Pleasure Gardens during the summer months.

Green space

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens occupies part of the same site as its famous and much larger forerunner. A short walk to the south, Vauxhall Park is a green space with tennis courts, a baseball pitch, café and active community who help run events and maintenance weekends.


Rail: At peak times, Vauxhall rail station runs 17 services per hour to Waterloo (six minutes) as well as routes out to many of London’s suburbs.

Tube: As well as the Victoria line connection from Vauxhall to Victoria, Oxford Circus and on to St Pancras (12 Minutes), the Northern line extension will link stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms, to the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.

Bus: Vauxhall bus station handles 11 services, including 24-hour services in six different directions.

Road: Vauxhall, its bridge and the route to Elephant and Castle and out down the A2, lie just outside the Congestion Charge zone, with easy access to the A3, M3 and M4.

Cycle: Cycle Superhighway 5 runs through Vauxhall, with cycle lanes away from other traffic running over the river. Soho is 20 minutes ride away or 25 minutes for the City.

Getting away: St Pancras International is just 12 minutes away on the Victoria line, Heathrow around one hour by tube and Gatwick 40 minutes via Victoria station.


There’s a good range of primary schools in the area. Henry Fawcett Primary School, Herbert Morrison Primary School, Archbishop Sumner Church of England Primary School and Vauxhall Primary School all tend to be well-liked. St Anne’s Catholic Primary School and St Mark’s Church of England Primary School are also good options. For secondary education, Lilian Baylis Technology School receives good reports.

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