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Clapham: A Cultural Guide

Image © David Hill via Flickr

Discover the best things to do in Clapham, including pub theatres, historic buildings, food festivals and pottery classes.

Clapham is full of exciting cultural venues and fun things to do. Discover the best the area has to offer from pottery classes to pub theatres and historic buildings to food festivals on the Common…

If you're looking for things to do and see around Clapham in South London, you're in luck! As well as being home to plenty of trendy cafes and pubs, Clapham also has a thriving arts scene with plenty of cultural events and venues to keep you busy. Here’s our run-down of the best of the best in the area…

Theatre

After nearly being destroyed by a fire in March 2015, Battersea Arts Centre has risen from the flames and is once again the place to get your cultural fix in Clapham Junction. You can find the arts centre on Lavender Hill in a stunning old town hall building, with an eclectic programme of shows and events held throughout the year.

Omnibus Arts Centre is based in a beautiful red-brick building to the north of Clapham Common and offers a mix of theatre, music, comedy, film and visual arts. There are also some fantastic smaller and fringe theatres in Clapham, including Lost Theatre in Wandsworth Road, Theatre 503 on the way to Battersea and pub theatres The Bread & Roses and The Landor.

Museums, History and Heritage

The picturesque area to the North of Clapham common known as Clapham Old Town is always worth a wander around on a sunny summer day. It’s a lovely area that is home to a range of historic architectural styles.

Clapham is also home to a couple of underrated museums that are certainly worth a visit! 575 Wandsworth Road may look like an ordinary terraced house, but inside you will find the extraordinary home of Khadambi Asalache, a Kenyan-born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant. Almost every surface, wall and door inside the building is covered with exquisite hand-carved wooden fretwork. The home of another writer, The Sōseki Museum, commemorates the life and literature of Japanese Novelist Sōseki Natsume, revered as the father of modern Japanese writing.

Food and Drink

If you’re eating out in Clapham, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Head to Northcote Road or the area around Clapham Common Tube Station for a huge selection of eateries to choose from. Ciao Martina is a lovely authentic Italian restaurant on Lavender Hill while the tiny cafe Coffee House on the corner of Clapham High Street and Lendal Terrace is a little-known gem with fantastic cakes. If you’re going for a drink, try out The Humble Grape, The Railway Tavern by Clapham North or The Bobbin. In the Summer, The Avalon near Clapham South offers plenty of outside space to relax in with a cool pint.

Other Cultural Things to Do

The Clapham Grand is a Grade II listed music hall near Clapham Junction. More than 100 years old, the Grand is both a beautiful historic building and the home to many eclectic music events. There are plenty of cinemas in the area, but Clapham Picturehouse just around the corner from Clapham Common has to be one of the nicest.

Want to get hands-on with a craft class? Clapham Pottery near Wandsworth Road is the place to get creative learning to throw pots while Lavender Print School offers printing workshops in a number of printing disciplines.

And if all that wasn’t enough, there's Clapham Common itself! Perfect for picnics in the warmer months, there are often fun events held on the Common during the summer, including music and food festivals.

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