Clapham Common holds a dear place in my heart as I used to walk across it twice a day as a child. Now as a grown up, moved away from home, I always visit Clapham Common when I am in London. With two playgrounds, a dog free area, a paddling pool and two cafes it is frequented largely in the day by mums and their young kids, but the festivals, large open spaces, skate park, tennis courts and two fishing and one boating ponds make it excellent for adults too.
It is a great place to play football (it even has some grass pitches marked out and some longer-term hard pitches) and frisbee on a sunny day- if you can find a space!
The common has been given some needed care and attention over the last decade, including the bandstand being renovated with the help of the lottery, and every time I come back I find new trees planted, new meadow areas grown and people smiling as they enjoy a little bit of countryside in the middle of London.
If you go on a sunny day good luck finding a space and definitely try the ice cream parlour by the bandstand!
Clapham Common is big and green and *there.* Smack in the middle of busy streets and tube stations there is a slight oasis of calm. But I hesitate to give it more than 3 stars as when compared to Battersea Park, Wandsworth Common, or Wimbledom Common (all nearby) it comes up short. Also, it hosts big festivals and then turns to mud and fills the buses and tubes of the region with really obnoxious drunk folk for days at a time. :(
Lots of open spaces, not a lot of trees. The design over the years of this common has been less naturalistic than that of its SW London common and park cousins. So while it's got many things to offer: playgrounds, a fishing pond, a (very often empty of water) paddling pool, a skate park, etc. it also has just a lot of grass. Bonus: on the Battersea Rise end they are currently installing an outdoor gym. So that could be a nice addition.
Not too shabby, all around.
It is a large open space, which is nice given the locale. But, that's about all - I prefer Battersea Park, which has more charm, is closer to the river, etc. Nothing wrong with Clapham, but this area has better.
One of London's great open spaces, no summer is complete without at least one day spent sunning yourself on the common. This is a much more open and unrestricted space compared to many of London's parks but then it is a common, which has different laws governing it and is, by definition, supposed to be freely accessible at all times. With Clapham Old Town and High Street nearby there are plenty of amenities if you want to have food or drink whilst sunning yourself, as well as bars and pubs for when it gets chilly.
For me the one drawback is Clapham itself; far too white, middle class and with some pretty obnoxious people but then, when the time comes to leave the common you can always take the tube or a bus somewhere a bit more vibrant and interesting.
A beautiful green space in Clapham. There's grass, ponds, gazebos, places to picnic, trees to hide under, the works. And there's always some sort of entertainment happening here, from concerts to food festivals.
It is a giant park and you'll find yourself wandering forever, only to realise you're now halfway through and have to walk at least the same amount to find a bus or a tube to get home. Great when you've got the time, not so great when you're realising you're about to late for something if you don't get your butt in gear.
Beyond that bit of me being ridiculous, a beautiful space for an afternoon. Check it out and enjoy it!
This park is the jewel of the area. It's a middle class cliché with people working out in the mornings, stay-at-home mums taking their kids out to play later on during the day, ladies who lunch and generally people who can afford to live there and love the area.
There's usually something going on - good luck finding a spot on sunny days.
Also if you go, dress up & wear something trendy, borderline hipster. People here look good and so should you.
Fireworks on Clapham Common - bring it on! Best FREE way to celebrate the weird tradition of foiling Guy Fawkes plot to blow up parliament.
We got there early and had a very dirty hot dog and chips. After we stuffed these delights down our gobs and debating whether or not to get a light-ee up sword we noticed the q for the food had grown to a size which would scream at us "I'm a long long q, you don't want me but I want you".
Luckily by this point we'd already got a spot at the barrier. The waiting is the hardest part....
The Mayor of Lambeth finally interrupted the DJs from Capital FM to announce that these were the best free fireworks in London thanks to Lambeth council. The lovely Dad beside us just stated "Fireworks or Social Housing?". Fair point I reckon but the fireworks were FABULOUS. Just like bubbles, they make people smile and the bigger the better.
Till next year...
Parks and Commons are an essential part of London life, especially if you live in a flat or apartment. Clapham is a very well maintained space with active community groups (the Friends and the Association) who do much to keep the Common available to everyone.
The Bandstand in the centre has been restored and a great cafe sits right next to it. Expect to share your cappuccino with dog walkers and Yummy Mummies from Battersea and Clapham.
A wild flower meadow is planned for 2012 as well as improvements for joggers around the perimeter.
This park is fantastic to go grab a sandwich and a bottle of water, and go sit in the shade of a tree on a warm summer afternoon. You can just relax or play some football. I love Clapham in general, and coming out here one day was just the cherry on top.
It's clean and there weren't any shady characters hanging around when I was there.
There's music festivals there during the summer [which I'm sad I missed], and I know the Ben & Jerry's one is pretty popular.
If you wanna be outside for a bit and just bring a blanket and some drinks, this is a great place to go.
Well played Clapham Common, you truly out-did yourself this weekend.
When the weather is hot, there really isn't another place to be. The walk from my front door is so painfully short, not only do I pass the huge Sainsburys for stocking up on booze, I've got cafes, newsagents and an Iceland to stock up on sandwiches, papers and a crappy food spread, respectively.
It was so busy here, the atmosphere so exciting, the people so relaxed and the alcohol flowing oh too easily that it's hard not to have fun. Everyone is here for the same reason - let's kick back, get some sun and get our drink on. Party in park? Yes please.
Then once the sun goes down you can move onto your pub of choice - so many to choose from that surround the common and on the High St.
By 4pm I had been told off by my housemate after yet another gushing of 'I love living in Clapham' for the umpteenth time.
Hohoho, it's fake music festival season again. Which means, at least for me, visiting bits and pieces of grass in London that I never usually visit.
Clapham common is definitely very verdant and pretty with at least 2 bits of water/ pond features bobbing about for those splashy sunday afternoons. If it wasn't such a chore for me to get there, I'd visit more often.
Festivities wise, they didn't seem to think signage is necessary so we ended up walking around the whole common before entering the festival site (probably a good thing as Zara L. and I ended up stuffing our faces with free chocolates and alcohol and any other swag we managed to get our hands on. Avi T. seemed to be urm... more reserved about swag)
Toilets- low on number (but much better than those fiascos commonly known as field day) but clean. Fair rides- Wheezer, very good; ferris wheel looked a bit suspect. Stages- close and very intimate (best Hercules and Love Affair set EVER!). Especially great for those of you, who like us, wants to be pretty much sitting on the laps of the band members or be dancing with them not to them.
All in All, a pretty good experience*. I'd say minus 1/2 star for lack of signage and the toilet issue, but it is hardly charming Clapham Common's fault so I'll be generous. And that Hercules and Love Affair set might even have vaulted itself into my top 10 festival experiences...
*Apart from being totally ripped off by Jamie Oliver's charitable affairs- £15 for a programme?!? Thank god we got groupons for our tickets.
Clapham Common is one of the more "commonly" known commons in London. I used to live really close by when I first arrived in London so used to frequent the common quit often.
In the summer the common gets super busy with people chilling out in the sun. There are also fin fairs and music festivals here too. I'm not the world's biggest fan of this place. I just find the park a little busy in the summertime for my liking but it's still a nice place to hang out if you have to.
I'd say places like Battersea Park have a little more class and something a bit different to offer, as it stands, Clapham Common just seems like a big bit of flat land to me for people to get drunk and lie on, that's really all...
Originally built as a reservoir, and once run down, in recent years Clapham ponds has been spruced up considerably. There's now one large pond in one of the two areas with railings. The pond looks especially lovely on a sunny day with the fountain going (though they do seem to turn it off on the hottest days).
Both little parks also include beds of perennials and bushes, and wandering paths. There's a nice wooden bridge over the pond.
More 'square' than 'park', but a lovely little space in this somewhat tired-looking area.
Jamie Oliver's Big Festival on Clapham Common was a non profit making event with all proceeds going to The Princes Trust and The Jamie Oliver Foundation.
It boasted a wonderful range of food from restaurants such as Mango Tree, Cinnamon Kitchen and Jamie's own Fifteen, that gives unemployed young people a chance to train for a new career.
Along with the food there was great music from Soul2Soul, Norman Jay and The Charltons. The former really got back to their 80's roots and with the original band back together for one night only, they really rocked the stage.
The Big Festival had a really wonderful atmosphere to it, with a lovely little touches including cheese and wine tasting (which was a highlight for me) and an old fashioned fair ground, perfect for entertaining the little ones.
They are planning on doing it again next year so if you missed it, Jamie Oliver's Big Festival really is something you should consider taking the whole family to whether you have Olympic Tickets or not!.
I think you really need to experience the Common in the summer in order to build up any enthusiasm for it - in the winter it really looks a bit gloomy and sad. Gone are the happy campers sitting on the grass drinking beer in the sun; on the other hand, there are plenty of miserable-looking runners like myself braving the weather and sliding around in the mud and the dead leaves.
Still, in the summer it's great fun. The lack of a surrounding hedge means you'll be able to spot the groups of happy beer drinkers from afar and you'll immediately want to join them, forgetting all about everything you were supposed to do that day. A happy place.
Was here for South West Four music festival, and had such a fantastic time.
There was no trouble and the area was well Policed.
Surrounding area were hospitable, and geared up for all of the festival goers.
Large & decent park in the Clapham area right by Clapham Common station. A wide range of activities takes place in there, mostly from April to October: football, rugby, cricket, volleyball, tennis courts also available but get booked up really quickly. And you have the occasional "boot camp" sessions!
Quite a few festivals as well as small amusement parks on an ad hoc basis in the summer! There's also a small cafe, a pond and a playground for children. A nice little walk from Clapham Common to Clapham South or just to chill out on a sunny day!
This has to be one of the best public parks in London. It's massive, interesting and quite picturesque. There's usually something happening in the park and if it's a nice weather day you'll find yourself in a sea of people soaking up the rays. It's not just a people park, I enjoy taking my dogs as well. There's plenty of space and some great people watching. If you're new to Clapham or in the area this is one local treat you don't want to miss. There's nothing like a relaxing stroll through the common or resting the grass with a good book and this is one fine area to make use. See you at the common y'all, it's this American Southerner's haven for rest, relaxation and recreation.
Was it the gorgeous weather, the warm sun, the green grass, the lively atmosphere, the great company or the wine that made my picnic in Clapham Common this past weekend one to remember?? All of the above, but the venue definitely was a definitive plus. With grassy areas seemingly going on for-ev-er this is a must frequent place for picnics, pick up games or people watching.
Really fond memories of the Common back in the fifties. My aunt lived right opposite and it was always a pleasure to visit my cousins. Though the common has changed over the years with some modernisation, it still has its magic as a a major park.
Clapham Common is where it's at. During the summer this place is crawling with party loving fun folk. People pitch up tents and spend the night. It's absolute madness, in the good way. There is a bandstand in the middle of the Common and there are lots of ponds with beautiful ducks. So if you want to party at a huge festival or if you just want to have a nice walk in the park Clapham Common is a good destination.
Clapham Common is one of those many amazing green spots in London that I love. What I like about Clapham Common is that the open space is conducive to running around and playing pick- up games of football or ultimate Frisbee. What I don't like about Clapham Common is that it is not the best spot to just sit and have a picnic, mainly because it doesn't offer a lot of shade and there are always people playing so finding a good spot can be hard. In addition, if there has been a lot of rain the common is extremely muddy which is fun for running around and playing but not so much for just soaking up the sun. Clapham Common is ideal for playing and having fun but not so much for just sitting and enjoying a bit of quiet.
Clapham Common is the frequent host to fairs, fetes, festivals and fun. Not only that, but the Common is several (tens? hundreds?) of acres of green open space perfect for lounging, picnicking or sport. With areas for football, rugby and basketball courts, there's also some water features to enjoy. Clapham Common is simply huge! One downside is that Lambeth Council does not allow barbecues or open fires, so all picnics will need to be pre-cooked.
Many a sunny afternoon of my London life has been spent practising my frisbee throwing, relaxing with friends with a lovely lazy, boozy picnic and sleeping under the shade. Ok, not that many as London's summer this year wasn't outstanding, but I did spend quite a few afternoons and Sunday's at this large park, and I love it! There are two sides to this massive park, big enough to hold events such as the Ben&Jerry's festival, and the SW4 event, and on a hot day, the place was absolutely packed with bathing beauties and babes. It is a perfect place to relax before or after an outing in London, as it's so close to the tube station. It is also opposite a thriving high street fully equipped with an ice-creamery, cafe's, bars, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and shops, which makes it perfect to slowly work into a bigger night. I'm sure it catered to a wide variety of Australians as well, considering numerous AFL matches were held here, and on Saturday mornings you can watch those game enough endure a gruelling esercise work out led by an army officer!
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