Seeing hidden London on an extended visit

London is a fantastic place to holiday, and while there are far too many great attractions to see for those who are on short trips, taking a longer break in the capital will mean you want to see so much more, digging deep into what it has to offer.

Downing Street and parliament are great, but if you’ve been in London for a while, you’ll want to see something else a little off the beaten path and away from the hustle and bustle of tourism.

Heading to London with a plan will be the best way to ensure you see as much as possible, so once you’ve found the perfect serviced flat or apartment in London, set out exactly what you want to see and do in the best areas of the city.

Balham

Known as something of a ‘yuppie village’, Balham is one of the nicest parts of London to head to for shopping and eating out.

It is an area of the city that has great links to the centre, with Balham undergound station on the Brighton Line and just four stops from London Victoria.

In Balham itself, though, there is a lot to see and do. Just a few of the treats on offer include restaurants like Gazette, a wonderful French brasserie, and Lamberts, which serves a beautiful range of seasonal British food.

There are also many shops in the area, ranging from trendy little boutiques to florists. It also has its own market on Hildreth Street, where visitors can enjoy a taste of the finest Caribbean cuisine, fresh fruit and vegetables and wonderful flower arrangements.

Wandsworth Common

Wandsworth Common is a fantastic little place to visit when in London, especially for those who want to try their hand at a couple of sports that are quintessentially British.

Bowls and tennis are the order of the day in this area, with lessons from experts accessible to those who have never attempted to play in the past.

There are also a number of ponds, as well as a small lake in Wandsworth Common, where anglers can fish if they have access to the right permits.

And for those who have no interest in taking up a new sport or hobby, there is also the chance to head to Bellevue Road, which hosts fashion boutiques, art dealers and the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce restaurant, among other delights.

The area also has its own station, on the South London Line, with easy access to the city via Victoria Station.

Clapham

Clapham has some of the best transport links in the capital, making it a great place for commuters – Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South are all on the Northern Line – but it’s also a great place for visitors.

Some of the main attractions of the area are the plentiful bars and cafes that are spaced throughout. Whatever walk of life you come from – be it a family trip or a young couple – you will find something to suit.

There are also a number of different shopping areas that make Clapham a great place to visit – with something for all tastes.

The Old Town is home to a range of trendy little boutiques and clothes stores, while Clapham Junction hosts all the major brands, and Northcote Road holds street markets where you can buy fruit and veg and flowers among other goods.