Balham is a more refined alternative to the bustle of Clapham with a bit of a village feel to it. It has a great selection of pubs, bars and restaurants aswell as being in short distance to no fewer than 3 commons. The renowned Bedford pub which is home to the Banana Cabaret (Comedy) is one of the areas' biggest draws.
Balham has excellent links to London being on the Northern Line aswell as a mainline rail station with a 5 minute connection to Clapham Junction.
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The Bedford (Bedford Hill) - Home to the Banana Cabaret (Comedy Night) which is held on Friday and Saturday nights, the comedy is usually followed by a cheesy disco. Check listings to see who is on, if your lucky you might catch some famous names. The pub part is pretty average and can get exceedingly busy on the weekends. Its also worth checking out the Bedford Bandstand on Tuesdays and Thursdays which has a lively open mic night, its a good opportunity to catch up and coming singer songwriters.
The Balham Bowling Club (Ramsden Road) - Unusual bar housed in an old lawn bowling club, enjoy a beer amongst old bowling trophies. This place has a lively friendly atmosphere with a good selection of beers and some very tasty cornish pasties and sausage rolls at the bar. They also do a good selection of worldwide tapas.
The Balham Tup (Chestnut Grove) - Big sports pub that gets rammed on weekends when all the Premiership big players are in action, worth checking out on Sunday evening for tasty roasts and the pub quiz
The Duke of Devonshire (Balham High Road) - Large recently refurbished pub that is popular on the weekend, a good place to get cheap shots on a night out but there are better places if you prefer a quieter drink. The one bonus is a large beer garden out back.
The Lounge (Bedford Hill) - Cosy bar/tapas bar with a friendly, homely atmosphere. I am told the tapas is very good and authentic.
The Clarence (Balham High Road) - A classy bar/pub with a good selection of beers and a great food menu. Prices are on the high side but worth the hike.
The Hope (Bellevue Road) - Recently refurbished pub with great views of Wandsworth Common, staff are very welcoming and friendly and there is a large selection of draught beers and wines. Food is a little on the pricey side though.
The Nightingale (Nightingale Lane) - Great local pub with warming open fire, good selection of ales and a dog friendly policy. There is a large outdoor seating area for smokers out the back. This pub makes a welcome change from a lot of refurbished trendy pubs in the local area
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Sadya (Bedford Hill) - Excellent southern indian restaurant with very tasty food, great friendly service.
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Tooting Bec Lido - Just a bus journey away is the largest freshwater pool in England , it has a 90m pool, children's paddling pool and a cafe. The lido is open to the public from 26 May to 31 August everyday from 6am to 8pm (last ticket 7.30pm) and throughout September from 6am In the Winter months the Lido is open everyday from 7am - 2pm for members of the South London Swimming Club. More Info >>
Wandsworth Common - 175 acre common including ecological and ornamental areas, sports pitches, tennis and bowling, a lake (where fishing is possible with membership), a trim trail and children's play area.
Bellevue Road - An area just to the side of Wandsworth Common lined with boutiques and classy restaurants.
Tooting Common - Large common area with walking trails, nature conservation area, woods and athletics track
Clapham Common - Just one stop away on the tube is the famous Clapham Common popular with picnickers in the summer, also home to live music events and sports events.
London Sewing Machine Museum (292-312 Balham High Road) - Charting the history of the sewing machine (industrial and domestic) from Victorian times to the late 50s.