When people think of Battersea, most of us automatically think of abandoned dogs and power stations, but take a closer look and there’s a lot more to this area than meets the eye…
Battersea Park is home to 200 acres of beautiful green space, which, in the early nineteenth century consisted of muddy marshes and was a popular place for duelling. However in 1858 it was opened to the public as a park, having been developed by a number of influential Victorians, including the builder Thomas Cubbit, who designed and built many of the grand regency squares in Pimlico and Belgravia.
If you visit with the family, there’s plenty to see and do to keep you occupied for almost the full day. There’s a lake, six different gardens to visit, each with its own variety of plants and flowers. Children can visit the adventure playground, the play park and the children’s zoo. There are also bikes, boats and a land train to keep even the most active child amused.
The park also boasts indoor and outdoor sports facilities including football, tennis, boules, croquet and rugby, and if you’re feeling a bit peckish, there’s even a cafe or an abundance of picnic areas.
Battersea Power Station
An iconic art deco building, the power station was in operation from 1933 and 1983 before being closed down and left abandoned. However plans are now underway to redevelop the area and turn it into a state of the art riverside community with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars alongside offices, hotels and riverside apartments. You can visit the pop up park there between 10am and 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
A convenient crossing place between Battersea and Chelsea, and famous as the place where a 5.8 metre bottlenose whale got stuck under the bridge in 2006. Despite the best efforts of rescuers, the whale died, and its remains are now on display at the Natural History Museum in Kensington.
Battersea Dogs Home
Battersea Dogs and Cats home is probably one of the most famous animal centres in the world. You can visit the centre to see the animals between 1pm and 4pm Mondays to Fridays and between 10.30am and 4pm at weekends.
Battersea Arts Centre
The Battersea Arts Centre is located in what used to be the Town Hall. It was a centre for radical politics and people like Emily Pankhurst held meetings here. It is now a busy arts centre with a children’s play area and a café and hosts an eclectic variety of theatre, shows and festivals.
In the evening Battersea has a wide range of restaurants, bars, clubs and live music venues which are popular with local residents and tourists alike.