Clapham South Deep-level Air Raid Shelter

Clapham is one of the most historic parts of London, yet most people know nothing about Clapham’s history. Believe it or not, if you live in Clapham proper, one of the area’s secrets is beneath your feet: literally miles of air raid shelters, over 30 meters down, below the underground.

clapham south deep level shelter - 10You’ll recognise the entrances as those round buildings you’ve probably either wondered what their purpose is, or assumed were part of the tube. Wrongo. They are entrances to underground mini-cities that, when open, would have safely held 8,000 people. That’s even bigger and deeper than Infernos – but probably still better lit.

The London Transport Museum had a major breakthrough recently, receiving permission to open one of Clapham’s many Deep-level Shelters. Built during World War II as air raid shelters against the blitz. We were lucky enough to book tickets for the opening week. Without wanting to give away ‘too’ much, below is a small selection of photos.

It sold out pretty quickly but it is well worth the wait and £30 admission fee – worth every penny. It was a truly memorable experience with outstanding guides. And I hope they get to keep them open so thousands more people can experience Clapham below ground… er, belower ground than the underground and WC that is.
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Clapham Markets

The Clapham area is now completely spoilt for choice when it comes to markets. From posh nosh to fresh flowers, we Clappers have it all. Given the number of chain supermarkets and restaurants in the area, it’s no wonder the Clapham markets are increasingly popular with local residents. We want choice dammit! With three markets in the direct vicinity and others close by, there really is no excuse to shop local and benefit from better quality. Continue reading

Sainsbury’s on Abbeville Road controversy

If you live in the Clapham South / Abbeville Road area you may have heard that Sainsbury’s would like to open a new local store on Abbeville Road itself amongst the local shops. It will go in the large retail space that used to be Dexters restaurant (where you could amazingly buy a full English breakfast with the works, tea, coffee and a fruit just for about £8 – no wonder it went under!) This development is proving to be fairly controversial, dividing residents right down the middle. Some want to keep the road local shops only, while others welcome the idea of an affordable local supermarket. No doubt the supermarket will get its way regardless – but what do you think? Interestingly, the even more controversial betting shop that opened on Abbeville Road has now closed, after only a couple of years of poor trade.

Bon Bon restaurant, Abbeville Road, Clapham, London

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Bon Bon is a good sized restaurant on a corner in the heart of the Abbeville Village. It serves fresh food and drink throughout the week and has a small seating area out the front for use on those sunny summer days. Continue reading

Clapham Shopping Guide

Clapham High Street Shops

There are various shops sprinkled all over Clapham, with five main shopping areas to be aware of (although some are so close to each other, they’re practically the same place). This page explains each shopping area in Clapham and what they contain. Continue reading