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Kennington Area Guide

Local Area Guide from Reeds Rains Kennington, LondonLocal Area Guide from Reeds Rains Kennington, London

Kennington (SE1 area) is fortunate to be served by Waterloo mainline Terminus, Lambeth North, Southwark, Borough and Elephant & Castle tube stations and a generous supply of bus routes providing access into the centre of London and South East London. 

London SE1 is an area of central London on the south bank of the River Thames between Vauxhall Bridge and St Saviour's Dock (just east of Tower Bridge). SE1 stretches as far south as the Elephant and Castle. It also includes the localities of Bankside, the Borough, South Bank, Waterloo and parts of Bermondsey and Lambeth

London SE1 is one of the most exciting areas to live, work, study and visit. The area is best known for the South Bank Centre and Royal National Theatre. In the past few years other developments, such as the reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe, the Tate Modern art gallery, Borough Market,  the Shard, London Eye and the Millennium Bridge have served to reinforce SE1's status as part of Central London. Located in zone 1 SE1 is fantastically located within easy walking distance of the City, West End, Westminster  and the popular hub of the South Bank; boasting many of the area’s most popular galleries, cafes,  restaurants and food-lovers’ favourite, Borough Market.

Being in such a spot ensures there is never any shortage of things to do and whether you enjoy art or are more interested in fine dining, there’s bound to be something to your taste right on your doorstep. With the Capital at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that SE1 is such a popular place to enjoy city life.

The SW1 postcode district covers most of Westminster and is split into eight different sub-sections, each with an additional letter tagged on the end. SW1 covers some of central London's most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and St James's Park. The boundaries sweep along the Thames from Whitehall to Pimlico, around to Sloane Square and the start of the Kings Road, and then up towards plush Belgravia, the Queen's residence and beyond. The area of Westminster is dominated by the business of government, and the great symbols of British greatness. The Houses of Parliament, with its mighty bell Big Ben, can be heard throughout Central London chiming the hours, while at the top of Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are considered the heart of the nation. The National Gallery is the repository of Britain's best international art collection while Tate Britain, in the attractive riverside area of Millbank, has the best permanent exhibition of British Art in the world.

Steeped in history, the area is currently undergoing extensive redevelopment, notably around Elephant & Castle, which has seen the construction of a number of contemporary, luxury residential developments. The programme also will bring a new town centre, shops, a tram route and a network of leisure and public spaces to this vibrant, up and coming area.

The residential areas of Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays form the heart of SE16, a district that falls just below the Thames and the core of central London. Located on a peninsula to the east of Tower Bridge, Rotherhithe is part of the Docklands area and was a busy port until the 20th century. The docks have now largely been replaced by modern housing and commercial facilities and as much of Rotherhithe is covered by the now-defunct Surrey Commercial Docks, the district is sometimes referred to as Surrey Quays, though this name tends to refer more to the southern half of the peninsula. The area is joined to the north bank of the Thames by three tunnels - the Thames Tunnel (formerly for pedestrians), the Rotherhithe Tunnel for cars and the Jubilee Line extension that allows trains to cross the river.

Kennington is surprisingly full of diverse things to do. It includes the Imperial War Museum and the UK's largest cricket ground, The Oval. SE11 has also seen a great deal of regeneration activity in recent years and the redevelopment of the area is not finished yet with several large residential and infrastructure projects currently underway.

The modern street pattern of Kennington was formed by the early nineteenth century; the village had become a semi-rural suburb with grand terraced houses.

The Oval cricket ground was leased to Surrey County Cricket Club from the Duchy of Cornwall in 1845, and the adjacent gasometers (themselves an international sporting landmark) were constructed in 1853.

In recent years, Kennington has experienced gentrification, driven by the advantages of its location and good transport links to the West End and the City of London.

The SW8 postcode takes in the area of South Lambeth and Nine Elms, as well as parts of Vauxhall and Battersea. Largely a residential area, SW8 is centred on the New Covent Market, a large wholesale fruit, vegetables and flowers market. The name Lambeth means 'landing place for lambs' in Old English and refers to a harbour on the Thames where lambs were either shipped from or to, back as late as the 11th century.

Nine Elms is fast becoming a breath-taking statement of contemporary urban living in one of London's best connected and emerging Riverside neighbourhoods which includes the new American Embassy, the Netherlands Embassy, and The iconic Battersea Power Station development, Embassy Quarter, Riverlight, St Gerorges Wharf and the New Covent Garden Market.

There's a large Portuguese community in South Lambeth and many bars and restaurants with a strong connection to both Portugal and Madeira are located on the South Lambeth Road. Vauxhall is renowned for its gay nightlife scene, with the famous pub the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and nightclub Fire particularly popular.

Transport links in SE11 are excellent.  There are two railway lines, with Vauxhall station in the west lying on the line between Waterloo and Clapham Junction.  Elephant & Castle station to the east is on the Thameslink route from Brighton to Bedford. SE11 has three underground stations on the Northern Line at Oval, Kennington and Elephant and Castle.  Kennington is especially useful as trains from the station serve both the Bank and Charing Cross branches of the Northern Line.  Elephant & Castle is also the southern terminus of the Bakerloo Line.  Just over the postcode border in SW8 lie Vauxhall and Stockwell tube stations, both on the Victoria Line that runs from Brixton to Walthamstow.