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A potter in Wandsworth Common, 10 minutes from interesting Balham Tube Station**

Leave the station by High Road East Side exit and cross over Balham High Road towards a mirror image of the station - note clever use of the Tube logo on the pillar capitals. Turn left, going under the bridge.

Shortly you will pass the striking church of St. Mary and St. John the Divine A little further on,  take the first turning (Balham Park Road). After a few minutes cross Boundaries Road and continue. The large, late Victorian houses in this area have more than their fair share of ornamentation.  Look out for unusual green ceramic leaf period decoration on Nos. 30-34, exuberant plaster work at Nos. 44-46 and striking white geometric decoration of No. 74. 

At No. 80 (comparatively restrained, but with quirky windows) go down an alleyway to reach the Common. Wander roughly parallel to the railway (you don't have to stick to the surfaced way) looking out for the endearing buildings of the small 1869 Wandsworth Common station. At this point return to the path and follow it through the station until St. James's Drive and Bellevue Road, then use two sets of traffic lights to reach some beautiful stretches of water on the right.  

These were
created from the pits where commoners were once allowed to extract gravel. The long runs of sturdy wooden walkways are good for bird-watching (look out for the heron pretending to be a statue) - part of the main lake is surrounded by a 'wilderness' which acts as a nature reserve. 
Towards the northern end of the park is an up-market family cafe in an attractive white building. 

Instead of returning to the Tube, you might prefer to use Wandsworth Common station for trains to Victoria.

*If travelling south outside peak hours, it may be necessary to change at Kennington to pick up a Morden train - usually a very quick and easy connection.

** Like many other deep-level stations, Balham was used as an air-raid shelter in WW2. In the entrance hall is a memorial plaque to the scores of people killed when a bomb fell on the station in 1940.

This is just one route from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the above link and see the other destinations explored. It's amazing what's out there!