Tooting Area Guide
What links Tooting with sought after spots in New York, Rio and Dubai? Like them, this buzzing, vibrant London suburb is rated by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s Top 10 coolest neighbourhoods. It’s alive with great shopping and restaurants which give a flavour of multicultural London at its best, it has more open space than you can reasonably expect so close to the city centre, and a fantastic range of characterful and contemporary housing. What more could you ask for?
Why buy in Tooting?Tooting is in the heart of south-west London and butts up against pricy Clapham and our home base in Earlsfield. This part of the capital was transformed in Victorian times from being a series of rural villages into more densely populated communities for London’s growing workforce. The legacy of Victorian homes with bags of character and decent plots gives Tooting a special feel. It is also an area where generously-sized ex-social housing comes onto the market, presenting buyers with the kind of opportunities that rarely crop up in London.
Tooting residents enjoy a lot of green space – 200 acres of Tooting Common to be precise – so you’re never short of somewhere to walk your faithful hound or have a kickabout. Next to the common is one of London’s hidden gems, Tooting Bec Lido with a huge 100 yard open air pool.
Add in a really impressive range of state and independent schools, and great transport links to central London – Tooting has two tube stops and an overground station – and you can see that there are plenty of reasons for joining all the young professionals and families that are making a beeline for the area.
What are the sought-after roads in Tooting?Among the top spots are the roads overlooking, or close by, Tooting Common. In the Furzedown area, Clairview Road, Parklands Road and Moyser Road are names to look out for and it’s where you can find some of Tooting’s loveliest Edwardian homes. The Heaver Estate, on the north side of the common, has plenty of red-brick period houses, with Elmbourne Road and Drakefield Road among the very best roads.
The streets between Gorse Road and Mitcham Road offer plenty of opportunities too. For value for money, the roads off the High Street – including Trevelyan Road and Sellincourt Road – are a good place to focus your search. Unlike Clapham and Wandsworth there is still a fair chance you will find a doer upper if that’s what you are after.
In the north of Tooting, Totterdown Fields is a unique development of cottage-style homes dating back to 1901. Built as part of the Garden City movement, it retains an Arts and Crafts feel and oozes homely character.
Dotted around Tooting you will find further examples of former social housing, now largely sold off to private buyers and offering plenty of space – they are probably the best way of getting more for your hard-earned cash than anywhere else in the area.
Purpose-built modern developments such as Graveney Mews continue to take shape, and you can find everything from studio flats to family homes as London developers do their best to keep up with demand for homes in the city.
Tooting for familiesWith a growing number of young professionals moving into the area, there is a growing number of young families too. Tooting is an easy place to live with children because the choice of schools is good, there is plenty of open space and a great variety of shopping. It’s a low crime area too and, perhaps most importantly of all, there is a strong community feel. Tooting is one of the most liveable spots in all of London.
Tooting schoolsTooting offers a choice of no less than 5 primary schools, all rated outstanding by Ofsted. Three of the local secondary schools get the same outstanding rating too. On top of state schools, there is a selection of independents either in Tooting itself or nearby.
Further education is on residents’ doorsteps too, with South Thames College. For medical students, St. Georges University of London is one of the top places in the UK. With such good transport links, it is easy to get to other educational establishments as well.
Eating and drinking in TootingTooting is famous for its dazzling array of Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan eateries. From grabbing a street food snack to sitting down for a memorable restaurant meal, lovers of authentic, beautifully spiced Asian flavours will find Tooting Broadway a treasure trove of culinary delights. Keeping the price down, you can find plenty of places that allow you to bring your own booze too.
You can also find French brasserie-type food, and there’s a highly-rated Aussie brunch spot. For quick eats on a budget, there are chicken and kebab shops. And, of course, there are great London pubs, these days serving the kind of food that’s just what people want to eat and a real step up from the days when eating in a London pub was limited to stale sandwiches and a bag of crisps. Here are some names to look out for:
- South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine at Apollo Banana Leaf
- Home-style Indian and Pakistani treats at Mirch Masala
- Superb dosas and veggie options at Dosa n Chutney
- Local favourite Vijay Krishna
- Lebanese kebabs and grills at Meza
- The London mayor’s top choice, Spice Village
- Paris-style bistro menus at Bordelaise in Broadway Market
- Fabulous Aussie-inspired brunch at Brickwood
- Pillow-soft bao buns at Daddy Bao
- Spanish tapas at La Taperia
- Breakfast and brunch at Mud
As always in London you have atmospheric pubs in easy reach. Enjoy foodie-friendly pub grub at The Antelope, or Sunday lunch at The Selkirk. The Wheatsheaf and The Castle are decent pubs for a few pints, while Little Bar is, as the name suggests, a cosy place to share a more intimate glass or two. For a buzzier vibe and late night drinks and dancing, head for the Tooting Tram and Social. Tooting has plenty to offer, but you are also none too far away from neighbouring areas and central London too where you have a world of choice.
Tooting theatres, activities and open spacesTooting’s stand-out building is the Grade 1 listed Gala Bingo Hall, which opened as the Granada theatre and cinema in 1931. It has a truly remarkable interior, put together by Russian émigré Theodore Komisarjevsky, and brings together Gothic and Orthodox church influences. It really is worth a visit, even if bingo is not your thing.
Keep an eye on productions by Tooting Arts Club whose repertoire ranges from Shakespeare to modern day dramas and musicals. At Gorringe Park you can enjoy gastro pub dishes alongside screenings in the basement cinema – the perfect way to get away from the world.
Open spaces in the area were originally known as Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common, but they are side by side and everyone refers to them simply as Tooting Common. There is a lot of space here with playgrounds for the kids, football pitches and tennis courts. Organised activities include fitness classes and Parkrun events.
Tooting Bec Lido offers keen swimmers the chance to swim in the open air throughout the year, although you need to be a swimming club member during the winter months. The unheated pool measures 100 yards by 33 yards, so there is plenty of room for serious swimmers and anyone who wants to simply splash about too.
How much is council tax in Tooting?Tooting’s council tax is determined by Wandsworth Council, whose rates are the second lowest in London, just a little higher than in Westminster. Charges are a fraction of what you would pay in London’s most expensive borough. At just 28% of the rates in Kingston-upon-Thames, Tooting’s low council tax is an extra reason for house hunting here.
Why choose Maalems for your move to Tooting?At Maalems, we know what a big decision moving home is, and how important the choice of area is. Wherever you choose, it needs to be the right option for everyone in your household, and it is not just a question of finding the right bricks and mortar.
At our base in the heart of south-west London, we have a total of over 80 years of experience in helping clients find a home they love living in. We deal with everything involved in sales and lettings, including dealing with the bits that can be challenging and complicated. If you’re a buyer, seller, tenant or landlord and you have your eye on Tooting, get in touch with Maalems now.