Are you wondering if Tooting is a nice place to live? Tooting is a district in south London that is known for its famous lido, and for having some of the best South Asian restaurants in the capital. It has become a popular place in recent years for young professionals after being praised by Lonely Planet for its multiculturalism, and hailed as one of the ten coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
This post is all about what it’s like living in Tooting.
Is Tooting a Nice Place to Live?
I’ve been living in Tooting since 2012, and have found it a great place to make friends, and become part of the local community.
The area has good transport links, with two tube stations and an overground station. It’s also not far from both Gatwick and Heathrow airports, making it a great location for frequent travellers, like me!
In this post I have listed everything I think would be helpful for someone who is considering moving to Tooting. Overall, it’s a lively area with a lot going on, and has a nice mixture of open green spaces and busy shopping areas.
A Guide to Living in Tooting
Tooting is home to the largest area of public open space in Wandsworth – Tooting Commons. Tooting Commons is made up of both Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common.
These are two areas are the remains of common land that once stretched as far as Mitcham. They were once used as a resource for the people of the parish, who could use the land for grazing animals, collecting wood or picking wild fruits.
Today Tooting Commons are used for recreational purposes, and contain tennis courts, an athletics track, rugby pitch, swimming pool, cricket pitch, football pitch and cafe. There is also a large pond on Tooting Bec Common where you can go fishing.
Tooting benefits from excellent transport links with two tube stations on the northern line, and an overground station with trains running from Sutton to St Albans. There are also multiple bus routes running through Tooting, connecting the area to Wimbledon, Streatham, Mitcham, Kingston, Putney and Richmond.
The easiest way to get to central London from Tooting is either to use one of the underground stations (Tooting Broadway station or Tooting Bec tube station), or take an overground train. Trains from Tooting train station stop at Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, and St Pancras International.
More information about Tooting’s transport links is listed below.
Trains and Tube
The buses which pass through Tooting include:
- Bus Route 44: From Tooting to Victoria Station.
- Bus Route 77: From Tooting with Waterloo Station.
- Bus Route 155: From Tooting to Elephant and Castle.
- Bus Route 270: From Mitcham to Putney Bridge via Tooting.
- Bus Route 57: From Kingston to Clapham Park via Tooting.
- Bus Route 131: From Kingston to Tooting.
- Bus Route 219: From WImbledon to Clapham Junction via Tooting.
- Bus Route 493: From Richmond to Tooting.
- Bus Route G1: From Battersea to Streatham via Tooting.
- Bus Route 155: From Elephant and Castle to Tooting.
- Bus Route 333: From Elephant and Castle to Tooting
- Bus Route 355: From Mitcham to Brixton.
Tooting is in a convenient location to get to both Gatwick and Heathrow Airports. A taxi from Tooting to Gatwick takes around 40 minutes, and to Heathrow around 30 minutes (depending on traffic).
Tooting overground station also has direct trains to Luton Airport Parkway which take 1 hour 19 minutes.
Tooting has become known as London’s curry corridor, due to having a high number of great South Asian restaurants. There are also lots of independent coffee shops that serve great brunches.
Below are some of the most popular restaurants in Tooting.
- Apollo Banana Leaf: This restaurant serves delicious Sri Lankan cuisine, and is known for its flavourful curries, and dosas (pancakes). The ambiance is casual, and the food is authentic and affordable.
- Dosa n Chutney: As the name suggests, this restaurant specialises in South Indian cuisine, particularly dosas (rice and lentil crepes) served with an array of chutneys and sambar. They offer a variety of fillings and flavours, making it a popular spot for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
- Meza: Meza is a Lebanese restaurant offering a wide selection of mezze, grilled meats, and other Middle Eastern delicacies. The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and the dishes are packed with flavours and freshness.
- Little Taperia: This Spanish tapas bar is a favourite among locals. The menu features a variety of small plates, including patatas bravas, croquetas, and chorizo. The vibrant atmosphere, attentive service, and authentic flavours make it a must-visit spot.
- Lahore Karahi: This popular Pakistani restaurant offers range of dishes, including biryanis, kebabs, and karahi (spicy stir-fried meat). The portions are generous, and the flavours are bold and aromatic.
- Mirch Masala: Mirch Masala is one of the best Indian restaurants in Tooting, and a favourite of Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. It is unpretentious, affordable, and serves delicious curries.
- Daddy Bao: This is a Taiwanese restaurant on Mitcham Road. They have a brunch menu, as well as a separate menu for vegetarians. Some of their most popular dishes include the hisbi cabbage, sesame aubergine, beef Bao bun, and mushroom Bao bun.
Tooting is well-known for its vibrant pub scene, offering a variety of establishments where you can enjoy a pint of beer, grab a bite to eat, and socialise with friends.
Below are some popular pubs in Tooting:
- The Castle: The Castle is a charming pub located in the heart of Tooting. It offers a cozy atmosphere, a great selection of craft beers, real ales, and a diverse menu featuring British pub classics. The pub also hosts quiz nights and sports screenings, making it a lively spot to spend an evening.
- The Antelope: Situated a short walk from Tooting Broadway Station, The Antelope is a historic pub with a traditional feel. It features a spacious beer garden, a wide selection of cask ales, and a menu showcasing British pub fare. The pub also has a private function room and hosts regular events such as live music and sports screenings.
- The Wheatsheaf: The Wheatsheaf is a popular pub known for its relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. It offers a great range of real ales, craft beers, and ciders. The pub also serves delicious pub grub, including burgers, fish and chips, and Sunday roasts. With its cozy interior and outdoor seating area, it’s a favorite spot for locals.
- The Trafalgar Arms: This is a popular pub in Tooting, known for its friendly atmosphere, wide selection of drinks, and British pub classics on the menu. The pub has a spacious interior, a beer garden, and hosts live sports events.
- The Gorringe Park: Situated near Tooting overground station, The Gorringe Park is a lively pub that is known for its fantastic Sunday roasts. It has a beer garden, cinema, and private function rooms, and frequently hosts live music events and pub quizzes.
- Tooting Tram: The Tooting Tram and Social is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for a lively night out. They frequently host live music events, comedy nights, DJ nights and karaoke bands.
Tooting is home to two vibrant and multicultural indoor markets: Broadway Market and Tooting Market. Both contain market stalls selling a mixture of items from fresh produce and artisanal food to clothing, accessories, and homeware. You will also find a variety of shops, including independent boutiques, health food stores, and pet stores.
Tooting High Street is also lined with an array of shops, ranging from well-known chain stores like Sainsburys and Lidl, to local independent retailers. You can also find a mix of clothing stores, like Primark and TK Maxx, health food stores like Holland and Barratt, and homeware stores like Wilko.
Tooting has several different gyms including a leisure centre which has a swimming pool and badminton courts. Some popular gyms in Tooting include:
Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting is home to an impressive outdoor swimming pool. Not only is it the largest pool in the county, but it also boasts a rich history as one of the oldest lidos. The pool is open to the public from April to September, allowing visitors to enjoy a refreshing swim during the warmer months. You can book a swim slot through Places Leisure.
Tooting Bec Lido is closed in the summer of 2023 for repairs.
St George’s Hospital
St George’s Hospital is a large teaching hospital in Tooting, with more than 1,300 beds. It is one of the four major trauma centres for London, and home to hyper acute stroke and heart attack centres. Due to its helipad on the roof, the hospital frequently receives air ambulance traffic, which can cause excess noise in the Tooting area.
Tooting is popular with young families, as it is home to some great primary schools. Here’s an overview of some of the primary schools in Tooting:
- Tooting Primary School: Tooting Primary School is a well-regarded primary school in the area. It provides education to young children, offering a nurturing environment and a comprehensive curriculum to support their learning and development.
- St Boniface RC Primary School: St Boniface RC Primary School is a Catholic primary school in Tooting. With a focus on academic excellence and spiritual growth, the school serves as an important educational institution for the Catholic community in the area.
- St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School: St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School is another Catholic primary school in Tooting. It emphasises a holistic approach to education, aiming to nurture students academically, socially, and spiritually.
Is it safe to live in Tooting?
Unfortunately, the crime rate in Tooting is high. According to Metropolitan police statistics, the most common offences in the area are anti-social behaviour, violence and sexual offences, and vehicle crime.
Is Tooting an expensive area?
Tooting has slightly lower average property prices compared to neighbouring Balham and Clapham, but it’s still an expensive area of London to live. Since it has good access to the tube, this increases the property prices.
What is Tooting known for?
Tooting is known for its large Sri Lankan community, and its famous lido and indoor markets. It has also become well known as one of the best places in London to get a curry.
Why is it called Tooting?
According to ‘Roman Roads in Britain’ by T Codringtonn, the word ‘Toot‘ means a “look out” or “watch-tower”. Since Tooting Broadway is located at the crossroads of two historic roads (Wandsworth to Mitcham and Clapham to Merton), it may have been named “Tooting” as it was the look out point between the two.
Map of Tooting
Posts Related to Living in Tooting
If you are wondering whether Tooting is a nice place to live, check out the posts below which contain more information on what Tooting has to offer.
- Things to do in Tooting
- London Sewing Machine Museum in Tooting
- Curry Houses in Tooting
- Brunch Spots in Tooting
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