Where are the good places to live in London? This is a question that as a professional property finder I hear rather regularly. In short, there is no definitive answer as so much depends on not just individual taste and preferences but also on ones stage of life and what time periods you are looking at settling for.
I am a third generation Wimbledon Village resident. I’ve not always resided there but it is an area that I am always drawn back to and where I am now settled and school my children. Wimbledon, like its neighbouring Richmond and Putney offers that combination of town and country living because it’s close enough to access the centre of town but its proximity to Richmond Park and the Heath gives it that sense of space and country living you can’t get from central London living.
For some, the mere prospect of living in zone 3 or 4 seems that step too far from London life, but in reality Wimbledon is not that far out and has excellent transport connections into the city via the recently modernised Blackfriars line, offering a 29 minute direct route to the city. As well as access to Circle and District lines from Wimbledon itself, offering a 39 minute journey time into London, which will be made ever more comfortable with the newly air conditioned carriages that are planned for launch later this year.
Needless to say that the unique lifestyle that Wimbledon offers, its excellent transport connections and standard of both state and private schools is what makes it one of the good places to live in London and hugely attractive to families as well as the young professional planning a family for the future. The problem for some is deciding on where in Wimbledon to be and how to find a property in your desired location. Part of Wimbledon’s uniqueness is that it is essentially split into three separate regions, Wimbledon Town, Wimbledon Village and West Wimbledon. Each offers a very unique style of property, from Victorian terraces and purpose built apartment buildings in the town, to the large Georgian, Victorian and neo-Georgian villas in the village and around Wimbledon Common, plus the larger plots with development opportunities where there were once 1920’s houses or 1970’s modern townhouses which have now been bought to demolish and to subsequently re-build ‘villa’ style luxury houses. As well as making the area unique it is also one of its frustrations, in so far as accessing properties, particularly in the village known for its discretion, privacy and seclusion, is notoriously difficult and the market is known to be closed to those without contacts and being in the ‘know’.
Like all good places to live in London, it’s about knowing where to look and who to speak to, ensuring that you not only get in the right catchment for the best school but also considering factors such as access to the most suitable amenities and leisure facilities to suit your lifestyle.
There are however distinct price variations across the area, as in all good places to live in London, with Wimbledon Village commanding asking prices from anywhere between £1.5M (smaller terrace houses) to 15M+ (for the semi-detached houses and significant properties on Parkside or on the Common), it’s equally desirable but more affordable out towards Coombe (and Coombe Park) or Raynes Park in West Wimbledon where you do generally tend to get more for your money – living on the edge of an increasingly popular area is a trend we are witnessing more and more across the capital.
So where are the good places to live in London? Well for me personally, the answer is Wimbledon.