Moving to Wimbledon
Are you moving to Wimbledon? In Wimbledon, there’s the perfect mix of properties: fabulous Victorian detached houses, pretty Edwardian cottages and gleaming new executive developments – it’s the ideal spot for expats looking for an easy pace of living.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Wimbledon report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Wimbledon on the map
Lying seven miles south west of the centre of London, south of Wandsworth and Richmond, and east of Kingston-upon-Thames, this is a corner of London that suits people who would rather not be living in London at all. Apart from two weeks of frenzied madness at the end of June when tennis comes to town, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across a sleepy rural village – and its conservation-area status has pretty much made time stand still.
Wimbledon started life as an Iron-Age fort on a hill that now forms part of Wimbledon Common. By the time of the Domesday Book, 1087, it was a small settlement belonging to the manor of Mortlake. In the early 1600s the area became attractive to wealthy merchants looking to move out of central London, and a number of large houses were constructed, including Eagle House, later replaced by Wimbledon Park House. A village grew up around the local manor and by the 18th century Wimbledon had become a coaching stop on the route from London to Portsmouth. The Victorian railway expansion and building boom saw it grow in popularity as a commuter town and it has been part of Greater London since 1965.
Today it offers both rail and underground links up to the City and the West End via Clapham Junction and Waterloo. For drivers, the A3 gives a quick and easy link to the M25, the rest of the motorway network and to London’s two main airports, Heathrow and Gatwick. In addition, the new tramline between Wimbledon and Croydon makes a handy link for shopping and there is a good network of local buses, including night buses.
While parts of Wimbledon, such as Wimbledon Village, can be pricey, there is also a wide range of more affordable properties for rent in the area, and it is on the whole cheaper than neighbouring Putney. As well as the grand Victorian houses which suit families, there are plenty of sleek modern apartments targeted at young professionals. The rental market has been buoyant and busy in recent months, despite the economic downturn, and there is a good turnover of houses in the £3,000 to £5,000 per month bracket. While the Village is the most popular part, Raynes Park, Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Town also have good levels of demand.
Around Wimbledon Village and Wimbledon Hill Road, there are some beautiful Georgian properties, as well as pretty cottages on Church Road, Belvedere Square and Lancaster Place. Naturally, houses overlooking the Common in the South Park Gardens area command premium rents. Modern townhouses are also popular with expats – look out for properties on Leeward or Kinsella Gardens, Edge Hill or Haygarth Place. For apartments, West Wimbledon would be the best bet with a selection of period conversions, on Ridgeway Gardens or Berkeley Place, and modern apartment buildings such as Ravenscar Lodge and Lantern Court. East of the tube, there are some excellent family houses on Queens Road, Haydons Road and Kings Road, with smaller terraced houses to found on Evelyn Road, Ashley Road, Faraday Road, Effra Road and Florence Road. Raynes Park has a number of exciting modern developments which will have plenty of appeal if they come up for rent.
Who lives here and why?
If your immediate answer to this question is ‘tennis players’, you’ve got a lot to learn about Wimbledon! For although the tennis championships dominates peoples’ perception of this suburb of London, it has plenty more to it than the thwack of ball against racket and extortionately priced strawberries and cream. Of course, tennis players do live here but so do (or have) plenty of other celebrities, including Pierce Brosnan, Sting, Jane Asher, Julie Andrews, Steve-O of Jackass, racing driver James Hunt, the late Oliver Reed, war poet Robert Graves, the Papal Nuncio to Great Britain and Lord Horatio Nelson, who had an estate in the area called Merton Place.
So what is the attraction of Wimbledon to such a diverse group of people? The focus of the area is Wimbledon Village, with its wonderfully characterful Georgian high street lined with delightful cafes, chic boutiques and gastro pubs. Just to the north west of this central hub, Wimbledon Common offers an unprecedented 1,140 acres of open space which includes woods, ponds, lawns, running and riding tracks and a couple of golf courses. At the other end of the high street, Wimbledon ‘village’ becomes Wimbledon ‘town’, a part of Wimbledon that developed with the arrival of the railway station in 1838 – here you will find more shops and restaurants, the Centre Court shopping complex, several cinemas and the New Wimbledon Theatre – where Marlene Dietrich gave her last stage performance in 1975. The housing stock that lies around these twin centres is made up mainly of medium to large Victorian detached and semi-detached properties, interspersed with low-rise modern houses and apartment buildings, filling in the spaces left by World War II damage.
The gentle pace of living in sleepy Wimbledon is one of its main attractions and for assignees brining families it rates highly. With a small town feel and its excellent facilities, good schools and good transport links, the appeal is obvious. There are plenty of golf courses for executive relaxation, while horse riders can explore the common and have lessons at the Wimbledon Village Stables, the oldest recorded riding stables in England. There are also riding stables at nearby Richmond Park, a wonderful place for rambling and watching the herds of wild deer that roam freely through the 2,360 acres. Or you can watch animals of a different species at the Love the Dogs Greyhound Stadium, one of London’s last remaining greyhound race tracks.
The Best Bits
While tickets for Centre Court during the two weeks of the Championships are like gold dust, anyone with an interest in tennis can more than sate it with a visit to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, based at the All England Tennis Club and open all year around. Initially, the All England Croquet Club, as was its original title, was based along Worple Road, about a mile south of Wimbledon High Street. However, as lawn tennis became increasingly popular, the club changed its focus and eventually found itself needing new, larger grounds to accommodate the numbers of spectators who wanted to watch. It moved to its current site in 1922, opened with much pomp by King George V.
The annual Championships here, is the longest-running tennis tournament in the world and the only one of the four Grand Slams to be played on grass. The traditional struggle against the vagaries of the English weather have been alleviated in recent years with the completion of a retractable roof over the Centre Court and tennis fans flock to see titanic battles between the greatest players in the world, while the UK fans forever live in hope for a British winner; the last being Fred Perry in 1936. Don’t hold your breath…
But the championship fortnight sees an influx of some of the world’s most glamorous sportsmen and women into the area. Most of the players prefer to rent a house for the duration rather than stay in a hotel; it gives them more privacy, more space for relaxation and allows them to bring coaches, physios and family members with them. Luckily Wimbledon has plenty of houses that are up to the job. For between £5,000 and £15,000 per week players can take their pick from the most luxurious Victorian villas, sprawling 1930s houses or sharp modern architect designed townhouses. The features they look for are the highest standards of interior decoration with spacious bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, modern kitchens and top-of-the-range amenities. Around the All England Lawn Tennis Club, a number of gated developments prove popular with players: excellent security and a two minute walk to the club allow for premium rents. Then there are a few super-luxury houses that are made available, with indoor pools and gyms, secluded roof terraces, huge private gardens and easy access to the golf course – perfect for a top seed player.
Bringing the Kids
While young urban professionals might find the village atmosphere of Wimbledon a little tame for their tastes, this is the perfect place for married executives to settle with their families. Spacious houses with big gardens can accommodate growing families and are relatively easy to come by, and there is a wide range of facilities in the area such as sports clubs and entertainment venues. Furthermore, Wimbledon boasts one of London’s lowest crime rates.
But perhaps the most important consideration for expats coming over with their children is finding the right school, and in this respect Wimbledon wins hands down. The area has an excellent choice of schools, with some 43 primary schools to choose between, including six Church of England and five Roman Catholic schools. There are 11 schools at secondary and sixth form level, both state and independent, with a choice of mixed, girls’ and boys’ schools. In terms of international schools, Wimbledon plays host to the Norwegian School in London and is close enough for a daily commute to American/international schools in several surrounding boroughs and counties.
Relocating to Wimbledon
Whether you’re a keen tennis player, an enthusiastic spectator or have no interest in the sport at all, there’s no denying the appeal of Wimbledon as a place to live. If you’re relocating to London and bringing your family, then Wimbledon makes the ideal choice – you’ll enjoy a high quality of life in a beautiful area that has wide open spaces, good schooling and a friendly neighbourhood feel. It’s possibly a less obvious choice for young singletons – but some sleek new apartment developments and good transport links still make it worth a look. However, if you don’t know the area, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when looking for a property, and access to someone with good knowledge of the local rental market is virtually essential. Add to that further considerations such as convenience for work, access to suitable schools, transport links for trips back home… This is when employing the services of a relocation agent can really help.
At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to pinpoint the right area and the right property that will tick all your boxes. We know London property inside out, we know how much you should expect to pay and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing different areas. We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – here or to other parts of London and the UK. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation, move management and immigration assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.
If you’re relocating to London and bringing your family, then Wimbledon makes the ideal choice – you’ll enjoy a high quality of life in a beautiful area that has wide open spaces, good schooling and a friendly neighbourhood feel. It’s possibly a less obvious choice for young singletons – but some sleek new apartment developments and good transport links still make it worth a look.
Average Monthly Rents - Wimbledon