Living in The London Borough of Merton
“While the Celtic warriors who once roamed the streets of Wimbledon Village have now been replaced with shoppers and tennis fans, Merton continues to grow in popularity”
Moving to Merton
The area has something to suit all sorts of different residents, with the peaceful atmosphere of Mitcham making it an ideal place for retired couples and families to escape the frenetic buzz of the city, whilst Wimbledon, its lively and cosmopolitan neighbour, enjoys a more energetic selection of bars, pubs and good restaurants. During the summer, Wimbledon sees a huge influx of visitors for the annual tennis championships, which can be rather overwhelming for permanent residents who suddenly find their local supermarkets and pubs packed to the brim. However, its not uncommon to find residents making the most of this by renting out their properties to visitors for inflated sums!
House prices in Merton
The borough is relatively wealthy, with a low rate of child poverty and less unemployment than the London average. Property prices in Merton are around £590,000 on average as of 2017, similar to the London average, and a wide range of property types can be found here, from grand houses on leafy streets in Wimbledon to cosy Victorian terraces in Colliers Wood. New builds are also beginning to spring up to accommodate the borough’s growing population, particularly in Southfields and Wimbledon.
“In Wimbledon, the district line does well to serve locals towards the north of the city, whilst the northern line cuts a diagonal line from Morden, taking commuters straight to London Bridge”
Travel in Merton
Transport links are also generally good in most areas, with a selection of stations on the District line and Northern line of the London Underground helping commuters travel directly to West and Central London, while other areas offer National Rail links on the Southern, South Western and Thameslink lines with direct trains to locations including London Waterloo, Richmond and Guildford. For those travelling by road, the A24 cuts directly through the borough, taking drivers either further into the capital or out towards the M25.
In Wimbledon, the district line does well to serve locals towards the north of the city, whilst the northern line cuts a diagonal line from Morden, taking commuters straight to London Bridge. There are also plenty of national rail links and a tram line, connecting the quiet town of Mitcham with both Wimbledon and Croydon.
Restaurants in Merton
The best restaurants in the borough are found in Wimbledon, where the affluent residents and annual onslaught of tennis fans has led to a good selection of eateries offering a myriad of cuisines. Japanese restaurants Makiyaki and Sticks n’ Sushi are two popular options, while Franco Manca is a hit with local pizza fans and the Eggs Benedict Cafe is one of the top spots for weekend brunches. For a traditional British supper, the pretty gastropubs on the edge of Wimbledon Common are a sure bet, with the Crooked Billet, Dog & Fox and Hand in Hand all highly recommended. Meanwhile on the other side of the borough, central Mitcham offers a selection of reasonable Indian, Chinese and Sri Lankan restaurants, while in Morden independent Italians such as Bella Donna and Verona dominate the scene.
Retail options in the borough are surprisingly good for such a suburban area, with most locals heading to one of two large shopping centres, Centre Court Shopping or the Tandem Centre, for their shopping needs. Between them a wide range of stores and brands can be found, including Debenhams, Jigsaw and Gap. A selection of independent boutiques and high-end brands can also be found in Wimbledon Village, such as Matches Fashion, Joseph and Reiss.
Branches of most major supermarkets can be found in the London Borough of Merton, including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and both large and small Tesco stores. For an international selection, Spice Way Supermarket on Kingston Road sells an array of African and Asian products, while the weekly Wimbledon Farmer’s Market is ideal for stocking up on fresh produce.
Gyms in Merton
Sports and exercises facilities are somewhat limited in Merton compared to other boroughs, although a selection of gyms can be found including branches of national chains such as Virgin Active and Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing. As you’d expect, there are also various tennis facilities to be found throughout the area, particularly in Wimbledon, as well as the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club and a riding school at Deen City Farm.
For such a tranquil area, Merton has a surprising amount of cultural activities and venues for those seeking inspiration. The borough is home to a selection of small museums, including the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum for tennis fans, the Museum of Wimbledon for those with an interest in local history, and the unique Wimbledon Windmill and Museum on Wimbledon Common. A number of well-regarded theatres can be found, such as the Colour House Theatre and New Wimbledon Theatre, while for film fans there is both a Curzon and an Odeon Imax in Wimbledon, covering everything from the cult foreign releases to the latest blockbusters.
“Good schools are one of the major draws of the area for families, with a selection of very good state and independent schools boasting better results than the London average”
Schools and education in Merton
Good schools are one of the major draws of the area for families, with a selection of very good state and independent schools boasting better results than the London average. Bishop Gilpin CofE Primary School, Dundonald Primary School and Wimbledon Chase Primary School are among the best primary schools in Merton, while for older children the most sought-after establishments include Ursuline High School and Rutlish School in the state secondary sector, and Wimbledon High School and King’s College School in the independent sector.
Safety in Merton
Merton is one of the safest boroughs in London, with an average crime rate of 66 crimes per 1000 people – similar to the England average, and significantly lower that the London average. Disorder and Theft are particularly low here, while burglary rates are similar to the London average.
Green spaces in Merton
Awarded Silver in the London in Bloom competition in 2014, Merton has a fantastic range of green spaces for residents and families to enjoy. Wimbledon Common is particularly renowned, offering 460 hectares of greenery, a windmill, and the possibility of spotting one of the infamous Wombles. Mitcham Common is another popular spot, while for those feeling particularly active, the 12-mile Wandle Trail route is perfect for walking, cycling and jogging.
Situated in South-West London, Merton was put on the map over two thousand years ago when Celtic tribes occupied the area prior to the arrival of the Romans. But like many other suburban boroughs, it wasn’t until the arrival of the railways during the late 1800s that thing’s really began to pick up pace, as the London gentry flocked to this countryside retreat. The world-famous Wimbledon Tennis Championships were established in 1877, and the rest, as they say, is history.
While the Celtic warriors who once roamed the streets of Wimbledon Village have now been replaced with shoppers and tennis fans, the borough continues to grow in popularity, particularly with retired couples and families who come for the charming detached properties, open green commons and good rail connections into the heart of the capital.
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