As far as vibrant London high streets go, South London’s Tooting is right up there with the best of them. With lively markets, local cafes and restaurants, plus two tube stations, it's easy to see why the SW17 postcode attracts renters from nearby Clapham and Balham as well as many other neighbourhoods in the capital.
Throw in the Victorian and Edwardian houses, and Tooting’s appeal only increases. On top of that, there’s a lido for the summer months, nearby open spaces and a strong local community vibe to embrace.
In this London guide, we’re taking an in-depth look at Tooting and finding out what it’s to live in this part of southwest London. From the homes to its history and everything there is to do and see, this is your Tooting area guide.
Tooting on a map
Tooting's postcode is SW17 and it's located in southwest London. It falls under the London Borough of Wandsworth and the Borough of Merton and is around five miles from Charing Cross. Neighbouring areas include Clapham, Balham, Streatham and Wandsworth.
Tooting has been a settlement since pre-Saxon times, with its name also of Anglo-Saxon origin. During Roman times, the Romans built a road going from London to Chichester, and Tooting was a primary stop along the way.
Fast-forward to Victorian times, and Tooting – much like many of London’s suburbs – began to develop into a residential neighbourhood. After the initial boom, development slowed down until the 1920s, when it picked up again and laid down the roots for what lies in Tooting today.
Who lives there?
Everyone from artists to city professionals lives in Tooting. The neighbourhood is becoming increasingly popular with renters who prefer the more affordable rents compared to nearby Clapham and Balham. Around 66% of residents rent their homes in Tooting.
Renting in Tooting
You’ll mostly find Victorian and Edwardian homes in Tooting, in both semi-detached and terrace form. Some of these properties have been converted into apartments to meet the growing rental demand. There is also a smattering of new builds in the SW17 postcode.
Expect to pay around £1,300 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Tooting. A two-bedroom home fetches in the region of £1,650 per month, and a three-bedroom house achieves £2,000 per month.
Tooting is served by two local underground stations: Tooting Broadway and Tooting Bec. Both of them are on the Northern Line and have services into central London, the City and North London.
The local railway station is on the Thameslink and goes to Elephant & Castle, while bus routes in the area are served by the 155, 355, 270, 44, 333, 57, 127. Tooting is located in travel Zone 3.
The Gorringe Park
Head to The Gorringe Park for a tasty Sunday roast and embrace your new local. This gastropub has you covered with great ales and delicious food – there's everything from small plates to large main courses.
Rick’s Dining Room
Rick’s Dining Room is a long-running local restaurant serving up a mix of old favourites and modern European dishes. There’s a relaxed atmosphere inside, so you can chill out while enjoying some seriously delectable delights.
The Little Taperia
Located on Tooting High Street, The Little Taperia is a narrow and rustic spot with a stylish marble bar. Spend some time sampling the small plates on the menu or feel the vibes while washing down a cocktail or two.
Things to do in Tooting
Get back to nature in Tooting Common and go for a scenic stroll. There’s also an athletic track, tennis courts and loads of green areas to explore. It’s one of the primary open spaces in the neighbourhood.
Tooting Market and Broadway Market
Tooting and Broadway markets are the primary draws of the area, with Lonely Planet listing them in the “Top 10 Coolest Places to Visit in the World” – they’re that good. There are start-up bars, cafes and restaurants all sitting alongside fruit and veg stands, as well as other stalls selling everything from luggage to clothing.
Make a splash during the warmer months with a visit to Tooting Lido, one of the UK’s oldest open-air pools. Catch some rays before cooling off in the local swimming pool. It’s open to the public from May to September every year.
Moving to Tooting
Tooting is a fun and vibrant area full of life in southwest London. It’s easy to see why so many people move here, especially with great transport options and two of the best markets in the world. If you’re looking for a South London neighbourhood to call home, then Tooting should be high up on your list.