Discover why Teddington was chosen as one of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022 in their words.
There’s just no pleasing some people. Gorgeous green spaces, dreamy Thames-side towpaths, a vibrant high street — even under Covid restrictions — and a stalwart community spirit earned Teddington top spot on our London list last year, but some of the capital’s tastemakers were decidedly unimpressed. “Is Teddington REALLY ‘the best place to live in London’?” Time Out asked, lamenting the absence of railway-arch breweries and natural wine bars.
The locals don’t care a home-grown fig what the manbun massive thinks: they’re too busy dog-walking, jogging or cycling through beautiful Bushy Park, paddleboarding on the Thames, tucking into brunch at Café Benedict or relaxing with a pint in the riverside garden at the Anglers pub. Indeed Jigsaw has closed, and Savills estate agency is opening in its place. Need we say more?
Lucy Rock, the director of local business association Teddington Together, moved here from Shepherd’s Bush a decade ago for the top-class schools and parks, and regards the 35-minute train ride to Waterloo station as a small price to pay for the “cosmopolitan” feel, easy access to nature and friendly atmosphere. “I’d compare it to Canada — everyone says, ‘Hey there! How’s it going?’ ”
That sense of solidarity came to the fore during the pandemic, when Teddington Together helped to organise Rockin’ the Lockin’, a 24-hour virtual concert to raise funds for the much-loved Landmark Arts Centre and other local charities. With the support of Jed Mercurio (the creator of Line of Duty lives in the area), the venue was kept afloat, and next month it’s hosting a real-life reprise (May 14 and 15).
Head to Hampton Pool for open-air swimming, Awesome Studios for dance and fitness classes — children and adults — or the luxe Lensbury Club for tennis, spa treatments and watersports on the river (adult monthly membership £157, or £262 for two).
Any downsides to living in Teddington? Aircraft noise (and pollution) are often cited as drawbacks, and plans for a cinema are on ice until a site can be secured. You’ll need to stock up on descaler to counter the hard water, and the train to town is too much of a schlep for some — although that’s one reason why house prices remain lower here than in Richmond.
There’s still social distancing in Bushy Park: you’re advised to stay at least 50 metres from the free-roaming deer, which can be a little too friendly when trying to get treats. And the relaxed, outdoorsy vibe has its pitfalls. “Everyone’s in athleisure-wear,” Rock says. “I wore mine up to central London, thinking it was normal — and soon realised it’s just not.”
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Prices are correct as of April 2022.
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