Living in Sutton
What is life like in Sutton
Sutton lies to the south of Greater London and is a large and diverse town within the borough of the same name. Although it is not connected to the Tube network, the town remains hugely popular with commuters who use the regular local rail services to reach St Pancras, London Bridge and Victoria.
Many areas of conservation have been designated in Sutton, underlining just how attractive many parts of it are.
The town's location on the slopes of the North Downs ensures those living in Sutton never have too far to travel in order to escape to the countryside. The rolling hills of the region make for a wonderful backdrop and provide an ideal space for a pleasant stroll or a family bike ride.
Within Sutton itself, there are many shops and bars to be enjoyed, as well as a good supply of high-quality housing. Much of the local property stock dates back to the Victorian period, giving the town an elegant and charming feel.
The name Sutton is recorded as early as 1086, when it made an appearance in the Domesday Book. It is believed to be taken from the Old English words of 'suth' and 'tun', meaning 'the south farm'. This farm's southerly position in comparison with Mitcham and Morden gave it the name, and it stuck when the new town development took place in the 19th century.
In 1755, the creation of a road between London and Brighton was a significant advance and it connected with another road from Carshalton to Ewell. These routes allowed easier travel to and from Sutton.
Sutton benefited from the arrival of a train station in 1847, which provided a brand new, fast link to London. This led to the population of the town more than doubling between 1851 and 1861 as people flocked to the area.
George Edgar Alcock, a resident of Sutton, shot to fame in 1959 when he organised a campaign to preserve an avenue of copper beech trees. His work led to the creation of the Sutton & Cheam Society, which still operates today.
One of Sutton's greatest claims to fame is the fact the Rolling Stones were founded in one of its pubs. The Red Lion (now the Winning Post) was the scene for the coming together of the band.
Sir Harry Secombe is a particularly popular local celebrity and the Secombe Theatre in the town is named after him.
Entertainment, sport and days out
There are several open green spaces for people in Sutton to enjoy. These include Sutton Green, which is located close to the beautiful All Saints Church, while another option is Manor Park, where the Sutton War Memorial is positioned.
The Secombe Theatre is the premier entertainment venue in the town and puts on a range of drama performances, music concerts and comedy shows as part of its packed calendar. Anyone seeking a cultural evening should head to the theatre to learn more about its upcoming events.
Empire Cinema is based in the St Nicholas Shopping Centre, allowing locals to catch the latest films, while the Sutton Superbowl is another entertainment option.
Sports enthusiasts are certainly well served in Sutton, as there are several leisure centres in the town and surrounding area offering excellent facilities. These include Oaks Sports Centre, Cheam Leisure Centre, David Weir Leisure Centre and more specialist complexes such as the Sutton Tennis Academy.
Little Holland House is a must for anyone with a creative mind, as it documents the progression of the English arts and crafts movement. As the former home of artist and designer Frank Dickinson, the Grade II listed building is a fascinating place to visit.
For a day in the countryside, there are plenty of options open to people in Sutton. The Surrey Hills are only a few miles away and boast some of the finest scenery in the south of England.
Eating, drinking & shopping
As is the case in many parts of London, Sutton is home to some excellent restaurants. One such example is The Clink, which acts as an opportunity for former prisoners to gain work experience in a restaurant environment.
Casa Nostra, Mimi E Coco and The Grumpy Mole are other establishments that are favoured by local diners.
When looking for a great pub in which to socialise or simply enjoy a delicious beverage, Sutton residents should consider venues such as the Moon on the Hill, the Little Windsor and the Cock and Bull.
St Nicholas Shopping Centre is one of the shopping facilities available in the town and is extremely popular. It contains stores such as Debenhams and Primark, so visitors will not leave disappointed. Times Square Shopping Centre is another option for shoppers and boasts stores including WHSmith and BHS.
There is also a farmers' market that is held each month, providing an opportunity to stock up on local produce and high-quality foods.
Schools & healthcare
Parents who move to the area have a selection of institutions open to them when it comes to enrolling their children at a local school. The Avenue Primary School is a good choice for those with pre-teen kids, while older pupils can head to Sutton High School or Sutton Grammar School. There are also plenty of schools in neighbouring towns such as Carshalton and Epsom.
Locals in need of medical attention can choose from several hospitals and clinics in Sutton and surrounding regions. Queen Mary's Hospital for Children is the best choice for little ones in need of care, while Epsom and St Helier University Hospital is another large facility close to the town.
Sutton is located just a few miles from the M25, allowing for easy access to other parts of London and the south-east. The A24 also acts as a route straight into the heart of the capital. Residents can take advantage of a good local bus service that connects Sutton with other towns and districts in south London.
As a key commuter town, it is imperative that Sutton has good rail links, and it certainly does not disappoint on this front. Journeys from the town to Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars and Waterloo take around 30 minutes.