As the Thames meanders through the suburbs of south-west London, it is easy to lose track of which side of the river you are on. Are you on the Surrey side — south of the river — or the Middlesex side — north of the river? For the record, Teddington, the suburb where Hollywood star Keira Knightley grew up with her playwright mother and actor father, is on the Middlesex side.
This quiet and pleasant suburb certainly thinks big. The imposing Landmark Arts Centre in the High Street was originally destined to be a replica of Paris’s Notre Dame — until its Victorian builders ran out of money. In the Second World War, General Eisenhower lived in nearby Hampton Wick while his contemporary, inventor Barnes Wallace, was testing the bouncing bomb at the National Physical Laboratory on Hampton Road.
Properties in Teddington
The area offers a wide range of homes from modern flats to large, detached family houses with spacious gardens, to waterfront dwellings.
Who does it attract?
Teddington is popular with families. It has good schools, green and leafy suburban streets, the wild acres of Bushy Park and the river. It is often described as a poor man’s Richmond because it has similar attractions but house prices are about 15 per cent lower.
The best addresses
Often called the “river roads”, Broom Water and Broom Water West back on to an artificially created creek. Houses in these two roads sell for between £1.5 million and £1.9 million. Houses in Teddington Park Road and Waldegrave Park have sold recently for £2.4 million and £1.8 million respectively. On the southern end of Twickenham Road there is a row of detached, pebble-dashed houses in the Arts & Crafts style which are listed as being of townscape merit. There are pretty Victorian villas and terraces in the Park Road conservation area close to Teddington station.
What’s new and up and coming?
Fallows Court (020 8943 3781) is the latest phase of Linden Homes’ Sandy Lane development of 91 flats overlooking Bushy Park. Four two-bedroom flats remain, starting at £350,000 for completion next summer. The Square (Featherstone Leigh 020 8977 8949) in Broom Road is a strikingly modern gated development by James Taylor Homes of 52 flats and penthouses with a concierge service. Four flats remain in the first phase of 15, ranging from a studio at £210,000 to £1.05 million for a three-bedroom duplex with a roof terrace.
Fieldend is a Sixties Span development of 51 homes designed by Eric Lyons. Valued at about £300,000, none has been up for sale since 2007. There is another enclave of Span houses at The Cedars in the Park Road conservation area, where a house sold for £450,000 earlier this year. The neighbourhood close to Fulwell station is undervalued. There are local shops and pretty, two-bedroom Victorian terrace houses which can still be bought for around the £350,000 mark.
Good state schools are a big draw. St Mary’s and St Peter’s on Somerset Road and Collis on Fairfax Road are both judged “outstanding” by the government education watchdog, Ofsted. Sacred Heart on St Mark’s Road and Stanley on Stanley Road are both judged “good”. Newland House in Waldegrave Park (co-educational ages four to 13) is the local prep school.
The local comprehensive school Teddington (co-educational, ages 11 to 16), where Keira Knightley was a pupil, is rated “good”. Waldegrave (girls ages 11 to 16) in nearby Twickenham is judged “outstanding”. Many state school pupils go on to Richmond College, one of the largest sixth-form colleges in the country.
The two Kingston grammar schools, Tiffin Girls’ School (ages 11 to 18) and Tiffin School (boys, also 11 to 18) get excellent results but select pupils from all over south-west London. The local private secondary schools are Kingston Grammar (co-educational ages 11 to 18); Hampton (boys 11 to 18) and Lady Eleanor Holles (girls ages seven to 18), the last two on adjoining sites in Hampton.
Shops and restaurants
The presence of a number of large employers including Teddington Studios, Haymarket Press and the National Physical Laboratory means the High Street can count on more than just local residents, attracting a good choice of both mainstream chains and local independent shops, cafés and restaurants stretching along into Broad Street. Look out for stylish boutique TCS, Teds (for children’s clothes) and Jenny Blanc for squishy sofas and interior accessories. The Anglers and the Tide End Cottage are two popular riverside pubs, while the area has a strong showing of Italian restaurants.
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Arts and open spaces
There is easy access to Thames-side walks throughout Teddington, while at the end of Ferry Road there are views of Teddington Lock and the weir. Royal Bushy Park, where red and fallow deer graze, is moments away. The park has playing fields that are busy at the weekend, a long avenue of chestnut trees and the gold-painted Diana fountain.
Indoor swimmers head for the Teddington Pools in Vicarage Road, while outdoors the Hampton Open-Air Pool is heated and open all year round. The Lensbury Club is a members-only sports club with swimming, tennis, golf and water sports. The Landmark Arts Centre runs art classes and fairs and puts on comedy and music events.
There are three stations: Teddington and Fulwell (both in Zone 6; annual travel card £2,016) and Strawberry Hill (Zone 5; annual travel card £1,880). All have direct trains to Waterloo which take between 30 and 50 minutes although at certain times of the day, for those getting on at Fulwell or Strawberry Hill it is quicker to change at Twickenham or Richmond.
Richmond upon Thames (Conservative-controlled); Band D council tax for the 2011/2012 year is £1,597.21.
Buying in Teddington
One-bedroom flat £217,000
Two-bedroom flat £274,000
Two-bedroom house £391,000
Three-bedroom house £535,000
Four-bedroom house £772,000
Renting in Teddington
One-bedroom flat £170 to £320 a week
Two-bedroom flat £200 to £370 a week
Two-bedroom house £275 to £400 a week
Three-bedroom house £340 to £550 a week
Four-bedroom house £450 to £800 a week
Five-bedroom house £570 to £1,100 a week
Source: Featherstone Leigh
Photographs: Graham Hussey