The outer London borough of Sutton has had a “purple patch” since the 18th century, when magnificent lavender fields feeding off the chalky free-draining soil of the North Downs became the centre of a worldwide industry.
These floral fields can still be seen today at pretty Carshalton Beeches, where an environmental charity is helping to keep the tradition alive.
Historic Carshalton Village has a listed church and splendid Grove Park, with ornamental gardens alongside the River Wandle. Young developers Ed Marsh and Tom Mees, who cycle around London at weekends seeking new opportunities, found that Carshalton’s property prices are a bit cheaper than many suburbs, yet trains to Victoria and London Bridge take only 25 minutes.
Grove Park Villas, above, the duo’s new scheme of four-bedroom townhouses, is aimed at young families. Prices from £550,000. Call 020 8773 4412.
Lavender Crescent, which is also in Carshalton, is part of an £83 million regeneration project bringing 346 homes by the banks of the River Wandle. Prices from £212,000. Call 0344 800 1613.