The Bare Traveller

Discovering the Best of Tooting: A Local’s Guide

Things to do in Tooting

London is a destination like no other. The English capital is full of wonders and one of its most popular districts is Tooting. Located just 30 minutes down the Northern line from Waterloo, the Tooting area is a safe, vibrant street and family-friendly.

In this Londonian district, you’ll find everything: great community, a cosy atmosphere on the weekends and numerous good places to eat and hang out.

Inside Tooting Market

How to reach Tooting?

One good way to reach this vibrant Londonian district is via Tube (Northern Line). You can choose one of the following stops: Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway.

When in Tooting, I highly recommend you walk between Tooting Broadway and Tooting Bec via A24 road. You’ll have an amazing first glimpse of why Tooting district is one of the best places in London.

What to do in Tooting?

1) Tooting Broadway

One of the main attractions in Tooting is The Broadway. It is a railway station and shopping parade located at the crossroads of the A3 and A217. Broadway was designed by Charles Holden and opened its doors in 1926.

Tooting Broadway

Its construction was part of the Morden extension of the English capital & South London Railway. Previously known as Tooting Corner, Tooting Broadway is nowadays a must-see commercial hub. Every day, commuters, shoppers and business people visit Tooting Broadway.

In this station, everything is available from coffee houses, beauty salons, fashion shops to convenience stores.

2) Tooting Bec

As I mentioned previously, there are two stations from which you can visit the Tooting district. One of them is Tooting Bec, an iconic station built in 1926 by Charles Holden, an architect known for creating numerous underground stations and war memorials.

Tooting Bec

Tooting Bec was previously known as Trinity Road Station before taking its current name in 1950. Additionally, the station is known for its unique underground design.

It features roundabouts on three panels surrounding the station and has no main entrance. Both east and west entrances lead to the main set of stairs.

3) Tooting Market

Another must-see place in the Tooting district is its market. It is a hidden Londonian gem full of market stalls, restaurants and bars. Spreading over 7000 sq.ft. Tooting Market houses a creative mix of 13 new retail & food units and a 3500 sq.ft gym.

Tooting Market

Additionally, this Londonian Market houses a great set of beauty salons, clothing stores and pet shops.

Tooting Market is also unique thanks to its old interior and features. Furthermore, in this place, almost every nationality is represented and everyone interacts harmoniously. In short, Tooting Market is a perfect representation of the greatness of London.

Finally, I recommend trying a Craft beer at Craft Tooting. The shop, which is run by Tooting residents for Tooting residents, sells beer from both large and small brands, as well as from locally selected breweries.

The tiny unit, which is located on Broadway market, is stacked on top of a rack of craft beers so that customers may buy it, and try it for themselves.

4) Broadway Market

Established in 1936, Broadway Market is one of South London’s oldest markets. This place houses over 100 stalls selling food, clothes, groceries, clothes and electronics. In Broadway Market, you’re sure to find everything you need under one roof! 

Additionally, this South Londonian Market sells oriental rugs, jewellery shops. Furthermore, whether you are looking for a quick meal or something different and exotic, you can find it all here. 

This place is simply amazing, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. If you’re looking for a good place to eat and drink in Broadway Market, I have two recommendations for you:

Brazilian Corner: it is a cool pub for not only Brazilians but everyone. Brazilian Corner also has a series of musical activities open to local musicians who play different musical styles. Additionally, the bars staff are very friendly and they serve you amazing Brazilian tapas like coxinha or pão de queijo.

Tooting Market - Brazil Flag

Bar Saveur Tropicale: this place is known for its Mauritian vibe and is considered one of the best bars in the Broadway Market. Bar Saveur Tropicale offers cocktails and food out of this world! So if you want something different and fancy, this is the place to visit!

Tooting Market - Saveur Tropicale

5) Tooting Bec Lido

If you’re looking for some refreshment in Tooting district, then, I highly suggest you visit its Bec Lido. It is a formidable and big outdoor pool with nice big lanes during the lane swim times.

Located in a lovely green space, the Tooting Bec Lido is undoubtedly worth a visit. Additionally, shower blocks and personal change cubicles are available along the poolside. Furthermore, there is also a pool for kids there.

When you arrive, check-in at the window then queue up outside until the swimmers from the previous session have left. You can leave your stuff in the cubicle or one of the lockers, using your own padlock.

Moreover, Tooting Bec Lido has its own cafe. It offers a variety of delicious pastries, sandwiches, paninis, teas and coffees. The cafe also offers a Children’s Meal Bag full of healthy and nutritious ingredients for young visitors.

6) Tooting Leisure Centre

If you’re looking to discover South Londonian vibes while taking care of physical health then head to Tooting Leisure Centre. It is a modern and hi-tech gym that provides different areas packed with state-of-the-art gym equipment.

Additionally, Tooting Leisure Centre has great facilities, pool, sauna and steam room. There’s also a kids area to entertain your children while you work out.

7) Tooting Restaurants

Tooting district is famous for hosting various incredible restaurants. It is so hard to choose where to go, but I will give you a few suggestions to help you make up your mind.

● Lahore Karahi: established in 1995, this South Londonian place is a family-run restaurant serving authentic Pakistani cuisine. Lahore Karahi is renowned for its great recipes and lively atmosphere. This Pakistani restaurant has a long history in Tooting. 

Lahore Karahi Tooting

The owners recently refurbished the joint and it looks and feels prestigious. Additionally, the food is always 10 on 10 here and they always serve you big portions.

Chicken Cottage: Established in 1994, they are the ones who started the Chicken Cottage concept in London. Today, it is the largest Chicken Cottage restaurant in Europe with over 100 stores across 10 countries. This restaurant offers tasty chicken food and is a great place for families.

Chicken Cottage Tooting

Additionally, it is open until late hours and all the employees are polite and demonstrate excellent customer service.

8) Tooting Pubs

Restaurants aren’t the only places that are hard to pick in the Tooting district. Another dilemma is the pubs, they are all simply wonderful and cosy. However, some pubs are slightly better than the rest. Here are my recommendations:

The Wheatsheaf: this South Londonian pub prides itself on using the best producers and suppliers to offer the best Sunday roasts in Tooting. The Wheatsheaf has an extensive range of craft beer and wine.

The Wheatsheaf Tooting bec

Additionally, you can watch live sport and musical and comedy events. Furthermore, you can book tables ahead and the pub has outside tables right next to the busy main road and tube station.

The Castle Tooting: it is in the heart of Tooting, London. Established in 1832, the Castle Tooting adapted over time to offer its visitors unforgettable memories. It is the perfect pub to spend your time while relaxing with the ones you love. 

Additionally, Castle Tooting is very spacious and has a lovely garden. Furthermore, its interior is prestigiously decorated and its staff are wonderfully polite.

The Kings Head: a great pub with amazing interior design, a wide selection of craft beer and good prices.

Kings Head pub Tooting

 Kings Head also has a cosy atmosphere, lovely staff and delicious food to enjoy while watching your favourite sport or hanging out with your loved ones.

9) Cafés in Tooting

Concerning the cafes, here are my recommendations:

MUD: this cafe beats all the other brunch places in the Tooting district. Its Interior is very woody, rustic, and natural with lots of light. Additionally, MUD has a good selection of drinks and pancakes with good toppings. 

Just, browse the mouth-watering selection of decadent menu items and choose one of their pastries or toasties. Furthermore, you can watch your food being cooked through the cafe’s open plan kitchen.

Tartine: Located near Tooting Broadway, Tartine is famous for its vintage delivery bike parked outside. The cafe offers colourful cupcakes, dense chocolate cheesecakes and also healthy meals.

Tartine Cafe Tooting

This Mediterranean cafe feels like home and is very spacious and clean. Don’t hesitate to try their pasta, lamb sausage or Mexican wraps, they are simply out of this world!

10) Tooting Bec Common

The list of what to do in the Tooting district wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Bec Common. This South Londonian park has large grounds and a beautiful lake. It is very tidy and does not feel crowded at all.

Additionally, there is a children’s play area and a fantastic lido near the railway. There is also a great cafe where you can get hot drinks, cakes and hot food too.

The cafe has tables set both on the outside and inside. In the summer, Tooting Bec Common is a great place to organize a picnic and admire nature.

Tooting Bec Common

Additionally, you’ll find some tennis courts and you can jog there all year round. It is truly hard to explain what to do in the Tooting district in a few words. This place is full of hidden gems and wonders. 

It is undoubtedly one of my favourite spots in London. So please, let me know what you think about it and what you usually do there. I look forward to reading your comments!

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