New Malden is often described as a “Hidden Gem” and for the residents of this leafy area on the South-West London/Surrey borders, it is easy to see why.
Set between the better known areas of Wimbledon and Kingston, New Malden offers a huge array of facilities and amenities combined with very easy access to local and more central destinations and a wonderful and warm family atmosphere. The word “village” is often over-used for London locations, but in the case of New Malden, whilst it doesn’t profess to be a village, the community spirit is as close to one as you will find.
From the moment the railway arrived in 1846, New Malden has grown and expanded through the decades and this is no more clearly demonstrated than in the range of properties in the area, from Victorian houses through to the designs of the 1920’s and 1930’s, post-war properties and right up to the modern developments that are springing up throughout the area. The High Street itself has seen a lot of change over the years but actually remains true to its original feel and design; for example, the family run Tudor Williams department store, which opened in 1913, sells an excellent selection of modern goods whilst still offering a superb, traditional service; and in recent years we have seen the arrival of a Waitrose, Pizza Express and Nando’s!
In terms of activities, New Malden has something for everyone, from sports to theatre, girl guides and scouts and many musical groups; it has even had its share of celebrities, with the likes of Diana Rigg (the only woman to marry James Bond!) and Max Wall having lived locally for a while.
There is a wide variety of outdoor sports – New Malden has three golf courses as well as “Dino-Golf”, an 18 hole, dinosaur themed crazy golf course with an outdoor floodlight driving range. Malden Wanders Cricket Club is located off Cambridge Avenue; established in 1879 it was once voted one of the 12 most beautiful grounds in England by Wisden. Beverley Park has outdoor tennis courts, a football pitch and a children’s playground.
If you prefer indoor sports, the Malden Centre on Blagdon Road has a swimming pool and gym and offers numerous other sports including badminton, gymnastics and trampoline.
New Malden is also home to The Green Theatre Company, established in 1986 in a converted cricket pavilion at Barton Green. This is a youth theatre aimed at 14-25 year olds and they produce a diverse range of plays from comedy to drama and offer an insight into all aspects of the theatre, both front and backstage.
With regards to more practical aspects of life, New Malden can challenge most areas for both education and transport. As a borough, Kingston is regarded as one of the best in the country and within the local area there is an excellent selection of playgroups and nurseries, highly-regarded state primary and secondary schools as well as independent preparatory schools. For those needing to get around, New Malden station, which is Zone 4, has fantastic links in and out of town – the faster trains to Waterloo only take approximately 25 minutes and the likes of Wimbledon, Kingston and Hampton Court are just a few stops away. If you prefer busses, there are numerous routes servicing all the surrounding areas as well as the more local K1 and K5 routes to Kingston, Ham and Morden; and the X26 Express runs to Croydon and Heathrow. If you combine all this and the A3 and M25 road links which are so close by, New Malden really is so accessible.
But for all these excellent amenities and facilities, it really is the community spirit that sets New Malden apart; whist it is predominantly a family area, more and more younger people are moving here because of what the area offers – there really is something for everyone.
There are many local events run throughout the year that help to bring the community together and Groves Residential are proud to sponsor many of these; on the first Saturday of every month there is a Farmers Market running along the High Street, offering a variety of fresh foods and handmade crafts, entertainment and support for local charities. The Malden Fortnight in July is an annual event for all the family with a parade showcasing all the local schools and community groups, arts and crafts and activities. Every Christmas the High Street comes to life with Christmas lights with its own switching-on ceremony and a recital of festive carols sung by the Christ Church School choir.
And almost everything you need to know can be found in the popular and very useful Village Voice magazine!