Living in Walthamstow...
Walthamstow is so hip that it has the social media hashtag #awesomestow. It’s also where young Stoke Newington and Hackney families come looking for good primary schools and a house with a garden.
Not so long ago, buyers were only interested in Walthamstow Village a short walk east of the town centre, with its ancient church, quaint almshouses, a fine medieval timber-frame house, streets of pretty cottages and Orford Road’s independent shops. The rest of Walthamstow was considered rough around the edges.
It has only been a couple of decades since Walthamstow was best known for its postcode, as immortalised by local boy band East 17. Since then, there has been a steady drip of arrivals from Hackney and Stoke Newington to the south of the area, attracted by pretty Walthamstow Village and the purpose-built Victorian Warner flats. Fast forward, and Waltham Forest’s designation as London Borough of Culture 2019 thrust the area firmly on to everyone’s radar as a happening pocket of the capital.
Walthamstow is 12 miles from central London with Chingford to the north; Epping Forest and Woodford to the east; Leyton and Leytonstone to the south and the Lea Valley and Tottenham to the west. It’s in Zone 3 — but the Victoria line whisks commuters to the West End in no time and there are trains to Liverpool Street for the City.
Housing stock in Walthamstow is mainly Victorian and Edwardian. A particular feature of the area are Victorian “Warner” purpose-built flats. They look like terrace houses but have two front doors — one for the upstairs flat and one for the downstairs flat — and each flat has its own garden. Warner flats can be found throughout Walthamstow but there is a concentration near Lloyd Park. There are new flats in the town centre and the regenerating Blackhorse Lane area.
The buzz in E17 is palpable. Once synonymous with the dog track and a bit-of-rough 1990s boyband, Walthamstow has been rebranded Awesomestow by the upwardly mobile millennials who have flocked to the area because of its cheaper (for London) property prices and good transport links. (It is at the end of the Victoria line.) The high street, near the Tube station, is home to the longest street market in Europe from Tuesday to Saturday. It retains EastEnders charm – cheap towels and T-shirts, cockney accents – but on Sunday there’s now a farmer’s market, which gives you an idea of the area’s direction of travel. Hoe Street, the other main hub, is changing too: the betting shops and takeaways are now competing with organic food shops.
Walthamstow Market is full of restaurants, trendy cafes and street stalls offering all kinds of cuisine. It is also a great place to grab a bargain, with plenty of independent stores that sell fabrics, clothes, jewellery and much more. If there is something particular you are looking for, chances are Walthamstow Market will have it.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about living in Walthamstow, and it is easy to see why the area has become popular for first-time buyers looking for a slice of London life. As the area continues to grow with the addition of stylish bars and cafes, you will not want to miss out.
Walthamstow is blessed with plenty of open space, with Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve and the Lea Valley to the west and Epping Forest to the east. If you love nothing more than a breath of fresh air, Walthamstow Wetlands is the place to be. A gorgeous and serene nature reserve, it is a perfect spot to enjoy Mother Nature, whether you fancy bird watching or taking a walk by the lake. Best of all, it’s entirely free!
Lloyd Park, behind the William Morris Gallery in Forest Road, was restored in 2012. It now features a café, an outdoor gym, tennis courts, a play area, bowling greens, a pétanque court, outdoor table tennis tables and artists’ studios.
Walthamstow is home to some excellent schools and this is a key reasons for Walthamstow’s rising popularity with families.
Whittingham Community, Stoneydown Park, Edinburgh, The Winns, Thorpe Hall, St Patrick’s RC are all rated good by Ofsted. St Mary’s C of E and Mission Grove achieved the rating of good with some outstanding features. Roger Ascham, Hillyfield, Greenleaf and Henry Maynard are all rated to be outstanding by Ofsted.
Walthamstow Academy, Holy Family RC, Willowfield Academy, and Kelmscott are all oftsted rated good. Walthamstow School for Girls is considered outstanding.