What's it really like to live in walthamstow?

(137 Posts)
MrsN11 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:27:37


I'm looking for some advice from fellow 'stow MNers who live in the area.

I put up a post ages ago asking for suggestions about where DH and I should live. We currently live in Stokey and have approx 450k to spend on our next property. I work east & DH works west! We love Stokey, but realise that Walthamstow would offer us more space for our budget.

So what is 'stow really like to live in? Dodgy? Safe? Fun etc? We've visited the area & the "village" is pretty but also tiny - does it feel claustrophobic being there? Queen's park is another option (need to be close to tube) but some parts look tired. But first impressions can be wrong!

Everyone says it's up-and-coming, but has much changed there in the last 5 years?

Be great to hear your thoughts! Thank you.

Rubyrubyruby5 Mon 11-Aug-14 11:21:10

I love living in Waltham-stow , good weather usually sunny
If you like shops there is a big market and lovely things for kids
Nice, cheap houses here and it's worth it

Jessica13 Sat 27-Jul-13 12:59:49

I have read lots of the comments, and would like to ask, re the community atmosphere of Walthamstowe, whether my foster son who is Chinese would be able to fit in? He is 18 and about to go to architectural college in London, he is quiet, friendly and polite, and a really lovely young man. Could you please tell me if you think he would fit into Walthamstowe, living on his own there? I have seen a little house in Blackhorse Road, but as I moved out of London many years ago, I don't know the different areas any more. His parents want to buy something small he can live in, and also where they can stay too when they come to visit. I would appreciate any comments smile

MummytoMog Sun 07-Jul-13 22:58:34

Come live in South Woodford - it's not too far from Walthamstow, has a lovely community feel and is MUCH nicer. I go shopping in Walthamstow but I wouldn't live in any bits of it I could afford iykwim.

boodles12 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

valiumredhead Tue 18-Jun-13 15:04:09

I'm with willyou,I have family there and lived in London for 20 years and really didn't like the place.

HugellaSlime Tue 18-Jun-13 14:48:11

Its totes amazing. I moved frm Westie, and haven't looked back, apart from when I am walking down pooh alley. There are great shops, I bought a lovely pair of Earth Shoes from the indoor market. The Mall is a bit dated, but there is a great range of designer shops, in Westfield. Food choices are amazing, you cant go wrong if you like chicken. We have from A to Z FC baby. Plus there is going to be a cinema, and we boast the most expensive Spar supermarket in THE WORLD.

Ruprecht Mon 17-Jun-13 22:39:21

hello Sunglassesevenintherain,
I have lived in Walthamstow for 14 years after moving here from Balham. It is quiet at night but I have so far never have had any trouble walking alone in Central Walthamstow even after a skinful very late at night. I used to have more trouble in Balham late at night. If you're thinking about the Markhouse / Lea Bridge end, I have two friends who live on St Barnabas Road, they are both very happy there and have no complaints. The houses are lovely. I have another who lives closer to Whipps Cross in Upper Walthamstow on West End Avenue and he also is very happy there, all are 'professionals' if it helps give you a profile. I found Walthamstow by accident after leaving Balham and I have fallen in love with the quick transport, art trail and food festival, the fact there's always something happening. Sure our local authority could do with a kick up the backside but come live here and help kick them.
I moved to the Village 12 years ago when there was nothing on Orford Road apart from a hairdressers with a cheese plant in the window and an offy where the owner's children served you, and over the years it's become more gentrified. I remember house hunting in Hackney and being too scared to move there, now they've opened a Burberry store on the same street ha ha. Anyway my point is just because the immediate area's not hip now doesn't mean it never will be. Happy house hunting and good luck.

greenbrazil Sun 09-Jun-13 08:57:17

Hi millimax - we had the same experience in Wood Street area. We wanted to move to the Village but the prices have just gone crazy there, and really it's only a couple of streets (personally I don't get it) - anyway, we then started looking a little bit north in Wood Street. The mainline train goes straight into Liverpool Street, and for hubby it's under 20 mins straight into the City. There's a real sense of community here - we've been geniunely surprised. Wood Street is a mile long street which seems to have every kind of shop you can imagine - we were renovating and there's DIY shops, timber merchants, roofing merchants, curtain and blind shop, kitchen shop - plumbers and bathroom gallery - seriously - I'm not kidding- it was all on our doorstep!! We also found that because we shopped locally we were soon familiar faces on the street. There's an indoor market which is packed with Vintage, Retro and Antiques and a few holistic/beauty places. Don't get me wrong, it's still a bit rough around the edges, by this I mean there's a few too many fried chicken shops, and you'll see a few kids hanging around - but we have never had any trouble at all and we've been there a year now. What else? Woodside school is pretty good - but is going through a period of expansion and change, there's a great childrens softplay centre on Wood Street called Tumble in the Jungle and The Soul Project, and what we've really really loved is that it's right on the edge of Epping Forest, so lots of long walks in the Forest- it's literally 5 minutes up the road from us - so I would encourage you to look there. I hope this helps, you're welcome to message us for more info. Oh and roads to look for - look in Upper Walthamstow, Turner Road, and the area has a community website which might help: www.e17woodstreet.co.uk

millimax Wed 05-Jun-13 10:50:52

Hi. We moved to walthamstow last year and bought around blackhorse road - there were so few properties on the market we really had little choice after loosing out on a couple of other places around Lydia park ( so competitive between buyers) The area is definitely a mixed bag. Our neighbours are all great and there is a sense of community for sure. The arts trail is fantastic as well as this year food trail. The tube is so close to us I can be in town in 20 min - important for dh as he commutes in. I have NEVER felt unsafe even on the odd stumble home late from the tube , I have not heard of any local violent horror stories. Matresses do pop up out front on occasion but the council are great at clearing away once reported. The local art gallery Tokarska is great ( kids classes and life drawing plus great exhibitions ) as is oregano cafe. The bad is that not much is happening round here though that really is changing. Yes please to a new deli/bakery round here! New development is underway on blackhorse lane and the area round the tube is all poised for big investment that actually is happening rather than just being talked about. Very excited about the rumered opening of a comminity art space and cafe in Gnome house. I'm delighted the willowfield secondary school is being rebuilt as ds will go there in a couple of years. Currently at barncroft near st James park which is a lovely school. Lloyd park ( and the fab bell pub) are a 15 min stroll away and the house prices are still better value than in other walthamstow corners ( but only just - I'd estimate our place is up 50k in 6 months and rising). Hope this helps.

Sunglassesevenintherain Mon 15-Apr-13 16:41:02

Hello Mumsnet. I am looking to buy a house in Walthomstow. I’m a first time buyer and I’m leaving Hackney after 8 years because however hard I try I can’t scrape together the vast amounts of money it cost to buy anything livable in the area. I don’t want to leave Hackney but I am really encouraged by Walthomstows community, the rows of beautiful Warner flats and from what I can see there is a good buzz about the place – not to mention transport links. Most people on this thread have been saying great things about Upper Walthomstow/ The Village/Lloyd Park but having looked at a few places I’m coming to terms with the fact that I have mostly been priced out of those places (my budget is small). Instead I’m focusing towards Markhouse Road and Lea Bridge Road. Does anyone have any advice on this area or the around the Cemetery? Also I want to ask advise on crime rates, I know it’s stupid seeing as I’m coming from Hackney but where I live is now wall to wall hipsters and trendy kids which, can be annoying but they mean that late at night there is always people on the streets and I don’t feel its unsafe to walk around after dark as a single female. How busy is Walthomstow at night, particularly in the areas I mentioned and has anyone had problems wondering round as a woman on their own.

freeas Mon 08-Apr-13 02:58:34

I have lived in upper walthamstow for 20 years. I like it. This area is in the catchment for Latymer, Woodford county and Woodbridge . The latter is in woodford green and gets good OFSTED. You can get easily to village, market, highams park, and south woodford which has nice pub, restaurant, cafe scene. Good mix of people here.

PollyIndia Mon 01-Apr-13 19:57:37

Rickeee, I know 10 people who have bought places here in the last 2 years, so not sure what you were searching for on zoopla. The market in Walthamstow has gone crazy recently. So please put your place on the market. If it is remotely decent, it will sell. You can go somewhere you find less depressing and leave Walthamstow to the rest of us.

I love Walthamstow. Been here for nearly 2 years: came from newington green, live opposite st Mary's church, had a baby, love coffees with all my mum friends, would have a bugaboo if I could afford one. So think some of you will hate me on sight. But I am also a single mum, and have found such a brilliant support network since I moved here, know all my neighbours and love the sense of community. I love William Morris and Lloyd park, the marshes, hollow ponds, wood st, the market, the pubs, the mill, the hornbeam, the art trail. I could not recommend the area enough. We are getting at least 1 cinema and hopefully 2 if the church gets booted out of the EMD. No idea about schools as my baby was not exactly planned but he will hopefully go to one of the local ones. I know it isn't all shiny and lovely, and it is a poor borough with high unemployment but I absolutely love living here.

Nomad2408 I love the sound of your proposed venture. I work at home so quite often pop to the deli on Orford road in the day and it is always rammed - annoying as it's not great and has no loos. So I think there is a need for somewhere else round here. There are a lot more options in central e17 than the village bit. Cafe bonito and lot 107 on wood st are also always busy so I disagree with pp who said places were quiet in the day.

So from me, it's a big thumbs up.

Rickeee Fri 15-Mar-13 10:52:27

Ladybird16, I assume that you mean ‘biased’ in the statistical sense of the word: as in an influence that disturb an analysis, since you go on to say that my views may be based on central Walthamstow. They are not. I don’t drive and I regularly walk the length and width of E17. The picture is pretty consistent and it’s not a very nice one. Of course there are areas of normality and decency in Walthamstow. The problem is that such areas are tiny islands in a sea of shabbiness occasionally bordering on squalor (have you noticed the homeless sleeping in tents on Selbourne Road?). It should be the other way around: there should be statistically insignificant ‘bad’ dots in an area of normality.

As for your statement ‘If I felt that way about where I lived I would have moved by now, not stay 10 years’…you’ve knocked me over with a feather. According to Zoopla, a grand total of 12 proprerties were sold within my postcode in the last 7 (seven) years, 1.7 sales per year. As soon as the housing market shows more of a pulse, I am will leave this depressing place.

Gisla73 Thu 14-Mar-13 14:28:53

Hi MrsN11,
I don’t know if you have read the three ‘property’ articles in the Guardian, The Standard and Metro in the last three months: they paint a rosy picture Walthamstow. Unfortunately, ‘the Stow’ is not a great place to live. If you are looking for fast transport links to central London because that’s where your work and social life are, that’s fine. Equally, if you are looking for a relatively cheap area (not just property wise, but for grocery and non-grocery shopping) that’s also fine. Other than that, there is not an awful lot to be said for this place. Some days I call it cheap and cheerful, but if I were to be honest with myself, it’s mostly cheap and nasty. I moved here in 2006 where the expression up-and-coming was already being used: sadly there have been no improvements. The Council lacks vision and imagination: we are still waiting for a cinema and there is a gaping hole in Central Walthamstow which has been designated for ‘development’ for over a decade. The streets are dirty and the housing stock is poor. The market (frequently described as the longest market in Europe), and all the surrounding areas, from Walthamstow Central to St James Street tube/train stations are shabby, dirty and uncared for. Standards and expectations are poor wherever you go: from the public library to the local dry-cleaner, from your corner shop to the small post-office around the corner, from the Council services to the tatty old shops on Hoe Street and Market Street.

Ladybird16 Tue 12-Mar-13 22:35:35

Ok, I'm not on the tourist board for Walthamstow but I would say that Rickeee's views seem biased and are probably based on central Walthamstow. You would do well to seek out some of the nicer parts - which do exist, just as they do in most London boroughs, despite them being over-populated. If I felt that way about where I lived I would have moved by now, not stay 10 years.

I realise everyone has a right to their own opinion but I get quite sick and tired of people making negative blanket statements like this about an area. I get it a lot from people who live outside of London and have a narrow minded view of London in general. Either I'm living in a parallel universe or Walthamstows not half bad.

Rickeee Tue 05-Mar-13 11:35:26

I have been living in Walthamstow since January 2003. I would not recommend it.

Yes the ‘village’ is not bad, but it's also overpriced and hyped (it’s not that good either!). The rest of Walthamstow is grimy and drab. It’s one of the most densely populated areas of London and has a very high population churn, primarily of lower socio-economic groups and recent immigrants. There are no decent shops or restaurants (with the exception of a handful of establishments), there is no cinema, theatre or night life to speak of and religion is pretty much in your face. The endless rows of two-ups-two downs with tiny front gardens full of rubbish, dumped mattresses and eyesores of al descriptions can get to you eventually, although if you drive all the time and do not walk, you are unlikely to notice them. I didn’t think so at the beginning but after ten years I have come to the conclusion that Walthamstow is 99 per cent a dump.

If I had 450K to spend I would look elsewhere.

I moved out to Epping then to Suffolk from Walthamstow. Lived there 10 years. Got Burgled. Left. Simple as that!
In the time that we were there saw the area change - as it became more desirable so undesirables also moved in... v sad as full of character & history as a prev. post said.
We lived on the edge of the Village in a beautiful house btw

RhubarbandCust Sat 23-Feb-13 13:46:54

Hi Nomad - I think that type of place would be lovely! But have you found that most people are against this idea? I hope not.

Nomad2408 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:06:50

Hi. Thank you everyone for yours considered feedback, has made for an interesting read and some valid points made. Certainly we are not only aimed at people from Stokie! Apologies if that's how it read. It's more that I wanted to give an example of the type of establishment we are experienced at running. Today we viewed a great property on Beulah Road which is the old Beulah Village salon. We are considering having a deli/grocer section but it would only be fairly small. But I will take all points on board and we are looking at other areas within E17. We live in central E17 ourselves so maybe will look at empty shops this way. Any more feed back most welcome. Thanks again for all who replied.

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Feb-13 17:58:25

I would love to see something on Higham Hill. But I won't hold me breath.
Actually though... the area round Lloyd park is crying out for more stuff. We have the William Morris and the Park cafe now so that ship might have sailed.

BUt there is nothing else for all the yummy mummys and singletons who would love to live in Notting Hill but cant afford it.

redandblacks Thu 07-Feb-13 17:11:19

Actually, I would advise you to focus on Highams Park Village instead as it would benefit from your idea

MrsDeVere Thu 07-Feb-13 10:16:54

So will anyone be allowed to come to your artisan cafe then? Or will you be issuing visas?


BemusedIsuream Thu 07-Feb-13 09:59:41

Nomad - I'm not sure why you're only asking people who came from Stoke Newington. There are lots of people here who don't come from Stoke Newington, come from other parts of London or indeed have lived here for years. I expect they also like coffee. This is an incredibly diverse area and although I don't agree with what Redandblacks says about there being only 2 groups of people here (my name will tell you how I feel about that!), I do agree with her about the lack of a necessity for a new coffee shop. Orford Rd already has 3 coffee shops and in the middle of a week day I think you'll find them pretty deserted - I'm pretty sure that Eat17 doesn't open until midday because of this. The Deli clears up the post school drop off nicely and the only gripe I'd have about it is the lack of toilet. What I'd really like to see on Orford Rd is a useful shop (a decent grocer/deli), rather than another coffee shop (or estate agent that I see is now opening). I hope this doesn't put you off entirely but I wonder if you should be looking at another area of E17 - have you looked up near the Bell corner? Interesting drag of shops, nr William Morris, tube etc. Or even Bakers Arms or Lea Bridge? There is life outside Walthamstow Village!

redandblacks Wed 06-Feb-13 09:19:14

Hi Nomad - that sounds lovely but you must bear in mind that there is already an established Italian coffee shop as well as other cafe-restaurant type places such as Eat 17 offering coffee along Orford Road which are established meet-up places for mums. The Spar does loads of artisan bread and cakes and would be your main competitor (unless you would be doing it cheaper which I doubt). I think that the gastro-pub type places offer afternoon teas (though I don't go in them v often). A large gap in the market has been bridged by the North African coffee shops dotted along the main roads surrounding the village. Whilst they lack in atmosphere, the coffee and patisserie cannot really be bettered and is usually a lot cheaper. Further afield is Costa, La Cafeteria and the William Morris Gallery cafe which does excellent cakes. Other places such as Hornbeam and the two Rio's are also very popular. So the short answer is I dunno. Personally, I would like somewhere that is louder and less self-conscious than what is currently available along Orford Road. The problem with village cafes is that they are eerily quiet at certain times of the day and you almost feel as though you are interrupting the staff from socialising just by being there. It is very different to central London where you could pitch down with a tablet for a few hours. However, if you offered free Wifi I would probably come regardless of anything I have written above. wink

Nomad2408 Tue 05-Feb-13 10:05:17

Hi Walthamstow mums. We wanted to ask all of you your opinion. We are especially interested to hear from people that have migrated from Stokey to walthamstow and the village. We are looking to open a really lovely artisan coffee shop within the village, we wanted to know if this would be something you would welcome? For those of you that know Stokey we are aiming for something a lot like Fred & Frans. We will do Barista prepared coffees, along with a wide selection of baked goods and pasties from E5 Bakery in Hackney. We want the place to be a welcome addition to the village and a hub for people to meet up and relax. All opinions welcome... Thanks!

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