Should we move to Forest Gate (East London) for our first family home?

(17 Posts)
guinnevere Fri 11-Jan-13 22:28:36

My fiance and I are trying to buy a house in the so-called 'village' area of Forest Gate (we can't afford a house where we live now) and whilst there seems like there's a lot going for it (can afford a 3 house house with garden, good primary school, good transport links, some lovely terraced streets, Wansted Flats nearby, Crossrail will be there in a few years), I've been scared by some of the discussion threads on the internet suggesting it's very rough and dangerous, and not a nice place to live at all, let alone with small kids.

I know it's not a posh area by any stretch, but it does seem like it has a nice community, and that there are early signs that it might be getting nicer. I'd love to hear from anyone living there (particularly in the area around Godwin Road, Lorne Road etc) or who knows it, as to whether it's a good place to start a family? I'm particularly concerned about security (i.e. is it sensible to walk back from the station when it's dark in the evening?), and the general atmosphere, and whether there's much going on for new mothers? i.e. mother/baby groups.

Gryffindor Sun 17-Feb-13 22:28:33

Hi - see this was a month ago but just wanted to say that we have taken the plunge and are exchanging on a lovely 3 bed house in the Village in a few weeks! I was sold after we went to a Christmas carol service in the reclamation yard which was a complete joy with all the locals out. It has such a lovely community feel there and I think the area is really up and coming with new coffee shops springing up and crossrail coming soon.

We are in Wanstead/South Woodford at the mo and have to say that the Village has a very similar feel but the 3 bed houses are over £100k cheaper! It is a very arty area, with a bustling art trail, modern WI etc. I can't wait to move in!

Have you had any further thoughts on moving there?

guinnevere Tue 19-Feb-13 14:36:23

Hi! Thanks so much for your reply.

We have taken the plunge too! We are also exchanging on a 3 bed house in a few weeks. I love how affordable the area is. It’s great to hear that you also think it has a nice community feel and that the area is up and coming. We also think the same, but it’s hard to tell unless you live there already. I love the new coffee shop, Coffee7! I still have doubts about security, but I think the benefits outweigh the negative points. I’m really looking forward to moving there. Hopefully it will turn out to be the right decision!

Good luck with your move.

ogredownstairs Tue 19-Feb-13 17:35:04

We rented a flat there briefly about 11 yrs ago ( long story but we were between house sales) and I thought it was great. Really easy commute and never felt unsafe with DS. In those days you used to have to go to South Woodford for coffee shops etc so pleased to hear it has its own burgeoning village!

Coconutfeet Tue 19-Feb-13 19:23:48

I know a number of people who live in that area with kids and are really happy there. It's reasonably priced, loads of green space and i think schools are good. The high street is a bit run down, but you can get everything you need there and there's a small, regular market selling artisan type stuff.
There's a very active NCT in Newham who have loads of get-togethers, trips to the parent and baby cinema in Stratford etc, and is a good way to meet new people if you're new to the area.

Gusthetheatrecat Sat 09-Mar-13 17:08:12

I live in Forest Gate! (coconut feet - I am pretty sure I know you, actually ;) she said, enigmatically....)

We live very close to Wanstead Flats, and I totally love living here. There are lots of mother and baby activities, including church-run playgroups, and lots on at the local children's centre. Lots of community stuff going on, too: a street party on the Jubilee weekend, the art trail, etc. My eldest is at the Infants' school and I hear only good things about the junior school it is attached to.

With the opening of CoffeE7, and Kaffeine (and a pleasing rumour about a gastropub) it feels as though there is something 'in the air' in Forest Gate at the moment.

Obv it's not all roses. I do know several people whose homes have been broken into and low-level car crime seems a bit of an issue. But I think this is an issue anywhere you live. I certainly never feel afraid walking back from the station, and the community feel helps a lot with that:I am walking past the houses of people I know, rather than down a street full of strangers.

I think Forest Gate is something of a hidden gem, actually. I can't think of anywhere else in London where we could be as central, with so much green space, that is so affordable. (Affordable in relative terms, obviously!)

guinnevere Sun 17-Mar-13 11:56:43

Thanks all of you for your helpful replies - it's so reassuring to hear from people who know / live in the area. The more we see of Forest Gate, the more we like it, so I'm sure we'll be happy there. You may well be right, Gusthetheatrecat, it could be a hidden gem!

Coconutfeet Sun 17-Mar-13 20:57:52

Gusthetheatrecat - I've only just seen this. How intriguing! Did I come to your house with a lemon cake recently?? wink

UponAStar Sun 12-May-13 19:39:00

Hello all, I was really heartened to see this thread as we have also been looking at the parts of Forest Gate/Manor Park next to Wanstead Flats for a family home, for the same reasons. I wondered how you find it now that you live there? I have had some strongly critical comments from others about these areas in general, which have made me feel anxious that I'm missing something, despite the generally good feeling that I have when I visit. I would really welcome any observations!

izaa Tue 10-Sep-13 15:41:06

Hi, we're also looking to buy in the area, think it seems great. Does anyone have any specific recommendations and experiences of nurseries and schools in the Forest Gate area they could share? Looking for a nursery for 18 month old DS, Thanks

failingmammalian Tue 22-Oct-13 21:02:45

hi OP i was just wondering how youre enjoying FG? we are thinking about buying there and i saw this post while googling. id love any tips on how you're finding it and indeed if u know anything about the skoools yet. is there anything in particular to watch out for in terms of areas and mini catchments and all that bollox? thanks! hope you're happy in ur new home. i am well sold on it so far from the v little ive seen

guinnevere Sat 26-Oct-13 14:37:24

A few months in and we're absolutely loving Forest Gate, couldn't recommend it more. It has a wonderful sense of community, and I haven't had any security concerns since being here. The market on Saturdays is lovely. I don't know much about schools, but I do know that Godwin Junior School has a good reputation. In terms of areas, I still prefer the 'village' area, although the conservation area is also very pretty and quiet. It really is a hidden gem, in my opinion.

beaglesaresweet Sun 27-Oct-13 13:39:35

hi Op, just wanted ask, how aer you finding the transport and travel from there - it seems a vrey long journey to the centre (I don't mean Liv street but proper central london), how long does it take? I know about crossrail coming, but is it manageable meanwhile for you?

Gryffindor Mon 18-Nov-13 16:18:17

Hi, update from us too in that we absolutely love it here. It is everything I thought it would be (great commute, open space, coffee shops etc) plus a lot more. The WI is an urban collection of strong women, our new pub is quite excellent and the sense of community is wonderful.

I would not hesitate to recommend it. I haven't had any safety issues, and I can generally be a scaredy cat walking home late!

Time into central London is really quick. You can change across the platform at Stratford for the Central line (or walk the one minute to Jubilee platforms) and off you go. Couldn't be easier.

Houses in the Village area are highly sought after, but there are still bargains to be had and the houses are lovely. Very quiet streets too.

Gryffindor Mon 18-Nov-13 16:20:05

Ps. Forest Gate is going by the hashtag #ForestGreat now - sure sign of an area on the up, eh!? wink

We are also thinking of moving there. What streets are the village? What ones are the conservation area? Where are the coffee shops?
Thanks

cakeandbooks Wed 05-Feb-14 23:10:12

Hi. I hope you won't mind me joining this thread with a random question but I have recently moved to Forest Gate (just last week) with my husband and 2 year old son and was wondering if anyone had suggestions of toddler activities in the area. Are there any groups or classes or get togethers for mums and toddlers? We have another one on the way and I'm really keen to find some things that we can go to every week to keep us busy and meet some new people in the area. I work part time so only have a couple of days free but I'm really keen to do stuff locally if possible.

Thanks so much! It's only been a few days but so far so good!

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