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.

lalalonglegs Mon 01-Oct-12 19:37:36

I walked through there for first time in years on Friday - there are tonnes of cake shops. I know that's not very helpful but I wondered if anyone who lives there could explain why.

ecuse Tue 02-Oct-12 11:44:38

Hopeful bump as we're in similar position. Currently in Stokey, looking at N15 for ease of transport and good schools (in specific areas) but also considering broadening our horizons to Walthamstow as there's so little on the market at the moment.

elportodelgato Tue 02-Oct-12 11:52:01

Stealthy plug for own area...

Have you looked in Clapton? We lived in Stokey for ages but when we had to move and buy a bigger place we ended up in Clapton and found it was much more affordable while still being in Hackney. It's not so murder-mile-y as it used to be, in fact some quite alarming encouraging signs of gentrification going on (Clapton Hart, Sodo, Chatsworth Rd market etc). Schools pretty good too, marshes nearby and train is 15 mins to Liv St.

EdMcDunnough Tue 02-Oct-12 12:00:03

My sister lives there since a few years ago and she loves it. She says there is a lot of history, a lot of culture, also a lot of demonstrations and so on grin

But she likes the city and likes people and bustle and noise...I couldn't bear it myself...but she really likes it.

Also their house is apparently lovely, I haven't seen it yet but very nice victorian place. She hasn't ever said she felt unsafe even during the riots.

EdMcDunnough Tue 02-Oct-12 12:00:44

If there is cake then that explains why she is happy grin

bakingaddict Tue 02-Oct-12 12:09:42

Lloyds park is nice with the William Morris musuem and has recently been done up

The village is pretty and quaint but lots of the houses there are over-priced

Henry Maynard school gets outstanding by Ofsted but the secondary schools apart from Walthamstow school for girls are dire

Bit too many pound shops and Halal butchers down the high street, makes it look cheap but lots of variation though, Oriental supermarkets, Afro-Carribean, Turkish etc. I think there is a lot of cake shops because the area has a pretty big muslim population. Lots of the teenagers seem to hang out at the ice-cream parlours and lots of men socialising in the coffee/cake shops

I lived there for 14 years and only moved out in August. I have a real affection for the place, but there is good and bad.

The Village is way overpriced, the roads are narrow, parking is a nightmare, primary school catchment is about 0.2 miles (and if you don't get into your local school the council can ship you out anywhere in the borough) and secondary education is one of the worst in the UK. All things child related are way over subscribed.

There are some lovely things, the Nags Head cat wall always makes me want to adopt some cats, The Queens is a proper East End boozer in the middle of the Village, the Art Trail is fab and Walthamstow (unofficial) Tourist Board on Facebook is classic. Lloyds Park is great and Epping Forest is on the doorstep. The Victoria Line is super fast into Kings Cross and the overground rail is fast to Liverpool Steet.

I never felt unsafe when living there, and I've staggered home from the last tube a fair few times. You know where is safe and where you should avoid, it is obvious - just don't walk into a tower block estate! Crime doesn't seem to overspill from bad areas into other places.

Personally we left the area because of the houses of multiple occupancy, lack of school places, the councils continual building of social housing on any patch of grass they could find and the real lack of money/investment in the area.

The thing with the Stow is that there are middle class people moving in (there always have been - we did it!), but they are people who have been priced out of Islington, not cash rich banker types - it's brought a steady influx of new people but they don't seem to be bringing money to the High Street - they are probably too busy paying their mortgages and frequenting the few shops in Orford Road (yes I find the Village claustrophobic too!).

Everywhere else it's the same old Pound Shop/Halal Butcher/Bowl of fruit for £1 stuff that has always been there. It will be a long time before the general demographic changes, I was told it was 'Up and Coming' when I moved there in 1998 and I didn't really see that happen.

Gosh I've just gone on a bit! Hope that helps.

BemusedIsuream Wed 03-Oct-12 21:18:24

We moved to the Stow a few years ago from Stokey and haven't looked back! And I know quite a few other people who've done the same. We're on what they call 'Village Borders' and we absolutely love it. We know all our neighbours and of all the places I've lived in London it is the first where I've felt part of a community. So, it has it's rough bits - doesn't any part of London? - but it's definitely an area on the up. There are lots of good primary schools and I would counter the opinion that the secondary schools are a disaster. I've neighbours who are very happy with their kids being at Frederick Bremer or Leytonstone. I disagree with what Cokemachine says about the area not changing at all. But then again I also don't have a problem with houses with multiple occupancy housing or areas with much needed social housing! The new William Morris gallery and Lloyd Park have recently reopened and are just great and there's apparently a lot of money being poured into regenerating the high streets, schools, parks and leisure centres.
PLUS you're on the Vic Line and 10 mins from 12 miles of beautiful forest. And you can't beat the sound of the geese flying over at the beginning and end of the day. Come and have a look around, you may well be very surprised!

herbaceous Thu 04-Oct-12 10:09:09

We moved from Hackney to Walthamstow six years ago, to be able to afford a house, and love it here. Amusingly, when we moved, the road was described as 'village borders', but is now called 'heart of the village'!

I love it too. Hoe Street can be a bit grim and noisy, but no more than any main drag in London, and at least the council's been pretty avant-garde in banning the creation of any more fast-food places.

There is a real community feel round here. Maybe it's because I'm around in the day, rather than working as I did in Hackney, but I say hello to people in the streets all the time, and know both our neighbours really well.

As it's quite cheap still it's quite arty, with lots of teachers, museum curators, etc reiki healers living here, and its fair share of crafty, vintagey, bloggy stuffy going on.

Primary schools all seem to be 'good' or 'outstanding', though catchment areas are indeed quite small, something I'm annoyed I didn't consider when buying the house, as our three-year-old will be going next September.

I was brought up in a small town in Hertfordshire, and am far happier here than I ever was there.

Woodlands Thu 04-Oct-12 10:15:12

I absolutely love it. I echo what everyone else has said - there's a real community feeling and while it's shabby, there's always stuff going on. For £450k you'll be able to get a really nice house (did anyone see it on Location Location Location last week?).

Never noticed the tons of cake shops - where?

Merrow Fri 05-Oct-12 15:43:48

I moved to the village a couple of months ago and love it! It actually has made me like London – after years of merely tolerating it as useful. Fantastic transport links, and enough going on locally that you don't feel you need to leave. Think the village would be frustrating if you had a car though.

hellymelly Fri 05-Oct-12 15:47:46

My brother lived in the village bit for years, he had a very pretty little cottage. He loved Walthamstow and I found it a friendly place. I have friends who have been there for years and have a lovely house, there is a lot of attractive family property, and it has a good community feel. I prefer it to Stokey meself.

herbaceous Fri 05-Oct-12 16:41:58

I wonder who you all are! I bet our paths have crossed in a park, music group, etc...

Woodlands - I did see it on Lx3 last week. One of the women they interviewed on the street cuts my son's hair!

I think the cake shops are mainly on the top bit of Hoe Street - Delice, etc.

MrsN11 Fri 05-Oct-12 17:12:16


Thanks everyone for your feedback - really useful to hear your perspectives. We did take a wander round 'Stow and (bar the village) my first impressions weren't that great (bumped into a police and a riot van following a shooting in the Queens area!).....but I think I've been spoilt having been born and brought up in Edinburgh where there are soooo many nice areas, that I'm still trying to get used to London living and how small London properties are. And often my first impressions can be wrong as I didn't like Hackney when I first arrived here from Edinburgh, but I've now come to love it!

What does sound good about Walthamstow is the community vibe. But what CokeMachine says about the area not really changing much over a length of time does worry me. I'll probably sound really snobby, but I do love the whole organic cafe/ farmers market/ nice restaurant thing...

Elportodelgato - I thought Clapton was too expensive for us? Be nice if it's not!

I see there's another thread under this section (moving from Stoke Newington/Crouch end) which I probably should follow too!

herbaceous Fri 05-Oct-12 17:36:36

Clapton is nice, but only in parts, and has blardy awful transport links compared to the Stow.

E17 does have its rough spots, but in six years I've never seen a riot van so I think you were very unlucky!

I'd love to live in an area chockablock with organic coffee shops and cheese tasting trattorias, but in the absence of a massive inheritance, it's not going to happen. And for the price, Walthamstow's a lot better than places of equivalent cheapness, such as Leyton, Tottenham, etc. IMVHO, of course!

herbaceous Fri 05-Oct-12 17:36:58

Oh and we do have a farmer's market every Sunday!

Windowbasket Fri 05-Oct-12 23:20:18

I lived in Walthamstow for years, I rented a house with friends and eventually bought my first property there in the Blackhorse Road area. I have good memories - but for me it was a happy day when I moved away. I have two young children and would not want to bring them up there, it's just not for me. The day before I was due to exchange contracts on the house, a young man was found dead - murdered - in his car, which had been left outside his mother's house. When I was renting, one of my friends was mugged twice in our road. Maybe things have improved , that was 8 years ago.

rubyslipper Sat 06-Oct-12 21:58:38

Seriously all you Stokey people, please stay there. Some awful and ignorant comments on here. The village is only overpriced because of all the Stokey nobs who move out here and are stupid enough to pay that much.

MoreBeta Sat 06-Oct-12 22:01:15

Do they still have 'Walthamstow Dogs'?

Rosebud05 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:18:25

NO! The iconic dog racing stadium closed a few years ago, I believe.

Lozislovely Sun 07-Oct-12 00:33:55

Moved away a few years ago. Good neighbours and friends but burglary, knife pulled on hubby and half hearted schooling made our minds up to move as far away as possible.

The 'village' is nice but over priced.

Might have changed in the last few years but still not the sort of place I'd want to bring my kids up.

herbaceous Sun 07-Oct-12 08:52:48

Out of interest, all you people who moved away, where did you go?

Lozislovely Sun 07-Oct-12 21:53:10

I moved to to Leicestershire, best decision I've made so far.

Windowbasket Mon 08-Oct-12 07:43:36

Herbaceous - we moved to West Sussex and love it here.

herbaceous Mon 08-Oct-12 08:51:20

Ah, away away. For our requirements - easy commute, so DP can see DS; cheap-ish; not 'commuters-ville'; lots going on; and between GPs in Berkshire and Suffolk - it kind of ticks all the boxes.

Mikocat Wed 10-Oct-12 22:53:01

rubyslipper I love you.

Walthamstowdad Thu 11-Oct-12 09:28:14



psimonk Thu 11-Oct-12 10:46:34

LOL. I'm with WalthamstowDad on this one! (So much so, I've had to join MN this am finally, after seeing his tweet on this, and our local MP Stella Creasy tweeting about it too.)

If all you want from an area is an organic cafe and farmers market do feel free to head to Queen's Park (where your 450k will buy you no doubt a nice shoebox) - the last thing we need round here is bazillions more Stokey types moving in and pricing everyone out. Frankly, you'll be unlikely to find anywhere in London that truly satisfies with an attitude like that!

What's good about Walthamstow (or #awesomestow as we call it on Twitter) is its community - but that's meant in a very real sense. Yes, there are fewer organic shops but there's still loads of stuff like that if you want it (and some, shock, outside the village). But more importantly, there's a fruit and veg guy on the market who I know so well he tells me what to buy each day and often gets in special orders for me. There's also lovely frou-frou pubs and restaurants in the village, but even better places outside, where you walk in and know loads of people.

That's because most middle class locals who don't live in the village, do believe in putting back into the local community - not just taking out. That's why we have an amazing community of artists and creative types and local activists and a brilliant network of supportive parents etc etc. But most village residents sadly seem to run from the tube to the shelter of their mini-Stokey - and therefore miss all this.

As to schools, if your guide is Ofsted, you'll definitely be wanting to look elsewhere. If your guide is well-rounded, happy kids who have a really wide variety of mates - then most of the local primary schools are just fine. And secondary schools? Three smart, middle class, university-bound kids on our street went through the local ones recently and came out other end just fine!

Finally, as to crime and safety - the idea that people from Hackney are worrying about Walthamstow's safety I find just hilarious! Just about anywhere in London you might get trouble - and about anywhere in east London has its rough patches. But broadly speaking, if you treat people around you nicely, most will treat you back nicely. And Walthamstow is if anything a bit quiet. Ultimately, your precious kids are statistically far more likely to be flattened by a lorry on any one of loads of busy streets in east London than they are likely to be knifed - and that holds for Queens Park also etc.

Sheesh - if you want to live in London, then you need to live here. Don't just use your local area as a dormitory and convenient cake stop to catch up with your yummy mummy friends while ignoring the vibrancy and variety outside the window. If you're going to do that, you might as well make that break for Surrey/Herts right now and keep the house prices vaguely reachable by real people.

Final /rant over/ thought - when I got back from honeymoon in Thailand ten years back, I'd learnt to cook several Thai dishes - I found I could get all of the ingredients I needed (holy basil, galangal, lemongrass, weird-shaped aubergines etc.) within two blocks of my house. That's on the shop parades others on here have characterised as run down and all pound shops.

QWERTYmonster Thu 11-Oct-12 10:58:15

Oh good grief, if you're gonna come over from Twitter and get all shouty (HI WALTHAMSTOWDAD ARE YOU NEW BY ANY CHANCE?) at least read the thread.

It's full of people saying how great Walthamstow is. As you appear not to have noticed. Perhaps because you're so intent on characterising MNers as smug bints? Are you prejudiced in all directions, or just against mothers? Maybe you want to check the mote in your own eye, eh?

bunjies Thu 11-Oct-12 11:00:39

3 cheers for psimonk's post. I love walthamstow market. My dad shops there every week & I am so jealous of the stuff he comes home with.

MissM Thu 11-Oct-12 12:06:02

We moved out of Walthamstow three years ago to the west Midlands. I miss it like hell! It's a great place to have small children (I had both mine there). Loads going on, great community, great transport, diversity... The village is definitely over-priced - we lived in Lloyd Park which is lovely, and much nicer (imo). £450K will buy you something lovely - we sold our very nice 2-bed terrace with big garden in a lovely quiet street for £240K in 2008. I never had any trouble in the 9 years I lived there, and also stumbled back from the tube late many times. Yes it is shabby, but I always thought it was one of London's best kept secrets (not so much any more apparently!)

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Thu 11-Oct-12 12:30:49


Ahem. Sorry.

Disclaimer: I don't live in Walthamstow, but I've been underwhelmed by the village on the couple of times I've been through there, so you are not alone. It's not big enough to do a daily shop (unless your diet consists entirely of artisan cheese and organic sausages). It's a bit of a play village, really.

The High St has been ok when I've walked down there (apart from the big screen, which is distopian and horrible!), wouldn't hang around there at 2 in the morning but you can do a shop there. But then if rough and ready high streets are your bag there are tons of them all over NE and E London so I'm not sure why Walthamstow in particular has acquired this amazing reputation.

Warpdog Thu 11-Oct-12 13:30:12

Ahem. I hear Queens Park area is really nice...

The first (and last) time I ever went to Stoke Newington, I had a lit firework thrown at me and two (very middle class) people tried to start a fight with me. Nice.

psimonk Thu 11-Oct-12 13:35:50

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro: "If rough and ready high streets are your bag there are tons of them all over NE and E London so I'm not sure why Walthamstow in particular has acquired this amazing reputation."

I don't quite know what turned Walthamstow into #Awesomestow - it's a unique mix of rough and ready, plus chi-chi and showy, plus incredibly transport accessible, plus amazing open spaces, plus a good mix of urban and suburban and even at moments oddly rural, plus, most importantly, really community minded.

If you've only sauntered the High Street and sampled the village, you'll have likely missed most of that. But unlike most other places in east London I've hung around in, there really is a cohesive and strong sense of community under the surface.

I'd also say it's a minus mark to some commenters on here that to them the bits of London they live in or near can be so easily dismissed in such generic terms and so quickly. City living is about reaching out and helping make the place around you, about forcing connections somewhere that connections don't necessarily come so instantly or easily. Strolling for five minutes through any town rarely shows you its character - why do some here feel happy writing off areas of London without delving a bit deeper? And why do some on this thread seem genuinely unengaged with the areas they live in - reducing them to a cafe/farmers market/Ofsted count? Guess I'm spoilt in Walthamstow that I know loads of people locally who simply don't view the world that way!

hackneybird Thu 11-Oct-12 13:47:36

This thread is fascinating. We're also priced out of N16 (although we're in the less desirable Stamford Hill area) and have had an offer accepted on a house near Wood Street.

We're moving to E17 as we have heard so many really good things about the area and liked both the main shopping centre (it has fishmongers!), the street market and yes, the village felt nice too.

The house we are trying to buy though has lots of problems, so we might have to pull out. If so, which other areas should we look at? What's it like living in the Queen Street area or Central Walthamstow?

MysteriousHamster Thu 11-Oct-12 13:49:27

I lived in Walthamstow for about four years when I was a student and just after from 99-2002ish. So yes, a long time ago - but anyway

I worked in the cinema there when it was still a going concern so often walked home late at night on my own and never had a problem (some teenage boys shouting once). Also worked in the bookshop for a year and loved the mix of community that came into the store.

We lived near Blackhorse Rd and never had any issues though if we were going to buy we would've wanted a nicer street.

The village seemed a bit overhyped to me at the time.

willyoulistentome Thu 11-Oct-12 13:51:56

My brother used to live there. I thought it was a shithole!

psimonk Thu 11-Oct-12 14:12:41


Central Walthamstow - more built up than most areas, but better transport links and easier access to market and shops. Some roads have great community vibe, some a bit quieter.

Queens Road area - quite quiet and a bit cut off feeling, although that should get better in terms of transport links when pedestrian link from Queens Rd station to Walthamstow Central finally gets put in (2014?). I know lots of happy people round this bit, but to me I'd rather go other side of market/tracks - north towards Bell Corner/Lloyd Park - than south.

Also check out Lloyd Park area - really good for families, and roads either side of Church Hill. And loads of nice stuff near Wood Street if the place you're going for doesn't work out (good luck).

mumtooneandthreechickens Thu 11-Oct-12 14:23:25

Hi I live between Wood St and Highams Park (closer to Wood st) and its great for the bus and train and all sorts of shops which I love as I love to cook food from around the world. We know both sets of neighbours and others in our local streets and are on the list for an allotment, so are starting to feel quite settled, we've been here two years there is no way we could afford the village and not sure we'd want to if we could... it is nice but cliquey and we got a 3 bed house for 247 k where we are! But we also are wondering, do we move right out of London or stay? We want a much bigger garden and a less urban feel. And we know we won't get that in London on our budget! But we would really miss east London if we left sad and we say that a south London girl born and bred and a small town yorkshire lad smile

Adair Thu 11-Oct-12 14:29:10

Ha ha ha, am v amused by this thread being both #awesomestow twitterati (though not top trumps yet <EYES WALTHAMSTOWDAD>) and MN regular...

<sssh> I moved from Stokey. And if you looked at me, you'd maybe think I was one of them Stokey types (I had a Bugaboo for a bit, wore Converse, I even had a cup of tea with my other mummy friends sometimes- gasp). And I was/am! But I ALSO liked being able to buy turkish bread round the corner, my daughter living in a diverse area and chat to people I knew.

I have been in Walthamstow for three years (you can search my name for more info). I love it here! Yes,there is a village with chi-chi stuff,and nice stuff to be found - and a variety of interesting little boutiquey new-ness and plentyof pound shops and mobile phone shops. But my worries about whether it would have a sense of community were SO unfounded - there is the best community here. The E17 Art Trail is basically artists who don't know each other, supporting each other. And there are amazing drama classes... (er, am outing myself here). I am round Lloyd Park as we couldn't afford the village (or Clapton's murder mile...).

Ultimately, I have a nice house with a big garden near nice people for less than my N16 flat, my kids go to a caring school with lovely friends, I am already part of a vibrant and arty community, and I can still buy turkish bread from the corner shop. What's not to like?*

*unless you want to go and live in dullsville Surrey or Hertfordshire or Kent or something

notanaxemurderer Thu 11-Oct-12 14:39:20

I've lived in Walthamstow for four years. It is SO much more than the Village - which I find unbearably yummy mummy. The real community is to be found outside. Walthamstow is full of pockets of amazingly talented artists, strong community groups, activists etc.

Walking through the village or down the high street you won't find the Hornbeam Cafe, a co-op which serves organic food and leads foraging expeditions. You won't see the beautiful new Lloyd Park with its lovely gallery. You won't discover the Paekakariki Press, one man's passion for an old-fashioned printing press brought to life in a renovated studio. You'll miss the Rose and Crown theatre and pub, a hub for poets, comedians, actors, singers, mums groups and book groups. I could go on ... but I'm happy with Walthamstow the way it is. We don't need any Bugaboo wankers or whatever it was Walthsmtow Dad said.

MissM Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:33

One reason for its attraction? It's still 'cheap' (in London terms). We bought our lovely house there for £110K in 2000, when flats in Stokey and elsewhere were fetching nearer 2 or 300. 'Normal' people can afford houses, which is why I liked it so much - the people I knew there were on similar incomes and in similar stages to life as me. And the gardens are a good size (well, they were in Lloyd Park).

Agree about the big screen though - very Big Brother.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Thu 11-Oct-12 14:51:09

City living is about reaching out and helping make the place around you, about forcing connections somewhere that connections don't necessarily come so instantly or easily.

Oddly enough, Psimonk that's exactly what I thought when you inevitably mentioned the community-mindedness in Walthamstow.

I have never, ever, on this board or any other, heard anyone recommend a place they live in without their adding the tagline "it has a great sense of community".

A sense of community, as you say, is what people will find if they move to a place intending to talk to people and make friends, and attend every student's art installation and every local authority picnic in the park. So, Zone 2 places where everyone lives in rented shoe boxes excepted, you can find/create a great sense of community in lots of places. It is not a unique recommendation of any particular place, including Walthamstow.

Adair Thu 11-Oct-12 14:54:16

Absolutely agree MadBusLady, a community is what you make it.
I think people are scared that they won't make friends. But you will. Wherever you are.

LFCisTarkaDahl Thu 11-Oct-12 14:54:35

confused which bit is the village? I thought the bit round Lloyd park is the village.

Is it a teeny area then?

GeoGeo Thu 11-Oct-12 15:01:54

I've lived in Waltham Forest for 18 yrs - first in W'stow, then 12 in Leytonstone, now back in W'stow. It is as they say a 'happening place' now and beginning to show signs of change. Two more pubs being refurbed for m/c incomers. No question it's a vibrant multicultural community in which the vast majority of people respect each other. For proof of this, see the current 'We are Waltham Forest' anti-fascist campaign. On 1st September, 3,000 locals from all sections of the community successfully countered racist EDL marchers. There is a mood of confidence in the air as we prepare to stop the EDL again on 27 Oct. Do come along - this will be a fully stewarded, peaceful demonstration. I'll be there with my teenage kids. Join us.
However, you may want to look down the road in Leytonstone, which is leafier, quieter and has more decent, big-ish houses. Central line tube. Red Lion gentrified pub. Schools, tho not grt. Aim for Gwyn Jones primary in Hainault Road, but you'll need to be in the catchment.

herbaceous Thu 11-Oct-12 15:05:02

Officially, conservation-area-wise, the village is small - just the area around St Mary's Church, Vestry House Museum, Orford Road... Practically, it extends westwards to Hoe Street, eastwards to Shernhall, and south to Grove Road. For estate agents, its anywhere south of the station.

Stokey Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:48

I am one of the ex-stokey types who moved to get more house for my money. Few boutiquey village shops, cheap fruit and veg on hoe st and good groups at children centres have all been great but similar to where i was. What has surprised me is the general friendliness and politeness. Strangers say hello to you on the street, people let you pass with double buggy... this to me makes it a more pleasant place to live.

MonkeysAhoy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:07:57

We moved to walthamstow in 2005, pre-kids, and I've now spent 2 maternity leaves noting how the area has subtly changed over the past 7 years. I've noticed the gradual influx Of more stokey/middle class types (of which we were/are to be honest) but I'm very happy to be living here and have no plans to move (I live in coppermill pane area and love the equally easy access to the marshes, the market, good

evilesther Thu 11-Oct-12 19:09:48

Yummy mummies in search of organic cafes please get back in the car and carry on driving until you reach the home counties. People willing to invest their time, energy and spirit in to places and people outside of Walthamstow Village we welcome you (after all that's what Walthamstow means fact fans!).

And for those of you moaning about Walthamstow Dad, since this thread started we have in fact made him Mayor.

MonkeysAhoy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:30:57

(sorry - message cut off early. Darned phone typing)
Love the easy access to the market, the marshes, the mill community centre, decent Playgrounds and schools and transport). If you are looking for that magical London diamond, of great housing but affordable with perfect shoPs, no crime, and polite teens who are all Oxbridge bound, you aren't going to find it anywhere. My son starts school next year and we are firmly and happily staybg put in the midst of neighbours we always chat to and a good network of friends and community. I don't want to leave London, and frankly wouldn't mind staying in my walthamstow community I've found for a good long while.

tricot39 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:32:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

psimonk Thu 11-Oct-12 22:41:55

Erm, I hesitate to mention this. But this is why WalthamstowDad rules: Warning: may contain swearing and Nazis!

Adair Thu 11-Oct-12 23:38:36

Ah, WalthamstowDad, that video is so mumsnet. You can fight it but you belong here really wink

MrsN11 Fri 12-Oct-12 00:02:38

Whoops, I see I made a typo here - I meant queen's road area, not queen's park.

And goodness, what has happened to this thread? It seems to have turned into a contest now between Team Stokey vs Team Walthamstow!

madbird Fri 12-Oct-12 10:59:55

My husband was made redundant so we left Walthamstow 2 years ago for the North - that is where his industry is. Whilst we are very happily living the country life, I do miss the Stow. I lived there for 15 years, single, married and with kids. I never had a problem with crime or safety, - just be streetwise as you should be in London. I met the most amazing people and am still in contact with great friends from then. The cafe culture is great - not starbucks, but small independents. When I was studying I used to go in to the local Algerian cafe, and the owner would ask what music I wanted to study to that day. When I was with little children, we were welcomed into all cafes, regardless of how male orientated they sometimes seemed. There are some of the organic, arty, farmers market things going on but what really made it for me is that all the people I knew just wanted to live there and put into the community as people have said above. The campaign for a cinema is a good example. Crafting in the pub with Craft Guerrilla was also a favourite night out too. It might be dirty and grimey, it is no where near as smart as other places but it has its own east end charm and is unpretentious. Certainly I would not waste money living in the village. (We found living the other side of Queens Road saved us about 70k and that was 10 years ago!)
Being able to take kids cycling down to the marshes is great and unexpectedly rural for the middle of London. Transport links are amazing. If I was to move back South I'd be there like a shot.

Meat2veg Fri 12-Oct-12 13:20:51

Jumping into your pond after hearing about this thread on twitter...

I lived in N16 for a couple of years when I first moved to London in 2007. Moved to E17 after that. It's much better. Although the estate agents are just about now starting to take the mickey and act like N16 estate agents.

The village is nice for restaurants, and if you want 'real' shops then a short walk to Wood Street brings you to many non-chain options - proper shops, I mean, not gift shops or organic cafés. Transport links are excellent rather than irritating. Stella is considerably more palatable and sensible than Diane. And if there is an element of Middle-class pretentiousness then it is admirably tongue-in-cheek and self-aware. 'Yes, I'm wearing slip-on shoes without socks. I know it looks stupid, but I'm okay with that. And no, these glasses don't have lenses'.

I actually feel like I'm in a place with a community now - the anti-EDL thing was amazing, and the ongoing cinema campaign is marvellous. I look forward to having a Dalston-Rio type cinema as soon as the stupid christians have a moment of clarity and leave it alone. It certainly puts the anti-starbucks thing in N16 to shame.

I don't have kids yet, so perhaps my perspective is not in the demographic for this forum, but E17 feels like a good place to have them. N16 felt like it was constantly worried about not being cool.

tricot39 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:05:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 19:40:06

Has anyone that has left a response actually been to Walthamstow? I'm guessing not as It's an utter shithole.
Also, saying "Stokey" makes you sound like a cunt.

I've lived in Walthamstow village for 8 years and it's changed a lot (for the better IMO) since we arrived.

The thing I love most if that you can walk down the road and easily bump into 3-4 people who you know. It's an area where people say hallo if they recognise you, the staff in shops get to know you and chat. I knew more people in my street after 7 days than I did in Shepherd's Bush after 7 years - certainly none of the shopkeepers on Uxbridge Road ever acknowledged me more than a grunt.

I also like that you can hop in the car and be on the M11 within 5 minutes - living in zone 2 you would just sit in the car for 40 minutes before you reached the North Circular.

The iffy side is the growing shortage of school places and poor standard boys' secondary education. Having said that, the catholic secondary school results have greatly improved year on year (which will suit us but won't benefit everyone I admit). It annoys me that virtually every white middle class family with boys seems to leave the area as soon as they're 9 years old but sadly this is what tends to happen and the area has a less diverse mix of teenagers as a result.

If you're starting a family, Walthamstow village is somewhere you can pretty much guarantee a strong support network of other parents with young families too. (The NCT nearly new sales are especially impressive!) The couple lately on "Location Location" who turned a property in the village down because it was where they saw themselves 'in 9 years time' were fools.

I've not owned property in Stoke Newington but briefly rented there and hated it because I was repeated followed about by strange men in the street (!!).

PS I am curious where all these cake shops are?! Can't say I've seen them?

Woodlands Fri 12-Oct-12 20:39:14

FFS Olsen. Do you live in Walthamstow? I bet you live in Chingford or SOuth Woodford or something and think you're far superior to us plebs here in Walthamstow.

Meat2veg Fri 12-Oct-12 21:03:26

I bet he lives in Dulwich.

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 21:57:36

It won't be a shithole for much longer though, I'm seeing more and more Hipsters moving into the area and once they're there the developers will shortly follow and before you kno

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 22:00:10

w it it'll become completely faceless like the rest of East London that has fallen to the Hipsters.

E17HH Fri 12-Oct-12 22:14:17

I've been here for almost 10 years and watched the area gentrify. But I've always loved it.
There is some amazing architecture: William Morris Gallery, George Monoux College, Waltham Forest College, the Town Hall and Warner properties are my favourites.
There are some fantastic people: E17 Art Trail links together our diverse community. The village is great for a meal out and Penny Fielding is a facinating person who runs a fascinating shop and was here long before bacon jam et al.
There are some real pubs such as the Rose and Crown with beer and live music, theatre and comedy.
Transport is great with Victoria Line, Overground to Liverpool Street and to Gospel Oak and Barking.
We have two swimming pools.
We have some great organisations such as the Mill who took over a closed library and transformed it into a vibrant community hub.
Downside - people worry a lot about schools. When we moved here we were told people like us moved out for secondary schools by our nearest primary school head. People like us did move out but we've stayed and been very happy with another local initially poorly performing primary with a more hopeful head educating our gifted and talented child and we've stayed for secondary too and not left or wimped out and applied to Latymer for grammar school education down the road.
There is no cinema but two thriving local cinema groups: screen17 and mcguffin and a campaign to get the old cinema back from the UKCG and for the council to develop a new one too.
If you come to E17 please be prepared to be part of #awesomestow twitter n all.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 15:54:45

Just been to the annual local Apple Day, and it made me think of this thread. Wall-to-wall alternative types, with plenty of hand-knits, and lots of stalls for labour collectives. Just like 'Stokey' was 15 years ago.

While Olson is wrong about many things, he's right about the vileness of the term 'Stokey'.

0lson420 Sat 13-Oct-12 17:44:07

I'm sorry about my outburst last night, my wife was pregnant with twins but she lost them both on Wednesday. I can't begin to describe how devastated we both are. I'd tried to stay strong for my wife and our 15 month old daughter and put on a brave face but it finally hit me last night and I cracked big time. I unnecessarily took it out on complete strangers that didn't deserve it.
So if you can please disregard everything that I said last night as I don't mean it.
It's nice seeing people sticking up for Walthamstow. My favourite thing about Walthamstow is the dancing Lollipop Lady on Markhouse Road.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Sat 13-Oct-12 18:39:54

0lson, that's terrible. I've never experienced anything like that, I'm crap at doing sympathy on the internet, but FWIW I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a blow.

I'm sure everybody here would rather you took it out on strangers on the internet than anyone closer to home. Plenty worse things than being insulted on MN!

I wish you and your family all the best.

0lson420 Sat 13-Oct-12 18:46:54

Thank you.

tricot39 Sat 13-Oct-12 19:11:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tricot39 Sat 13-Oct-12 19:12:59

Olson. sorry. Rogue e.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 19:13:40

Hey Olson. That's just awful. I've lost a few pregnancies myself, and know the utter devastation you must be feeling. It does get better, I promise.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:28:20

That is very sad Olson . You can ask for your post to be deleted if it bothers you. Just report it to MNHQ

I thought I was the only E17 MNer.

I love Walthamstow. I am from Holloway so E17 seems almost rural to me smile

Been there about 10 years. We live in very cheap Higham Hill. Pretty much all ex council, 3 bed, solid and easily extendable ousts with decent gardens. I live round a green!

You could buy 3 houses with your budget and knock them through grin

The village is pretty but waaaaay overpriced.

Lloyd park is beautiful and the roads round there are lovely with lots of pretty little flats and houses.

We have two tube stations and loads of overgrounds.
Buses into town are not brilliant though.

I am not a yummy mummy and I have no interest in organic coffee shops and cheese bars. But I am happy for them to spring up because they bring their own kind of diversity.

Tons of primaries, not so much choice at secondary.

And I have to say that social services (in the widest sense) are in meltdown thanks to the cuts.

On the bright side, if you want to, you can build a huge bungalow in your back garden, move in, rent out your house, and the planning dept will do fuck all about it.

If you wanted to make a huge tax-free wedge.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:29:18

Hello herb I haven't seen you around or a while smile

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 13-Oct-12 19:31:01

We've been owners in E5 for 15 years and are looking longingly over the Marshes more and more for a bit of house price sanity. It's gone INSANIO around here recently. I love my area; I love the community and the just get on with it, friendly nature of the people round here. I just can't believe how much people are willing to pay to live here now though.

I'm so sorry for your family's loss 0lson.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:31:31

AND you can be on the East Coast in less than two hours. No battling through London traffic to get out of town.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 19:57:26

<waves latte from village borders>

I seem to mainly hang out in one thread, bemoaning advancing crepiness. But have lately made forays into the property forum for avice on kitchens. Tho maybe I should raise my sights and pop a tower block in the garden.

Mimi66 Sun 14-Oct-12 14:42:40

The cake shops are North African coffee shops. Yes, there are a surprising number of them, but then there are lots of North African families in Walthamstow - five children of Algerian background in my son's class, including him.

psimonk Tue 16-Oct-12 07:45:33

Olson, really sorry to hear your news. Big E17 virtual hugs from over here (and feel free to vent away!).

And sorry ppl were offended by my use of "Stokeys" - mainly abbreviating as typing on phone. Would say Stowites or E17ers just as happily also...

And as I said before, know ppl w boys who have gone through local secondaries just fine. But that is not the norm for middle classes here.

BemusedIsuream Tue 16-Oct-12 09:23:27

What is the 'norm for middle classes round here' then? Do they just leave the area? I'm interested in this because, as I'm sure you're aware as a local resident, of the plans for a new free secondary school in the area. It is now more important than ever that the middle classes DO support the local secondaries. And it's certainly what I plan to do when the time comes.

psimonk Tue 16-Oct-12 12:15:05

Bemused, I'm with you on staying - I think it's really important for middle class folks to engage with the schools near them. And as I said, I've seen several local parents send their boys (and girl) locally and have done just fine.

But the general norm I see among parents with older kids is to get all panicky around 9/10 and then eventually either a) leg it to Herts/Kent/Essex etc. or b) send their kids out of borough to a grammar (someone mentioned Latymer for instance, in Edmonton).

That said, my eldest is only 5 - so long time yet - secondary system may well be very different by time mine are old enough to go - and that may force me to reappraise. Doubt it though.

Bikegal Wed 17-Oct-12 10:49:24

Ive lived in Walthamstow for 9 years and think it is a warm, friendly, interesting place. It has a great community feeling with people from all walks of live living here. I agree with maisoncupcakeblog, as a mother of two boys one of whom is due to start secondary school soon, there seems to be a mass exodus to leave when nearing to secondary school decisions. The secondary education for boys is not going to get better if everyone moves away. I for one have seen some pretty good schools when I have looked around. Frederick Bremer will only get better, Willowfield is a "good" school with a great community feel and is due to be totally rebuilt for 2015 and Leytonstone another good school has also been awarded funding from the govt. If everyone is so happy here but the only thing making them move away is schools, then I don't think its a good enough reason. Schools are only a part of life, good community, friends, variety of amazing museums,parks and events mean a lot to. Kids that have been bought up in London are being whisked away when they are getting to an age when they will be able to explore for themselves the amazing things London has to offer. I for one will not be leaving London or Walthamstow for that matter.

BemusedIsuream Thu 18-Oct-12 11:00:03

Bikegal - I totally agree with you. I'm not sure this is allowed on Mumsnet, I expect it isn't, but do you know about the campaign to defend our local schools, specifically against the proposals for a new free school?

DianaVreeland Thu 18-Oct-12 13:46:34

Hi BemusedIsuream- I am supporting the new free school being proposed. So many people love Walthamstow and want to stay here - me included - that I have signed up to the free school. There's going to be a 300 minimum place shortfall by 2015 and personally, I want to stay here and have my children educated here. If the school opens then not only will there be places for our children at Frederick Bremer, Willowfield, The Academy etc, there will also be places at the free school.
All the currently existing secondaries are already oversubscribed. Why do they need defending when so many apply already and don't get a place?
My children's primary has been expanded from a one form intake to a three form intake - those 60 extra children per year are going to need a secondary school place.
And this primary school isn't the only one being expanded - they ALL are. Please read the link below - LBWF are creating an additional primary 5000 places - where are all these children going for their secondary education?


The conclusion is, if you love living in Walthamstow and want your children to stay here, then you should support the free school as it will improve the chance of your child attending their chosen school.

BemusedIsuream Thu 18-Oct-12 19:04:20

I'm not sure this is the right thread for this discussion, but since you asked DianaVreeland...
I am against this proposal because it has absolutely nothing to do with community. It smacks of 'what about my child?', not 'what is good for this community?'. That aside, and the fact that I think the Free School policy is a horrific one (probably not enough room for me to go into this one here!) - oh and let's not forget that this particular proposal plans for a school partnered with an evangelical Christian organisation - no-one seems to be presenting evidence for a massive shortage in secondary school places in the long term. The local authority have figures which do, yes predict a bulge peaking in 2014/2015 and 2015/16 but this then tails off year on year.
I am completely aware of the shortage of primary school places in the borough in the last couple of years and it seems to me that this is being used to create fear among local parents. If you'd like to know about this you can go here: defendwalthamforeststateschools

tricot39 Thu 18-Oct-12 19:15:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:40:33

And if you can't find a garden there are loads of allotments in Walthamstow and the waiting lists aren't huge.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:41:53

OP why are you called MrsN11 when you live in Hackney?

smile just wondering.

DianaVreeland Thu 18-Oct-12 22:22:46

BemusedIsuream, I am sure I must know you as you live near to the village - I would love to meet you for a tea or a drink . IF you are up to meeting someone who lives in the village - apparently we don't mix much!!
Oasis is a Christian organisation in the same way that Traidcraft is - what an evil organisation that is!! Their schools are not evangelical, they are secular. There's a rumour flying around that they want to teach Creationism - do we live in the Mid West states? Are our men allowed to take 3 wives?
Hmmmm.....talk about scaremongering....
As for the bulge, even if by 2019 the population were to plateau or decline, we'd still need an additional 300 places min, which means a new school. The NUT rep admitted it, with no solutions offered just a vague request that the LEA should 'do something'.
And speaking as someone who grew up in a council home, that means a new school for everyone, not just the privilidged few. I will be in the Castle Friday night for a drink, care to join me to discuss?

Lexilicious Thu 18-Oct-12 22:36:22

I'm a sort of an E17 landlord... not of the backyard bungalow type, but the accidental BTL type.

We lived on Albert Road for about 18months until DS was 6m and we needed to live close to where I went back to work. I loved it, mostly. I tried to like the Village, but it was only half open any time I went there (that bakery on the corner of Orford Road often disappointed me, not in products or service but availability!). I really liked the daily market, saw a lot of human life there. I loved how you could walk up Hoe St, to the square and down the high st, under the railway line and over to Queens Road... and never seem to hear the same language spoken twice!

The people living in our flat have just got married and seem to like it there. They had loads of friends come and stay for the Olympics and paralympics so I like that they are really getting all the fun of the borough.

Bikegal Fri 19-Oct-12 00:16:00

I think I would also like a school that is a real mix up of people, as a midlander living in London for 20+ years who is also heavily into the arts I don't feel I
fit into a particular class. The idea of a school that's all white, all middle class, all black or all asian is cerrtainly not anywhere I would want my child to be. I love London for the fact it's not that.

Bikegal Fri 19-Oct-12 00:37:24

If primarys are already being expanded then secondary schools will too. it doesn't stop at primary's. Most people are happy with the level of primary education so why shouldn't it extend to secondarys.

DianaVreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 11:50:16

Hi Bikegal
I know you too! This is making me genuinely unhappy it's caused such a divide and there are so many people very angry about this, when there are so many other things in this world to campaign against or for......
The team who are campaigning for the free school are black, Malaysian, Asian, Indian...also white. In fact the exact representation of families from all backgrounds across Stow, not just the white ones....my own children are mixed race and I don't want them singled out.
I am going to stop here as I really don't believe in people arguing online as it solves nothing, plus actually we all want the same thing which is to stay in Stow and educate our children here.
Come to the Castle tonight and I will buy you a drink.

BemusedIsuream Fri 19-Oct-12 13:57:00

Thanks for the offer of the drink, DianaVreeland smile I'm not around tonight but in any case I think the reason I feel happier in some ways discussing this online is because it's such a divisive issue and I expect I have local friends on either side of this argument - in fact, I know I do. I'm not going to change my view about free schools, though. In some ways, the religious link is a little bit of a white elephant. If I'm absolutely honest it's a fundamental political belief that stands in the way of me supporting this proposal.

BemusedIsuream Fri 19-Oct-12 13:59:51

And I don't have anything against people in the Village - I think that was a rather silly point made by a few people further up the thread - I've friends from all over Walthamstow. The only people who benefit from the sneering about the village are the wretched estate agents if you ask me.

DianaVreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 14:36:04

I know I wouldn't convert you, the more the merrier down the pub as far as I'm concerned!

MrsN11 Fri 19-Oct-12 21:03:03

Thanks everyone for all your comments!

Really encouraging to hear that walthamstow has got a strong community vibe, and that there is more to E17 than just "the village."

Achillea - your comment made me laugh - I'm not quite as switched on as you! 11 is my lucky number, otherwise you're right, I should have called myself MrsN16. But maybe I'll become MrsE17......I feel much more positive about E17 now than I did 2weeks ago. Comments about it being community orientated have really sold it for me.

Now the next question (or thread) will be: schools?? (Although I see some people have already touched upon this).

Eileithyia Wed 21-Nov-12 21:25:53

Yeah I'm behind the times, you've probably moved here already by now, but just wanted to add that I love living in Walthamstow and I had my doubts when we moved from Islington five years ago. Have made great friends, actually think the primary schools are very good compared to lots of the rest of London (depends what you're looking for) and have always felt safe and part of the wider community. Transport into central London fine and quick (usually - as good as anywhere else really), got an allotment, lovely interesting neighbours, really so far all good. Could do with better cafe up Higham Hill way - bacon jam definitely hasn't made it here :-) - otherwise I'd recommend and I'm surprised more people don't move here.

walthamstowdad - very good, laughed a lot

abooton Fri 07-Dec-12 16:22:46

I would not move to Walthamstow at any cost, AVOID WALTHAMSTOW!!! It is a hellhole, dirty, dangerous, uncouth, uncultured, uncivilized, really really poor schools, just maximum urgh shudder quotient. I lived there for 5 years, down off Forest Road at first, in one of the pokey little Warner flats there, 50 yards away from where a Terrorist cell was uncovered; my flatmate of the time was mugged twice walking back from the tube, I was stabbed near the local hospital, omg, Walthamstow, horrible place. You could buy in 'The Village' and the bit of civility that offers, but where would you send your kids to school? They'll struggle to have any real education as one of a minority speaking English as a first language, and that would be only the start of their troubles, mixing in with kids at school who see educational attainment as a sign of elitist thinking ergo a cause for bullying, if they manage to not get stabbed before they're 12 that is. I am so grateful to providence that I don't have to live in that hellhole anymore and my child has a chance in life and I live somewhere with a genuine sense of community.

psimonk Mon 17-Dec-12 09:33:18

abooton - really sorry to hear of your bad experiences in Walthamstow, but I must stress that they're not the norm at all. And I also think your attitude to the entire area is just weird. You call Warner flats "pokey" but most people I know who live in them love them. You ask where you can send kids to school in the village, but there's the outstanding Ofsted-rated and really good Henry Maynard in the village. And you bemoan a lack of "genuine sense of community", something that just about most people on this board have highlighted the area as having. Then, of course, you top it off with: "They'll struggle to have any real education as one of a minority speaking English as a first language"...

Yeah, we know some parents like this. Personally, I'd term this most charitably as uninformed parent panic. And less charitably as a closeted form of racism.

My daughter goes to a school with a very high proportion of kids w. English as a 2nd language. And you know what? They all seem to speak English just fine, be fairly well behaved and get on well together.

sally321 Mon 24-Dec-12 07:31:16

Hi. W e are about to buy a house in Walthamstow and we would really appreciate some advice from people with knowledge of different parts of Walthamstow. We've looked at house prices all around Walthamstow and it seems more affordable in Highams Hill area. Is there any reason for that? Someone told us it is not a good area, but what does it exactly mean? Would you advice us agains buying there (aroudn billet road)?
We've also looked at area close to wood street station, such as greenway avenue. Any advice /comments as to this part of Walthamstow?
And finally the upper walthamstow such as hillside, pentire rd, carnanton, grantock, etc. Anyone could tell us what life is like there?
We are looking for a 3 bed house with ideally a big garden and it seems like these are the areas where we could find what we are looking for. But we definitely would like somewhere safe, as we have 3 small kids and we wouldn't like them to grow up in a bad neighbourhood. Please please please share your knowledge and experiences.
Thank you!

Hattie1234 Wed 23-Jan-13 09:31:16

We moved to 'stow' after living in 'stokey' for three lovely years. Bump came along and we wanted somewhere bigger. Its not so great for mummy and baby lunches but it's got a really groovy vibe. We live on village borders where we're soon opening our own halal butchers. Still looking to meet new friends in the area

Hattie1234 Thu 24-Jan-13 10:05:51

DH and I found it hard to move out of 'stokey' mostly because as well as 'groovy' cafes and shops we loved being able to say 'stokey' a lot with like minded 'stokey' friends. When we realised we couldn't afford 'stokey' DH and I were so relieved when we discovered 'stow', it's not quite as satisfying on the tongue but it sounds having lived in 'stow' awhile now and using the name lots with our like minded friends were really getting to love it.

Hattie1234 Thu 24-Jan-13 10:07:29

Does anyone know any other twee names for places near 'stokey' and 'stow'?DH and I would really appreciate some suggestions.

Fuchi Thu 24-Jan-13 14:06:16

I used to live there. I am a Londoner from not the nicest area, and even so I didn't get on with W'stow. The village is nice but as all have said, overpriced. I lived a long way from Tube, which didn't help. I'm sure there are nice places to buy, but I think there is better. I'd think about Clapton / North Finchley if still wanting to be vaguely in the same part of town. Sorry not to be more positive, just my experience.

MrsDukemore Thu 31-Jan-13 10:03:55

Sally321, I've lived in the Higham Hill area of Walthamstow with my husband for nearly 9 years. He grew up in Walthamstow and his family have lived here for over 30 years on the "Village Boarders". The thing about Walthamstow, is it's great, not because it's "up and coming" but because its always been great! The culture is vibrent, there is a strong sense of community between all ethnicities (not just the middle classers in the Village) and the transport links are fantastic and yes, the entire are is currently undergoing regeneration which is an added bonus. In any case, The Higham Hill area is generally pretty quiet. It is a 15 minute walk to Blackhorse Road tube station in the morning and a 25 minute brisk walk to Walthamstow Central which is nice to do on a Sunday morning for the local Farmers Market. Lloyds Park and the William Morris Gallery are a 10 minute walk away. The Primary Schools in the area are all brilliant. There are 3 really good ones within walking distance from Higham Hill Road. It isn't the prettiest are of Walthamstow but a regeneration consultation has begun with Waltham Forest Council. More information can be found here: www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Pages/News/Higham-Hill-Area-regeneration.aspx
It is a perfectly fine area of Walthmstow to live in and as so many others have said before me, there is life outside of the Village!! Good luck and happy hunting!

Ladybird16 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:56:39

Hi Sally321, I live within the Upper Walthamstow area that you defined. I've lived here approx 6 years having previously lived in West and South London. I really like it here. We know most of our neighbours within around a 4 house distance and they were all really welcoming and helpful when we moved here. All are either retired or professional couples with children. For leisure we have Walthamstow/Epping Forest a few streets away and we go for lovely walks there when the weather is good. There is a boating lake near Whipps Cross Hospital; the recently refurbished William Morris Gallery and Lloyds Park a short bus ride away. We can walk to the village - we like walking, so the 30 min walk is ok with us - which has great restaurants and pubs. You've got the standard shops not too far away and Stratford Westfield a short drive away. I've also been keeping up with progress on the "Hall Farm Curve" which would restore a section of rail track connecting Walthamstow to Stratford, this could potentially go through Wood Street so it would be good investment-wise if it does happen, although this is unlikely for quite a few more years. Walthamstow Central itself is getting a lot of investment and the Arcade Site will be developed into a 9 screen Empire cinema with restaurants and some residential units. Back to this part of Upper Walthamstow: 3 bed houses are approx £275-£290, and they can normally be extended to 4 bed with the loft extended. The only issue with this area is I have just started looking at schools and we're not in the catchment area for any of the outstanding ones (as although they are nearby they have tiny catchment areas), fortunately we are CofE and there is a good CofE school nearby which is a possibility. All in all I would recommend the area but just review the schools issue first if it will affect you. Good luck!

redandblacks Sun 03-Feb-13 14:12:46

Just wanted to add my tuppence worth. I have lived in Upper Walthamstow for several years due to my DHs employment. I would not recommend it if you do not fit one of the two local stereotypes - MC ex-Stokey lefties (some of whom have posted on here and do not venture beyond the Village on foot) and Asian (mainly Pakistani) people ... it is extremely ethnically diverse but these are generally marginalised groups with high turnover rates. Btw the mc lefties stick within their cliques and rarely crossover to make friends with the Pakistanis and vice versa, though they are basically minimally polite to one another.
The Local Authority is dreadful, basically, as bad as it gets. If you ever have the misfortune of having to deal with them, a half an hour job will take six months to resolve with a lot of time and money frittered away in the process.
The education is patchy - most primary schools are now rated outstanding because the high EAL/SN quotas push up their ratings and they are very good at excluding additional needs kids from the school stats - often by stealth as the parents are none the wiser in some cases and unfortunately, don't actually understand what is (or isn't!) being done to help their child at school. If your children are normal and well-adjusted all the way through primary you would be fine. Let's just say that there are a great many unhappy parents who have found themselves outside of that category. It is not an area where it is particularly acceptable to question how things are run. You are either happy or you leave.
The best school is probably Greenleaf in Walthamstow Central. A lot of the MC lefties talk up their local primary school in the village. My daughter went there for a few years, it was awful (and we were certainly not the only ones unhappy with it!). It is run by a bunch of dishonest, aggressive control freaks who will do anything and everything to ensure that they come up smelling of roses if there is a problem - they are such experts at it that the grateful exStokeys who regard it as a social hub within their enclave would not believe how dreadful it can actually get. She is now at the Cof E primary and really thriving as are my other two.
As an area, there is increasingly greater range of places to eat out, the parks and green spaces are fine by local standards and neighbours have all been fine.

redandblacks Sun 03-Feb-13 14:22:11

The village has recently become a good place to come to rip off the newer residents who have been used to paying high prices in other parts of London. Take for instance, cupcakes at almost three pounds each along Orford Road or a new Kids Saturday film club showing home DVDs in a church hall for five pounds a child - given that the big screen cinemas are around a pound per child at the weekends and buses are free, why on earth would you charge that much? The fact that locals would pay it to maintain a standard is very telling.

NCT sale is decent though (although NCT itself v much geared to Village types) and tennis club is highly recommended

Ladybird16 Sun 03-Feb-13 20:51:13

I thought that I'd better just make it clear that I am neither of the 2 stereotypes that RedandBlacks described. I can partially see where the stereotypes have come from but it doesn't describe my street, not sure which part of Upper Walthamstow they are referring to. I have 2 retired couples, a few families that have lived in the area for decades - these are all English/Irish, an Asian family recently moved in and 3 Afro-Caribbean professional families as my neighbours. A pretty mixed bunch. I've not had much dealings with the Council so can't comment. I'm not originally from this area so I've gradually discovered the local places I now enjoy and I most definitely venture past the village by foot, car, bike......

HiMyNameIs Mon 04-Feb-13 20:51:17

Hi all - anyone have any advice/opinions/first hand experience of residing on any streets east of Chingford Rd, south of Billet Road in Walthamstow? Looking to buy a house and have had a few purchases fall through in the Lloyd Park area, so opening search a little wider...but really don't know this part of Walthamstow yet... I'm a keen walker, so not opposed to a stroll to public transport and have a bub on the way - any tips and insights appreciated!

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!

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

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!

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?


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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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

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

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