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What's it really like to live in walthamstow?

(171 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.

kj1986 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:15:20

I am a very proud Walthamstowian. I've lived in Walthamstow all my life since 1970s, except for a 3 year break. So I think I'm qualified to judge.
I can honestly say it's a borough like no other.
I meet a neighbour in the market a few months ago I told him of my regret of moving out of the borough. He said he would NEVER leave E.17
So what is it that's keeping so many folk here?
Let's start with the market. Having lived in another London borough for 3 years I still had to make the journey to E17 because the VARITY of FRESH PRODUCE for food shopping NO WHERE ELSE IN LONDON.
Activities/Sports theresthere's plenty to do in the borough. The old pool and track on Chingford road has now been redeveloped.
Art Crafts William Morris Gallery. E.17 Art Trial.
Education Good schools I was fully educated in Walthamstow except Uni. The schools are better now than the 70s 80s
In terms of crime the crime rate has always been LOW in Walthamstow it is extremely safe at night.
If you are looking to move in the area don't delay. Bring your talents and skills and make Walthamstow even better. The borough leaders are keen to help new business for creative types middle to high end restauranteurs. Or regular stall holder pitches available.
The new influx of folk have lifted our old Walthamstowian spirits we welcome you.

dynevoran Sun 20-Nov-16 13:20:35


dynevoran Sun 20-Nov-16 13:18:32

You're right I guess about that. I have recently pulled people up on Walthamstow life abiut posts that mention someone's nationality when making a point about some anti-social behaviour. But loads of people have also jumped on and made the same points as me, I feel like we outnumber the bigots massively. But agree things have changed recently although maybe everywhere is the same or worse...not sure! That said I have never lived in Islington. But agree that it's generally a decent place and those of us who believe in quality just need to keep pushing back again the bigoted comments and behaviour and fight for cohesion as a community.

Namechangeemergency Sun 20-Nov-16 09:17:00

We are mixed race too.
The racism is directed mostly at Asians/Indians and now Eastern Europeans
I never heard the P word used so much as when I moved here.

Since Brexit I have witnessed stuff that is normally kept under the surface i.e. racism against black people, come right up and stick its head up.

Again with words I haven't heard since I was a kid. It was a real shock. I heard three incidents in my road alone in the couple of weeks following the vote.

Day to day you won't get abuse as a mixed family. But the other stuff is most definitely there. You don't have to dig to find it.

I suppose I am comparing it with Islington, where I am from, and where 'PC' (hate that term) has been ingrained for longer. I am pretty sure there are racists in North London but they know they are more likely to be challenged if they express their thoughts.

Really, you only have to look at some of the local FB pages to see it. Start a thread about Travellers or Muslims and within seconds it will be awash with horrible posts.

There are a lot of people who are not racist and will fight against it though. The Keep The EDL out of Walthamstow rallies were very well attended smile

dynevoran Sat 19-Nov-16 22:25:41

name changed I agree with most of your points except I'm saddened and shocked that you see so much overt racism in E17. We are a mixed race family and I honestly feel there isn't anywhere else we would feel be so comfortable to live. School is very mixed for my ds's and so is my social circle...people with diverse backgrounds. To the extent that I feel it's like a bubble of inclusion which is why brexit was such a slap in the face! What kind of problems have you faced in e17?

Namechangeemergency Sat 19-Nov-16 10:39:36

The thing is with the moaning (and I have been known to have a moan) is about what a 'shithole' Walthamstow is whilst also moaning about the changes that are 'poncy'.
So you can't win.

Walthamstow is not a 'shithole' but it has never been a gentle, 1950's idyll either.

Its a very interesting part of London with loads of history and a lot of good points.Transport is great, access to greenspace is great, its still diverse, it has some lovely buildings (if you are into that sort of architecture) and it does't feel suburban despite having a bit more space than Hackney and Islington.

It has poverty and I am concerned that the poverty gap is getting wider as more affluent people move in and poorer people are being shove out by extortionate rents and lack of social housing.
That is my main worry if I am honest. I come from a borough where the poverty gap is massive and I know the problems its causes. When I moved to Walthamstow it struck me how different it was but I can see it changing.

I don't think the answer is to stop new people moving in. That would be crazy. I just wish the people who live here and want to stay could be enabled to do that. Or we risk losing what attracted everyone here in the first place.
Anyway, the moaning is not generally directed at the incoming white families from Hackney (apart from some generalised grumbling and piss taking). One thing that shocked me was the overt racism that was accepted when I moved here. There is an awful lot of that crap about.

dynevoran Sat 19-Nov-16 07:37:39

Agree totally about the moaning on Facebook groups! Ultimately we all buy somewhere we can afford to live. OH grew up in hackney, we rented there for 6 years or so and could never afford to buy, got pregnant and this was the nearest place we could afford. So we moved here 7 years ago. It's changed a bit, the pubs are better, everything else is the same. It's nice living here...probably cause lots of my mates live here. It's a nice place to live but it's just another bit of London.

It's so weird that people moan about newcomers...don't they realise everyone is just trying to find somewhere to live that they can afford - it's so simple!

TheCyclist Sat 19-Nov-16 01:07:29

Well said, Namechange.

It's a similar story in Leytonstone. Have a look at the Leytonstone FB groups for an example: People who were born here never stop moaning. People who moved here love the place.

TeddyBee Fri 18-Nov-16 21:07:13

It still feels very much like the countryside to us, seven years out from Shoreditch smile

Namechangeemergency Fri 18-Nov-16 20:14:37

I wasn't meaning to be rude teddy. I was responding to the poster who was slagging off Walthamstow and using Woodford as some odd example of the only way to save your children from its many dangers confused

I enjoy a wander around the various bits of Woodford and for a inner London girl like me it feels like a trip to the countryside smile

TeddyBee Fri 18-Nov-16 20:08:16

Erm, there's plenty of parking in Woodford thanks. And the traffic is fine. But I agree, it's not urban and interesting. The commute is awful unless you're going into the city, a lot of Woodford/South Woodford/Woodford Bridge is miles from the tube.
It does have Epping forest and fuck off giant parks and good schools though and pretty much all the houses have gardens that aren't just courtyards.

YelloDraw Fri 18-Nov-16 17:46:18

Honestly the way people bang on about it I can only conclude they haven't been anywhere else in London. Well apart from a trip to Winter Wonderland once a year.
Funny :-)

Namechangeemergency Fri 18-Nov-16 16:44:35

Give over pearly.
I have lived here for 15 years and its not like that at all.
I am from Holloway and the way the people from Walthamstow used to go on about how dangerous E17 was made me laugh.

I am totally working class. Moved here when it was cheap because no one wanted to live here. I have worked in the community most of that time. Going on my own to people's houses <gasp> even on estates shock
Worked with schools all that time too. We have a lot of very good primaries and the secondaries are doing much better. The Academy doesn't have the reputation it had before it changed its name, Willofields and Fredrick Bremner are both doing well.

One thing I noticed almost immediately is how fecking moany East Londoners are. Everything is rubbish, it was all so much better years ago, we used to have an M&S and blah blah blah.

Walthamstow is nowhere near as dodgy as half of the rest of London and the schools are better than many of the more expensive areas.

Woodford is nice enough but its the worst of both worlds. You get all the traffic and noise, no parking etc but its expensive and you have to be able to drive to get anywhere. Its neither a country village nor is it uban and interesting.

Its not the Bronx ffs. Honestly the way people bang on about it I can only conclude they haven't been anywhere else in London. Well apart from a trip to Winter Wonderland once a year. Actually that is one of the drawbacks. People are born, live and die here and the farthest they go is Chingford for a night out. You would think Oxford Street was a long haul destination rather than 20 minutes away on the tube.

YelloDraw Fri 18-Nov-16 16:29:24

I can't for the life of me understand how all the daft hipsters are listening to Foxton's PR about #Awesomestow being the new Hackney.

Hackney was rough as fuck 15 years ago! Hackney imporved becase of 1) was cheap and drew in atrists etc who made set up and frequented nice places to hang like coffee shops 2) period houses and 3) proximity to city.

Walthamstow has a decent tube connection for zone 3, relatively affordable housing and nice housing stock.

Give it 15 years and it will be unrecognizable to today.

PearlyQueen123456789 Fri 18-Nov-16 13:12:23

Schooling in Walthamstow could ruin your child's life, unless you go to private school around Woodford. Don't do it to your kid.

PearlyQueen123456789 Fri 18-Nov-16 13:10:56

Do yourself a favour. Don't. Walking around an area and looking the few nice things doesn't give a true impression of it here.

PearlyQueen123456789 Fri 18-Nov-16 13:08:49

Lived here my whole life. It's a hole - there is so much youth gang crime, drug crime and violence. I can't for the life of me understand how all the daft hipsters are listening to Foxton's PR about #Awesomestow being the new Hackney. Save for a few places around Hoe Street, Walthamstow is a sprawling area of anonymous residential streets. My school was so rough we had metal detectors and police escorts. Only last week my mate got carjacked. "Oh I love that bar and that other bar and that cafe". What's wrong with you people? You love this hole because it's got a bar? You think you've found the only place in the country with a bar.

Honestly, it's bad. Really bad. Not the sort of place you want to raise a family. I'm convinced that people have to lie to themselves so they can live with the £600k they spent to live in a dive.

amwz Sun 03-Jul-16 12:49:34

Following up on this post, my DH and I are also looking into moving to E17!

We've been looking at the area for the past year and we really see ourselves living in this area. We are looking into two houses. One that is a fixer upper on Queens Road and may require lots of work and ££ but its really close to the tube station; and another one close to Blyth Road that is a really nice property with not much to do to it to move in, but 20 min walk to the tube.

We need wise advise, can anyone share some guidance.

FiddleFigs Tue 07-Jun-16 21:52:55

I'm in E17. Childcare is rather oversubscribed. Nursery places (esp under 3) are like gold dust - basically you need to put your name down as soon as you know you're expecting. It's nuts. Primary schools are pretty decent as far as I know. I can't comment about secondary - only hope we're no longer here when DD is that age!

Nickname1980 Tue 07-Jun-16 21:26:03

I live in Hackney and a lot of people are moving to Walthamstow because it's cheaper!

But the schools (primary and secondary) and the childcare (lack of amazing choices) in Walthamstow are making me think twice. Been contemplating a move to Walthamstow there for about a year but not actually made it happen!

Be interesting to see what others think of schools and childcare?

So funny what a previous poster said about how everyone always thinks the new wave are going to be the bunting and cupcakes crowd 😂

NotYoda Tue 07-Jun-16 17:57:38


Yes, just as Stokey would have been 20 years ago for people who lived in Islington (My dad was really really worried about me renting in Islington as that was a shithole when he was young - and he grew up in Kilburn. Funny to hear Queens Park being mooted too)

TheCyclist Tue 07-Jun-16 17:39:04

It definitely has changed. As have Leyton & Leytonstone. Not long ago it would have been bargepole territory for many of those who've recently bought properties there.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 07-Jun-16 17:26:00

I lived in London for over 20 years, the only hassle I ever got into was in Walthamstow , it felt like it was going to kick off any minute. I have family there who had lived there for 40 years. Wouldn't be my first choice though at all. This wasn't recently so perhaps things have changed.

NotYoda Tue 07-Jun-16 17:16:30






NotYoda Tue 07-Jun-16 17:13:56

I'm just thinking that Walthamstow will, inevitably, become like Stokey.

Stokey wasn't like Stokey 5 years ago, and it definitely wasn't 15 years ago.

It will happen

And every generation thinks the last lot of incomers are cupcake and bunting wankers wink

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