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Walthamstow vs Leytonstone

(31 Posts)
Pinkpumpkins Thu 14-Mar-13 18:03:28


DH are looking to buy a 3-bed house in either Leytonstone or Walthamstow but are unsure as to which area is better. Both are well connected, but housing stock in Leytonstone seems to have the edge. The estate agent in e17 told us that loads of people "like us" (whatever that means!) are moving from Stoke Newington to Walthamstow.

We'd be interested to hear from people, especially new mums, who live in both areas as I'm due in 6months.

Thanks in advance!

Karbea Thu 14-Mar-13 18:20:26

There are better (and worse) bits of both areas, I lived very close to both areas up until about 2 years ago and my friends all still live there.

I'd be inclined to go to leytonstone but I prefer the tube, and was carjacked in walthamstow (but that was about 12 years ago).
Can't you move to Wanstead, south woodford or highams park? Which are all much nicer.

Windowbasket Thu 14-Mar-13 22:14:39

Agree with Karbea ...

Pinkpumpkins Thu 14-Mar-13 23:05:48

Thanks for the feedback,

Carjacked in walthamstow?!! I didn't think these kinds of things happened in the UK! That sounds scary - I hope you are ok.

Highams Park is a little far out for us (we need to be near a tube). Unfortunately we cannot afford Wanstead or South Woodford.

Karbea Thu 14-Mar-13 23:11:32

Personally I'd go for leytonstone then.

Yes I'm fine it was a long time ago, I won't ever forget and I'm probably more nervous than a normal person. Funny though as I doubt they even remember it as apparently banks and building societies were more their thing...

Rickeee Sat 16-Mar-13 09:06:03

I am in Walthamstow and I would not recommend it.
My superficial knowledge of Leytonstone does not lead me to believe that it has an advantage over Walthamstow, But I may be wrong.
I agree with Karbea. Wanstead, South Woodford, Highams Park and even Chingford are better areas.

Windowbasket Sat 16-Mar-13 09:30:17

pinkpumpkins - I lived in Walthamstow for years - renting first then bought my first house. Moved to West London after a couple of years. I would not recommend Walthamstow (although in fairness I know many people on here live there and are very happy - so to get a balanced view you should speak to them too!) - it was just not for me, I found it too rough around the edges ...

Pinkpumpkins Sat 16-Mar-13 22:18:55

Oh dear, e17 does not seem to be getting any decent feedback.

Does anyone have anything good to say about Walthamstow or Leytonstone??

Windowbasket - if you don't mind me asking, where did you move to in West London? Are there pockets of west London where house prices are reasonable?

thornrose Sat 16-Mar-13 22:21:26

Have you looked at Leyton or Forest Gate. It's been over 10 years since I lived around there but they were less "rough" than Walthamstow. Still good transport links though.

TheCyclist Sun 17-Mar-13 11:43:49

I live in Leytonstone and I can heartily recommend it.

There are some very nice bits of E17 ('The Village' being the nicest of the lot) and it definitely is up-and-coming IMHO but there are a lot of bleak streets, especially around Markhouse Road. Mind you, that could be said of anywhere in London. Walthamstow has far more shops than Leytonstone, it also has a huge (if a bit grotty) market and an indoor antiques/vintage centre.

I prefer Leytonstone because it's a lot smaller and feels (maybe I'm deluding myself) a lot quieter than Walthamstow. It's also an absolute doddle to get into 'town' - 20 minutes to TCR on the Central Line. There's a very good sense of community here, lots of cultural stuff going on, open space, a couple of excellent restaurants, two fantastic pubs and some nice cafes. Housing stock is very cheap for London. Seems that gentrification has just started (heard of lots of people "like us" recently moving here too hmm, although we've been here ten years having been priced out of Shoreditch).

The south end of the High Road is getting a much-needed makeover in the coming months - like the hugely successful one they did to Leyton last year.

Windowbasket Sun 17-Mar-13 18:03:06

pinkpumpkins, we moved to Isleworth in W London - it was a great location as so close to Richmond & Kew, both really lovely places. Isleworth itself is nice and improving BUT is right under the Heathrow flightpath so not for everyone! We liked it there but eventually moved out to Sussex where we're really happy (finally!).

walthamstowmum Sun 17-Mar-13 19:39:12

We moved to Walthamstow a year ago and have nothing but positive things to say about Walthamstow. Here are the reasons why.....

- Great network of mums in the local area! There is a real sense of community. Lots of activity's for new mums in the area - baby sensory, rhyme and rhythm, baby yoga, coffee mornings etc. Also, some nice cafes in the area (Daisys, Le Delice) for coffee and cake after those tough baby yoga sessions ;-)

- At our NCT class, 7 of the 8 couples had also moved to the area in the last 12 months and everyone is enjoying life in E17 (most had come from Hackney/ Stoke Newington and Islington). This is probably what the estate agent meant when he said people like you are coming into the area. I keep in regular contact with all of the girls in my NCT class and have made lots of new friends through the local activities - everyone is really nice and down to earth

- There are some good primary schools

- Walthamstow has featured in the Guardian, the Times and the Metro recently. All of which had positive things to say

- Walthamstow is currently undergoing a £160m regeneration to bring investment to schools, parks, leisure facilities and the building of a cinema in the town centre

- Lots of artists in the area, gives it a bohemian feel. Lots of craft workshops (when baby gets older!), exhibitions and interesting things going on locally.

- Decent pubs. The family friendly Castle pub in the village
In the past 6 months, two excellent pubs have opened in E17 which are the bell
and the Chequers

A full rundown of pubs and restaurants can be found here

- Lloyd park and the William Morris gallery has undergone a £5m facelift. Nice park and open space (can't wait for picnics in the summer here!) and the recent exhibitions by Grayson Perry and David Bailey were brilliant

- Another article which i randomly just found on Google but thought was quite interesting

I cannot comment overall on Leyton as it is not an area i know very well. But overall as a mum who like you was facing the exact same situation in terms of where to move, i am so happy that we chose to move to Walthamstow. I have nothing but positive things to say about the area and all of the mums i have met who moved here recently feel the same way

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 17-Mar-13 22:36:33

Walthamstow's a decent idea for affordable housin, conveniently located to town. That carjacking story: horrid, horrid but I had a friend who was held at knife point in a very leafy part of Clapham...There are stories like this in every borough. We live in south woodford but we bought ages ago...walthamstow mum spot on with all the plus pts...

lambinapram Sun 17-Mar-13 22:56:46

There is a long post about walthamstow:

I used to live in Leytonstone (now in Wanstead), fast transport links, a few nice pubs/restaurants but it seems that walthamstow has more going on in terms of community and would be better for meeting other mums. I would say there are nice /horrible areas in both and you can't generalise too much. I would happily live in upper leytonstone, but find areas like lower end of the high street near stratford / Cann hall depressing.

Pinkpumpkins Mon 18-Mar-13 11:03:46

Thanks everyone for all your replies, especially walthamstowmum - your links were really useful.
The key factor which will determine where we move to (besides budget of course!) will be knowing that an area has a good community and is relatively safe, as none of our friends live east of Hackney. It's not going to be our "forever home" as I'm hoping we'll be able to leave London in 5 years time.
Windowbasket - I envy your Sussex location! If we could move out of London we would, but it's DH's job which keeps us here for the time being. London's a great city to be in, but it's oh so friend's up north cannot believe how much our mortgage is for a modest flat.

happy2bhomely Mon 18-Mar-13 11:20:47

Walthamstow is nice around the village, upper walthamstow, Lloyd's park and chapel end areas. Avoid the high street, Mark house rd and Bakers arms.

We live in Woodford green, but have lived in Leyton, Walthamstow, and Highams park over the past 15 yrs.

Some bits of Leytonstone are miles better than the worst bits of Walthamstow.

janey1234 Mon 18-Mar-13 11:37:03

I live in Leytonstone and love it. Used to live in Leyton which is nowhere near as nice.

Yeah it's not the best part of London, hence the prices, but I've always been safe there, and I know all my neighbours well, a lovely local feel. Plus the place seems to be changing of late, with a Costa opening and a Sainsburys local, as well as a bloody lovely new pub (Red Lion). The pub is interesting - always full, always crammed with lots of people like 'us' - who I presume have all been waiting for somewhere nice to open! All good signs.

Just be careful about where you choose. The best areas are around Bushwood and upper Leytonstone, both lovely. Further down Leytonstone high road or towards Leyton: not so much.

Feel free to PM me if you want to run and specific places by me!

higgle Mon 18-Mar-13 13:10:52

I lived in Walthamstow befoe I was married, loved the market, little shops on forest Road, lovely neighbours. I used t walk home alone from Blackhorse Road tube and never felt frightened even late at night. DH and I are thinking of moving back when we retire.

Gisla73 Mon 18-Mar-13 17:52:37

As I wrote in my other thread, linked above, in my opinion Walthamstow is not a good place to live. We moved here in 2006. At the time, the choice was between a lower mortgage in the Home Counties but with higher commuting costs vs. a higher mortgage in London with lower commuting costs and faster journeys. We weren’t keen on moving out of London, so we went for option two. I wish we hadn’t. Walthamstow is dirty, rough and ugly. The ‘public space’, houses, public building, streets, gardens etc. are uncared for and there is a general sense of shabbiness and low expectations wherever you go. Yes, there are a few nice areas, but as soon as you step out of them the grime, dreariness and neglect are visible and palpable. Major and long thoroughfares such as Forest Road, Hoe Street, and Markhouse Road are littered with shabby shops and run-down properties. The market area, the High Street, is a pathetic eyesore from beginning to end and it's a touch threatening after dark, where there are hardly any women around.

As for the sense of community, frequently quoted in this and in the previous thread, I couldn’t say that I have noticed anything different from other parts of London: we say ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ to the neighbours on the left, and, every six months or so, we have a chat about the weather with those on the right. We take in each other’s parcels: and that’s about it. Further down the road, on either side, properties are mostly rented and there is a continuous turnover of people from all corners of the world who stay a little while and then move on. Some of them are decent, other less so: about a year ago a number of Rumanian men rented the house two doors from ours and we were treaded to long summer nights of merry-making in the backyard, complete with accordion music and singing. I am not sure what they did for a living, but the front garden was always full of wood, metal and other material in various conditions of decay. They've gone now: replaced by a Polish family I believe.

The newly refurbished William Morris Gallery is a good place to spend an afternoon, but there is no other cultural life to speak of, or at least none that I would feel comfortable in joining in. There are few decent restaurants, up on the village, and they are oversubscribed. No cinema, no theatre, no decent bars or coffe shops. Nothing.

Seriously, think carefully before moving to Walthamstow!

We are planning to leave in the next three to five years, hopefully.

higgle Mon 18-Mar-13 19:22:40

Gisla73 - pleased to hear your totally different version of a place I love - hopefully if enough people feel like you I'll be able to afford a nice house when I move back! I have such memories of those little junk shops, the little curry shop where one lady made curry out of what seemed to be tinned veg ( yummy) the wholefood shop and the longest street market in England. My neighbours were teachers, ofice staff, IT bods and a lovely family who worked on the underground who were friendly and welcoming. Lloyg Park was good for a jog round in the mornings, I used to go riding on Hackney Marshes and later could keep my own horse out out in to Essex because the connections were so good.

pippop1 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:55:44

We live in South Woodford but are lucky enough to be looking for a small buy to let flat in either Leytonstone or Walthamstow.

Walthamstow Village prices seem similar if not a little more than South Woodford for houses. The same with the very nicest bits of Leytonstone.

We are looking at low priced flats (up to £180K) and so far have only seen ones that are already being rented out.

I don't know what your budget is, but have you looked really hard in South Woodford? You might find the prices are not as high as you think. Also Wanstead is lovely for families so check that area out with agents.

Please PM me if I can help as I have lived in SW for over 25 years!

Gisla73 Mon 18-Mar-13 21:01:50

Hello Higgle. Good luck with the nice house when you move back. I really mean it!

Unfortunately for you though, I am in a minority in expressing my thoughts about Walthamstow. There are a lot of middle-class homeowners who can’t afford to live anywhere else these days, and so they talk up places like Walthamstow and trot out explanations as to why they’ve ‘chosen’ to live here. As in: ‘Yes, we did look at Islington and Stoke Newington, obviously, but I’m afraid we found them a little bit too tame and established. Now that’s never something you could say living here, just off the Hoe Street. It’s so vibrant and Bohemian at the same time’. I'm sure you know that it’s happened to a whole bunch of other places in London where middle-class people get a foothold and begin to climb the property ladder. Which means that, unfortunately for you, house prices will only go in one direction. So you see, I am doing you a favour by telling you what I really thing about this place. smile

As for me, I have ‘chosen’ to live here in the sense that seven years ago, with my partner, we made a choice dictated primarily by budgetary reasons. But we've nerver kidded ourselves for a second that Walthamstow is a good place to be. And in all this time, nothing has happened in the area that has caused us to change our mind. But then again, we are not middle-class.

Lozza70 Mon 18-Mar-13 21:26:07

I'm not sure why you are ruling out Highams Park? The rail link gets you to Walthamstow (for the tube) in 5 minutes and Liverpool st in 22 minutes. It is a frequent service running every 15 mins. You tend to get more house for your money and the schools are good, both primary and secondary. There is more stuff for Mum's recently with a great baby friendly cafe with classes/sessions during the week plus baby massage etc. running in various church halls. If you live on the Oak Hill side of Highams Park you can walk to South Woodford in 15 mins. Also adjacent to Epping Forest and has access to Highams Park and lake.

higgle Tue 19-Mar-13 10:35:15

I think we all have different perceptions of places. This week in the Sunday Times 100 best places to live Thornbury( near Bristol) came in at no 4!!!
Thornbury has a few mediocre shops, a very small section of historic houses and thousands of acres of depressing 60's style estate housing. I really can't imagine that anyone in thier right mind would want to live there unless they had to.

E11DAD Fri 05-Apr-13 10:28:02

We moved to Leytonstone from Hackney around 18 months ago - and since then we've counted more than 20 folks we know who have done the same (so it's not just Walthamstow). All have bought properties. And we are spread out all around the 'Stones - so south, central, upper and the Bushwood area.

We all live in amazing Victorian period houses (with original features to boot) and are more than happy in the area. Yes it's scruffy in parts but we're all optimistic that the 'Stones is on the turn for the better. It will take time for sure but it's happening.

We live in the Bushwood area, which I would recommend - we're a minute walk from Bush Wood and Wanstead Flats, it's a 10 minute walk to Wanstead Park and a 10/15 minute walk to Wanstead proper. Not to mention a 5 minute walk to Leytonstone High Road and tube, which is zone 3.

We had an offer accepted in Wanstead but pulled out as we felt it was too suburban - it's nice but has an Essex vibe and coming from Hackney (after living there for 10+ years) that felt weird. We checked Walthamstow too but the other half wasn't feeling it - it's bleaker than the 'Stones (a lot hinges on the "Village" - and the Village ain't big). But the Spa in the village is quality and we’re only a 30 minute walk to Orford Road.

Leytonstone still needs better pubs, restaurants and cafe's but like I said, this will come in time. It's certainly "on the up". The new'ish Red Lion pub is okay and great for the area but it could be better (warm ales; meat market vibe on Friday and Sats evenings with rubbish DJs). The North Star is a decent boozer with loads of potential and they have good DJs in there once a month playing jazz and reggae. It's in the Bushwood/Browning Road conservation area, which is the old Leytonstone village complete with Georgian cottages.

Have a good wander around the 'Stones and I think you'll be nicely surprised. Within ten years parts will be pretty desirable I would imagine – it’s certainly got big potential. Hope this helps.

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