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Moving to East London

(19 Posts)
Deerhound Wed 07-Jan-15 20:22:53

I would be really grateful for some advice.. (apologies for the long post)

My Dp and I are hoping to buy our first house soon. We currently live in NW London but will probably buy East. We're looking at the Bushwood area of Leytonstone, Forest Gate "village" and (maybe) Wanstead.

It would be great to hear opinions about the areas from people who know them. We want all the usual things - good community, shops & pubs/restaurants, good schools for our (as yet non existent) Dc's.. And hopefully property prices that aren't at the top end of a bubble!

We are also a little bit concerned about aircraft noise... Does this bother anyone who loves in the area?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated

Thanks in advance


Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 08:12:31


TheCrimsonQueen Thu 08-Jan-15 08:15:53

I wouldn't move to the areas you are proposing if you want good schools. That's one of the reasons we moved from East to West but eventually ended up moving out of London all together.

Tower Hamlets has some of the worst performing schools in the country.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 08-Jan-15 08:19:55

I don't know much about the areas you're talking about, as I live closer in. But you might have more luck on the appropriate MN Local areas?

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 08:26:08

Thanks thecrimsonQueen. Yes, schools are a bit of a worry. Leytonstone (in Waltham forest borough I think) has an "outstanding" primary. Forest gate (in Newham) I have no idea about though. And I think k the secondary schools around there are all a bit crap

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 08:27:29

Thanks notquitecockney. I had a looks but they seemed a bit "dead", might try a post and hope for the best though

Bluegrass Thu 08-Jan-15 08:53:57

Not sure what the relevance is of schools in Tower Hamlets confused. If you were living in Bushwood you'd probably be looking at Davies Lane as a primary, rated outstanding in all areas in their 2014 Ofsted report.

I think the area has a lot going for it if you manage your expectations. You always have to make a decision in London, do you go for an area that's already gentrified (or is well on the way), so you get all the lovely little cafes, shops and pubs? If so you'll have to pay through the nose to live there.

If the want more for your money you need to accept that the area won't have all those facilities that people pay more for (not just yet anyway). There is are a lot of pound stores and nail bars on the high street in Leytonstone, but things are very gradually changing and there are also some gems (Red Lion pub and Wild Goose bakery stand out, Panda dim sum also good).

Bushwood has some lovely houses and is probably considered the most desirable area in Leytonstone (Upper Leytonstone being the other part). Wansted Flats and Epping forest are on the doorstep so there is a lot of open space. Commute into London is very easy along the Central Line, and the overground gives other options.

Wansted feels more suburban, has more of that cafe culture and so consequently more expensive. Also feels slightly pleased with itself in my opinion, but I do like it there.

There is also the area between Leyton and Leytonstone that is worth looking at, ie Richmond and Twickenham roads. Some nice houses and close to "Leyton Village" which is starting to look quite interesting with a couple of new cafes open.

With a following wind I think the future for the area should be good as it is attracting a fair bit of attention, but then I'm a big fan of East London!

TheCrimsonQueen Thu 08-Jan-15 09:12:20

Apologies that was the relevant borough for us but I have lots of friends who used to live in Forest Gate and have all since moved out of the area. I'm afraid my experience of East London schools generally is that they are below standard and that was a deal breaker for us.

DilysDerwent Thu 08-Jan-15 09:45:38

I have taught in both Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest and was far more impressed with Tower Hamlets as a local authority. Their schools also do far better in the league tables ( TH 36th v WF 121st) and until the recent shock with Sir John Cass they had no secondaries rated below Good. WF is Outer London in terms of funding and this makes a noticeable difference in terms of resources and opportunities.

Having said all this, I used to live in Manor Park and now live in Walthamstow and much prefer the latter.

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 10:49:50

Very interesting responses - thanks!

Bluegrass - I actually looked at a house on Twickenham Road yesterday. The road itself is very nice, it just seemed that the noise from the a12 carried over a lot and it is a bit further from the forest /flats which is what attracts me in the first place.

I really like bushwood but I my main worry is that since it has gone up in price so much recently it will be the first to lose value when the (inevitable?) crash happens.

Other potential issue is the aeroplanes.. It was really hard to be objective about the noise as I was obviously listening harder than usual - do you find them a problem?

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 10:52:40

Dylis - thanks for your post, really interesting about funding.. I hadn't realised there was a difference.

Difficult to know how much weight to put on the quality of secondary schools especially as we don't enliven have any dcs yet so will be at least 11 years till its an issue!

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 10:53:09

Enliven = even

TeddyBee Thu 08-Jan-15 11:11:59

Aircraft noise? I live in Woodford Bridge and I've never noticed any at all. The M11 noise carries a bit, but only at night if I'm listening for it and don't have the TV on. We love it here, good schools, lots of green space, good value for money in terms of houses (we got a four bed semi with a massive garden over the road from a primary school and a big park for £350k five years ago and you can still get lovely three beds for around that if you look).

shaska Thu 08-Jan-15 11:22:30

Psshhh stop bashing on tower hamlets, people. We're ok! John Cass was an awkward moment for everyone but there are several outstanding rated primaries and secondaries, and loads of very happy, thriving children.

Anyway, not at all the point, because none of the places mentioned in the OP are in TH, but I'm protective.

OP, I don't know Wanstead well, and like bluegrass find it a little... smug, or something, but I do know Bushwood and Forest Gate. For me, Forest Gate seems the most likely to come up trumps in the game of 'where are the nice-but-not-millionaire young families of Hackney moving to now', of the three, and I hear really good things about the community spirit and general vibe. Bushwood is really nice, but it's a little bit more... suburban, I feel? Also Forest Gate is getting a crossrail station, which will make it much better transport-wise.

Agree about the between Leyton/Leytonstone bit. Some lovely streets and seems to be the destination of choice, currently, for people I know who've been priced out of the more central east. Twickenham and the roads parallel all seem lovely. Prices have gone up but I think there's room for them to go up further to be honest - look what happened to Walthamstow!

I've never heard planes, but that sort of thing is so subjective - one person's 'too loud' is something another person might not even notice, so it's quite hard to tell.

GermanHouseCat Thu 08-Jan-15 11:34:50

Forest Gate Village is a brilliant place to live. Really strong community with loads going on, new cafes popping up, weekly farmers' market, french lessons for todders etc! New local venue Wanstead Tap (actually in FG) is excellent and holds film nights/gigs/comedy nights with famous comedians etc.

The loval primaries and juniors are bery good. Seniors could be better but there is a lot if choice and they are receiving lots of investment. It'a a real changing community.

Plus v reasonable house prices!

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 11:38:12

Ace - thanks teddybee

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 12:03:35

And thanks shashka and German - it's nice to hear both places getting good press

Bluegrass Thu 08-Jan-15 12:41:30

Deerhound - I'm surprised you noticed the A12 from Twickenham/Richmond Roads. I live a similar distance away and the only times I've ever noticed it has been at night with the window open (and possibly with the wind blowing in the right direction)! I wonder if I just filter it out, I'll try to listen harder.

I only notice aircraft very occasionally but I do know there has been a lot of talk about routing changes from City and people are campaigning for flight paths to be varied so that no one gets it all the time. I find it nowhere near as obvious as, for example, somewhere like Richmond.

With regards to house prices, how long do you intend to stick around? The longer you stay the less likely price is to be an issue, top or bottom of the cycle these things even themselves out over time. If you own a family home within easy commute of the centre of possibly the worlds' greatest city you shouldn't do too badly. There could be a global economic catastrophe but if that happens we'll all be too busy fighting each other for food and water to worry about house prices.

Deerhound Thu 08-Jan-15 13:48:12

Ha! Maybe you have a point bluegrass.

The traffic noise might have been affected by the very "sparse" garden of the house I was looking at. Adding shrubs etc might absorb more sound I suppose.

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