Walthamstow with primary age children?

(38 Posts)
goteam Fri 22-May-20 17:54:07

Lockdown has solidified our need to move from our 2 bed flat. We go over lots of ideas from moving out of London nearer family up north to further out in London and have considered Haringey Ladders, Southgate, Wnchmore hill and Alexandra Palace. The latter especially has a great secondary school but I really want to live somewhere with it's own community and I think many areas in London including our current area suffer from being too well connected so never develop their own identity and feels a bit transient.

Walthamstow seems somewhere that does have it's own identity and moreover 4 bed houses for less than 900k.

Can anyone share what it's like to live there? If we stay in London we need to stay north of the river for work and ease of travelling north.

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goteam Fri 22-May-20 19:00:37


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peachypetite Fri 22-May-20 19:19:11

Walthamstow is great, and has fantastic transport options, much more so than the other areas you mentioned. You have the victoria line, loads of buses, or can take the overground to Liverpool St in 20 mins. It does have a good community feel and is multicultural.

Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 19:25:03

I don't know a great deal about Walthamstow but do have friends in the area. The one thing I have grown tired of is hearing the number of people who took a punt on the area 7-8yrs ago, and have seen their gamble pay off significantly! Homes there were very, very cheap not so long ago. It's definitely become a more attractive prospect for people priced out of other north london boroughs.

Gncq Fri 22-May-20 19:31:46

Walthamstow has had a ton of investment in recent years, the high street completely renovated, new hipster coffee shops opening, glossy fronted open offices, cycle paths, the wetlands nature reserve, it's definitely a "nice" place compared to 20 years ago.

But we're at the beginning of a massive financial collapse.

Wait for house prices to fall dramatically before buying a place there because they will fall dramatically and soon. Then you'll get a cheap house in a nice place.

Gncq Fri 22-May-20 19:35:16

I actually meant to type 10 years ago.

It's still true, it's improved compared to 20 years ago, but there was a very serious change over the past 10 years. To the point most people born in Walthamstow no longer recognise it, and also can't afford to buy the very home they grew up in.

Anyway, rest of point remains.

goteam Fri 22-May-20 19:46:31

Thanks all. We have been a few times (to the gallery) and it seems nice and I like that its multicultural and diverse. @Gncq we need to wait a year anyway and I expect the value of our place will fall too but so be it.

We just want to move somewhere that feels more settled. Quite a few of the DC friends have moved out of London or parents are talking about moving and we want to put down roots. Doesnt help that most of mine and DH friends have also moved out of London but we think we want to stay. DH loves his job and I think walthamstow could be somewhere to settle.

Thanks again. We need to go and get a feel for the residential bits away from the main high street. Upper walthamstow and the village bit I guess.

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Lightsabre Fri 22-May-20 19:51:39

It's hipster territory but still quite gritty if you like that. Check out the schools, especially secondary.

Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 20:03:36

The village is very nice. Doesn't really feel like London at all. Much pricier closer to the village obviously.

Fink Fri 22-May-20 20:21:44

If you really want a settled community, I don't think anywhere in London is ideal. The nature of it is to be a fast-moving market with a lot of turnover. I live in northeast London (just under 3 miles from Walthamstow) and there's new people on the street at least every year. DC's class have had a dozen kids leave and 10 join in 4 years. That's just what London's like.

That said, Walthamstow is nice. Relatively well connected (especially by road, if you have a car), nice to cycle around (proper segregated bike lanes on main roads, so safe for children), good local amenities like library, swimming pool etc. Not great for green space (I'm spoilt by being on the edge of Epping Forest) but nice cafés and access to supermarkets.

It is within the catchment area for the boys' and girls' grammar schools in Redbridge. Relatively close to the girls', a bit more of a shlep to the boys' (around 5 miles, 45 minutes by bus).

Have you considered Leytonstone? I would prefer that to Walthamstow any day, and it's probably similar in price, unless things have changed dramatically very recently.

goteam Fri 22-May-20 21:00:05

@Lightsabre dont mind gritty. Par for the course in London. I expect walthamstow is as safe as anywhere.

Thanks @Smallgoon need to see if its close to schools. we had identified a lovely bit of southgate before Christmas but then realised it was nowhere near secondary catchments so went back to square one.

Thanks @Fink I see what you say about London being transient by nature but it seems that slightly more cut off places have a lot going on to keep people there. Where we live now sometimes feels like a thoroughfare from one place to another (zone 2). We have friends in Crystal Palace and that also seems to have a buzz that comes from being cut off and having to make it's own entertainment!

We cycle so cycle lanes are a plus.

I tried to check out Leytonstone once but couldn't work out where leytonstone started or became leyton etc and couldn't get a feel for any kind of centre. Seemed a bit run down near the leisure centre / big Tesco but maybe there are bits I havent seen.

What are the Redbridge grammar schools? Had assumed walthamstow girls school for DD but may need to look into secondary options for DS

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Smallgoon Fri 22-May-20 21:19:43

where are you currently if you don't mind me asking?

goteam Fri 22-May-20 21:28:59

@Smallgoon Hackney.

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Wowzel Fri 22-May-20 21:40:59

I live in Walthamstow. The houses are good value for money compared to other areas of London, there are lots of very good primary schools (our 2 local were rated outstanding), there are clearly more affluent people moving into the area as there are now more fancy cafes and an increased number of restaurants.

Lots of stuff for children to go, lots of parks and play areas.

The down sides are that there can be a lot of rubbish on the pavements/roads sometimes and it can feel a bit grubby on our street, there is sometimes gang type activity - but you get that in lots of places in London.

Don't fixate on the village and upper Walthamstow, there are good roads and houses all over the place. I live about 5 mins walk from the high St which is really convenient.

Kittenlicker Fri 22-May-20 21:42:21

Lots of mattresses to look at on street corners...

FreiasBathtub Fri 22-May-20 21:49:55

@goteam not Walthamstow, but we just moved six months ago from Hackney to Woodford Green and it's been such a good decision.

We looked at a few houses in Walthamstow/Wood Street and liked them, but wanted somewhere we could stay forever and you just get that little bit of extra space, inside and out, if you go beyond the North Circular. We are right next to Highams Park and Epping Forest, decent shops in walking distance, and the primaries/childcare options have been pretty good. From what I can tell there's a nice community, we didn't experience much of it before lockdown started!

Walthamstow definitely has more of a Hackney vibe. I miss the coffee shops and cafes, Walthamstow has more of those than Woodford for sure. But I think this was the right decision for us long term, we will never have to move again (fingers crossed).

Fink Fri 22-May-20 21:50:43

Leytonstone does merge into Leyton, but the top end of Leytonstone (the bit furthest away from Leyton and closest to Wanstead) is nice. It maybe doesn't have much of a centre, but it's close enough to Wanstead (whilst much cheaper), which has a very definite community feel - local website wansteadium.com/, arts festival, farmers' market etc.

The grammar schools are Ilford County High for boys, near Barkingside, and Woodford County High for girls, at the southern end of Woodford Green. You could also consider Eden or Connaught girls' schools in the borough - Eden is usually the best performing school. I don't have boys so don't know much about what's available for them.

Fink Fri 22-May-20 21:54:30

@FreiasBathtub, if you're after cafés and such, I would recommend wandering down to South Woodford or Wanstead (10-15 minutes by bike, respectively). Many more options there.

goteam Fri 22-May-20 21:57:06

@Wowzel yeah, the few times I have visited there seemed a lot of rubbish but I feel that's just residential London. It does get me down. It gets me down about the rubbish where we live now. It's one of the things that has made me consider leaving London and moving out but then we weigh up the pros and cons and London just about wins out.

@Kittenlicker sounds like very niche flytipping in E17

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goteam Fri 22-May-20 22:04:28

Thanks @FreiasBathtub sounds like a good move for you. I think Walthamstow might suit us a bit more. I work from home mostly so actually do find myself working in cafes so cafe culture is important. When I do go into work I need the Victoria or piccadilly lines so walthamstow works better. We do want a bit of that Hackney buzz more than suburban life. We think so anyway! It's kind of finding somewhere that has a bit of both. Where we are now is too much buzz not enough suburbia and we need to strike a balance!

Thanks @Fink useful info about the schools and areas in Leyton / stone.

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Magicbabywaves Fri 22-May-20 22:13:01

I live near Blackhorse tube and have been here for about six years. I have three children and I’m very happy here. Local schools are good, we’re near decent shops, loads of coffee places and restaurants have sprung up and transport is excellent.
In Terms of community, it’s seems to me like a lot of people intend to stay for the long haul.

Magicbabywaves Fri 22-May-20 22:15:24

Agree with PP that Woodford way offers bigger houses and gardens but feels ‘less London’. Walthamstow is bit more lefty and watered down Hackney. Depends on your vibe. There are also quite a few mattresses dumped about. The kids like jumping on them.

FreiasBathtub Fri 22-May-20 22:27:15

Thanks @Fink, DS nursery is down towards S Woodford and I do like the shops and whatnot in that direction, I actually used to do a day's work from one of the cafes, but everything is slightly less on the doorstep than it was in Hackney IYSWIM. It's just a bit of an adjustment. I think there's plenty going on towards Highams Park too. Bikes are a good shout. Wanstead was my dream location, but our money didn't go as far there and DH didn't agree it was worth sacrificing the big garden for chichi cafes grin.

@goteam yes it sound as though Walthamstow would be the right fit for you. If you can't find what you like in the Village or Upper Walthamstow maybe also worth considering the south of Highams Park. How old are your kids? We had to do an in-year school transfer and it was pretty hellish, the council are beyond chaotic. But I think school place turnover is reasonably high so you shouldn't have to wait too long if it is a consideration.

DesiDiva2020 Fri 22-May-20 22:46:00

Wanstead South Woodford are lovely! Love living here

peachypetite Sat 23-May-20 07:02:25

You have Walthamstow Wetlands and Epping Forest within walking distance if you live in Upper Walthamstow/Wood St area.

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