Anyone live in Highams Park?

(19 Posts)
Littlepuddleducks Sun 07-Jun-20 20:34:09

Hey! Does anyone live in Highams Park? Our hunt continues for the best place to move to for our 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and 6 month old. We based in Haringey which we love as it has a wonderful community but we looking to upsize and live someone a bit greener and less hectic.
From our short visits to Highams Park, I really love it. Love the park, the forest and the housing round the station is gorgeous.
Reminds me of when I grew up in stoke Newington before it got posh smile
! I have a few quick questions -
Does it feel safe?
Is there a good community spirit of young families?
How’s the Royal Oak, is it family friendly?
How’s the commute to Liverpool Street?
Views on primary and secondary schools?
Sports club - South Woodford rugby club, Fairlop Outdoor centre, Chingford school of Tennis.
Thank you so much!

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WorryWartOne Sun 07-Jun-20 21:51:33

I live in North Chingford, and know HP well too as lived there for a couple of years in the 2010s.

HP is great, definitely family friendly with a lovely park and a nice library. The only downsides for me were hardly ever getting a seat in the morning on the train, and that the high street is a bit disjointed thanks to the level crossing in the middle. That level crossing is actually a right pain the arse, it means the traffic is horrendous around Hale End Road and Winchester Road. If you meet a bus on Winchester road you’re fucked 😁 I’ve spent many a good few minutes reversing on those occasions!

Those reasons were partly why I decided to buy in North Chingford when the time came. It’s the end of the train line so a seat is guaranteed (less than 30 mins to Liverpool St or three stops to the Vic line for the tube), and I loved the village feel of the high street with the church and the green at one end, and the plains and Epping forest at the other. It felt a bit more spaced out and less overcrowded than HP, the houses are bigger and set back from the roads more, the high street is wide, less traffic. I’m quite fussy about things like that though! HP always feels a bit narrow and congested to me.

Both areas are very safe for East London though, and both have loads on for families (check out the Chingford festival in future! And we have funfairs and kite flying on the plains). Re education, primaries in both are Good/Outstanding, and both NC and HP are in the grammar schools catchment, which are Outstanding. The secondary state schools in both are ok, and will probably improve over time as the areas become more and more gentrified like all the East London suburbs. It’s all gone a bit smashed avocado and cold brew coffee in North Chingford lately so I think we’re well on the way 😁

Best of luck with the move OP!

TwoKidsStillStanding Sun 07-Jun-20 22:29:33

I don’t live there myself but know it well. Definitely family friendly and the Royal Oak is great. It feels safe. The amenities seem to be increasing and improving.

My friends are happy with primary schools and love the green space.

remzie27 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:42:16

@Littlepuddleducks following with interest. We are also looking to move to the area. I have one 3yr old daughter

Littlepuddleducks Wed 10-Jun-20 09:10:59

@TwoKidsStillStanding thanks so much for your reply, always so valuable and to have peoples feedback. Definitely think the area has so much potential!

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Littlepuddleducks Wed 10-Jun-20 09:13:27

@WorryWartOne thank you so much for taking the time to provide so much useful information. You made me chuckle about the smashed avocado and coffee hehe smile

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Littlepuddleducks Wed 10-Jun-20 09:18:10

@remzie27 where are you based? So hard making these decisions isn’t it!

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remzie27 Wed 10-Jun-20 09:39:37

Currently in East Ham and checking rightmove frequently. There doesn't seem like theres an awful lot coming to market in the area.
I would love advice on best roads etc.

squirreltree Wed 10-Jun-20 09:51:50

It's a great area - as is North Chingford. Safe, friendly, a good community vibe. Good GP surgery in Highams Park. Lots of different types of housing - flats through to huge (expensive) houses. North Chingford is right beside Epping Forest - mile after mile of beautiful countryside, country pubs etc - right on the doorstep.
Such an easy commute to Liverpool Street. If you pick Highams Park over North Chingford and commute, some people go up to North Chingford and return to guarantee a seat!
North Chingford has a real cafe culture - dozens of places to eat, many with seats outside. Both areas have been a bit overlooked compared to places like Walthamstow so you get more for your money - plus the countryside in North Chingford.
Both areas thoroughly recommended!

Littlepuddleducks Wed 10-Jun-20 15:02:08

@remzie27 when we visit we love the roads near the station. Would be great to get input from people living there, Also I really like the way they are going to open up the old cinema with a restaurant (winner) smile

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earsup Thu 11-Jun-20 01:39:54

My friend lives there for past 40 years...it's nice and schools are good but there elements of hoodies around smoking weed and hanging around the bus stops and take aways at night...not as bad as walthamstow which stinks of skunk weed day and night everywhere.

WorryWartOne Thu 11-Jun-20 22:37:17

earsup I have seen elements of this in HP, but I would say it’s no worse than most other parts of London, and considerably less prevalent than many.

There’s one bit by the crossing and the bus stop near Tesco where the youths 😆 like to congregate, but on the whole it’s safe.

earsup Fri 12-Jun-20 14:56:25

Agree...hence my use of word ...elements...!....walthamstow is definitely one of the worst areas...wood st, st james st...all full of dealers and teens smoking weed day and night...its a real problem in that area !

FreiasBathtub Fri 12-Jun-20 21:41:37

We're just between Highams Park and Woodford Green, been here around 7 months and love it. It feels so spacious! Moved from Hackney and slightly miss the buzz and the really excellent coffee, but on the whole this has been an amazing move for us.

Schools are busy, we had to do an in-year transfer and it was pretty stressful. But most of the primaries are good. Lockdown slightly curtailed getting to know the area but having the park and the forest right on our doorstep has been fantastic. And it feels like a real community.

Gemma2019 Tue 16-Jun-20 11:53:18

I love it here. I live fairly close to the station on The Avenue side. OP there is a good community FB group called Highams Parklife with a lot of info - you should join. There is normally a Highams Park Day every July (unfortunately not this year), farmers market near the station, lots of local events. There is a community radio station called HSpark Radio. It's a great place to live, plus very convenient for commuting. You either get the overground or you can get the 275 bus to either Woodford or Walthamstow Central tube lines. There is an independent estate agent called Hobsons on The Avenue - the owner knows the area inside out and I find her very helpful.

fairyfingers Wed 17-Jun-20 20:53:33

I have nothing useful to add but we lived between Chingford and HP for a decade and we adored it. We moved out of London a good few years ago now as we outgrew our little house and I wanted to move back to the SW. DH grew up near there and we had family/friends there who also all loved it.

We lived in Friday hill so the 'rough' bit but on the edge of it right by the forest. Never had a second of trouble despite living just near the school.

I used to walk to chingford station to get to Liverpool St. always got a seat, regular service. My office moved to Canary Wharf and I used to get the bus to Woodford tube easily enough as well. Also really easy to get to m25 which was useful.

Kids were about 3 when we moved so didn't get to school but my SIL and other friends were really pleased with the primaries. We had loads of toddler groups etc and we spent hours in the forest/playing on the Plains etc.

One of my favourite memories was when dh and I had to cancel a holiday so took annual leave and did a day time pub/bar crawl around north chingford instead. There used to be a lovely Italian down by Nat West but I'm sure has gone now.

Oh and Teddy Sheringham used to live there which is a real draw if you marry into a family of Spurs fans.

Littlepuddleducks Sun 02-Aug-20 15:17:13

@FreiasBathtub thanks so much for feedback. I know what you mean about buzz from Hackney, I grew up in stoke Newington then spent last 8 years in Haringey which is equally vibrant but we need a garage, bigger garden (too many kids) and I just love the forest. Everyone I see looks nice as well so I am hoping the community will be good too as that’s so important to us as a family. I was focussed on HP only but now may look between HP and South Woodford as well. I am dreading in year transfers. I have got 5 year old in reception, a just turned 3 year old who starts school next year (Summer born baby) and a 8 month old!

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Littlepuddleducks Sun 02-Aug-20 15:20:29

@Gemma2019 really useful information, thank you so much. I would love a house on the avenue or castle avenue. I pretty much love all the roads round there! I will go and talk to Hobsons as soon as we put our house on market in September. Need to figure out the school situation for my young monkeys first eeek but very excited about moving smile

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Littlepuddleducks Sun 02-Aug-20 15:26:05

@fairyfingers thank u for feeebadk! Especially the pub crawl and Teddy info, love it ;)

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