Moving to Walthamstow
Are you moving to Walthamstow? Starting its life as a rural area during the 12th century, Walthamstow is, after the bombing in WWII, now a modern, built-up area with a few period properties. Walthamstow Village will give you a taste of what the area was like originally, surrounding the 12th-century St Mary’s Church. Opposite, the aptly named Ancient House is a timber-framed hall house and Vestry House, now a museum was once a workhouse and then a police station. Great transport links, close proximity to the city, a good community spirit and more affordable properties makes this a superb area for expats.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Walthamstow report includes info on:
- The best areas to live
- The good schools
- The average monthly rental prices
- The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Walthamstow on the Map
18 miles north-east of the city centre, Walthamstow is within Waltham Forest. The area, once an end-of-the-tube neighbourhood, has recently become an address to be aspired to, but with less expensive properties than other nearby districts. Bordered by Chingford, Leyton and Leytonstone, it reaches Epping Forest at Woodford and the River Lea valley at Tottenham.
The area has top-class transport links with both Underground and Overground railway stations, with Walthamstow Central being the closest. Travel time by train is around 40 minutes to Canary Wharf and 26 minutes to Liverpool Street. Convenient railway hubs include Walthamstow Central (Underground Victoria line and Overground), Blackhorse Road (Underground Victoria line and Overground), Walthamstow Queen’s Road (Overground), Wood Street (Overground), St James Street (Overground) and Lea Bridge (Abellio Greater Anglia).
Full bus services are in operation from Walthamstow Central, as well as Walthamstow Bus Station, Blackhorse Road Station and Walthamstow Market Station. The buses ensure quick and easy services, providing a hop on, hop off service.
It’s a bit far to cycle into central London but, generally, cyclists are set to outnumber drivers in London. The city traffic is a nightmare, the congestion tax applies and there is little parking – and what there is, is expensive.
Despite the recent property boom in Walthamstow, property here is still affordable. Hoe Street in Walthamstow Village is a fabulous olde-world area, but rental properties are as rare as hen’s teeth and are more expensive than other nearby neighbourhoods. Typically, terraced houses and converted flats come up for rental from time to time. This is a conservation area, attractive and peaceful, to the east of the commercial centre. Orford Road is the heartbeat of the village and is one of the London’s nicest streets.
The main town centre is Walthamstow Central, with the High Street and Selborne Road running through it. Close to the village, it has Europe’s longest street market, at almost a mile long. Here one finds more modern architecture, with semis and terraced houses and purpose-built flats. It is really close to the trains and buses, but it is a busy area.
For a quieter, more residential area, upper Walthamstow is at more of a distance from the stations but has quieter streets and fewer shops. Blackhorse Road is the up-and-coming area, right next door to Walthamstow reservoirs. The reservoirs, on 74 acres of land, are on the brink of being transformed into an urban wetland and are great for fishing, walking and bird-spotting.
Between Upper Walthamstow and the village is the Wood Street area. Close to a railway station, it has retained its character, despite its gentrification. It is home to the quirky Wood Street Indoor Market with 30 unique shops, including vintage clothing, CDs and vinyl and gift items.
The majority of the residential property was built in the early 20th century. Terraced houses, circa the Edwardian era and the 20s extend from Coppermill Lane, next to the marshes, to Wood Street. Warner properties, built as affordable houses for the working classes are found along St James Street and Markhouse Road. Modern apartment blocks, dating back to the 60s and 70s were the result of urban redevelopment.
Generally considered the best part of Walthamstow, Lloyds Park is close to the park and the William Morris Museum. A mere stroll away from the market, a fantastic play area, cafes and shops and a cinema continually attract families to the area.
Investment buying has resulted in houses being converted into flats, which attracts the young professionals, along with the purpose-built flats that are unique to the E17 postcode. New developments are on the increase, with a significant number of planning permissions granted. The South Grove car park is to be a new development of 473 homes with around 800 cycle areas, due to be completed in 2019. Blackhorse Lane has regeneration planned for 2,000 new homes, with schools, roads and parks.
The best value for money is Yunus Khan Close, with Priory Avenue the most expensive.
Who Lives and Works in Walthamstow
With a population of around 271,200 residents, Waltham Forest has a more modest-sized economy than most London boroughs, at an estimated £4.6billion in 2014. Business rates provide the sixth lowest income out of all the London boroughs, but the area has sound initiatives in place to drive regeneration and growth. Business growth stands at 12%, which is double the London average. The ethnically diverse population, with around two-thirds of the population from a minority ethnic backgrounds, is growing, resulting in dynamic multiculturalism.
Measured in 2016, there are a total of 9,940 businesses, with a rapid increase in recent years. Whilst it is mainly a small business economy, larger businesses employing + 20 people account for a total of 97% of companies within the borough. Professional, technical and scientific industries account for 18% of businesses, followed by construction and information and communication. Construction is the fastest growing sector.
The Best Bits
This fabulous, diverse area suits people from all walks of life. With an average city crime rate, good schools, great public transport, a strong community spirit and lovely open green areas, the borough and town are growing rapidly in popularity.
- The oldest sign makers in London, God’s Own Junkyard, is one of the 30 shops in Wood Street Indoor Market. Their warehouse is full of neon lights, making a spectacular display. Other outlets include restaurants, cafes, wine bar and a cheese shop. The William Morris Gallery is chock-full of his designs and prints.
- Orford Road, running through the middle of Waltham Village has a number of quaint shops, local breweries, pubs and delis. A very festive street.
- Frederick Bremer built the first motor vehicle in the UK at his house in Walthamstow in 1892.
- Known as the mile-long market, Walthamstow Market has been trading since 1885. In reality, it is only two-thirds of a mile long but is still the longest market in Europe. Selling the usual market fare; antiques, furniture, vintage and modern clothing and more, there is also a Sunday farmer’s market between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.
- With fabulous green spaces, Walthamstow is located between Epping Forest and the River Lea, with masses of space for cycling and walking.
- “Old Siam, Sir”, featured on the 1979 Wings album Back to the Egg mentions Walthamstow.
- The bowling green, in the middle of the village, is reminiscent of an oasis.
- The first line of the song/spoof “Ann and Joe”, by the Barron Knights, is “Long ago, outside a chip shop in Walthamstow.”
- Held at Lloyd Park, the Walthamstow Garden Party is a full two days of dance, music, eats, drinks and community fun, and is held annually.
- Blackhorse Lane has its fair share of arty studios and workshops, making a variety of products, from cupboards to clothing.
- Primal Scream’s first single was recorded at Bark! studios, Walthamstow.
- Walthamstow’s new nickname is Awesomestow.
- A paper mill close to Blackhorse Lane was the home of two-ply toilet paper. Andrex was named after the street name, St Andrews Road.
- Edwin Alliot Verdon Roe built a tri-plant beneath the railway arches on Walthamstow Marshes in 1909. He flew it over the marshes himself, the first British built aircraft.
Bringing the Kids
Public schooling is free of charges in the UK. However, the schools work on a catchment system, so choose the school first, then find a property in that school’s area.
Greenleaf Primary in Greenleaf Road, Henry Maynard Primary in Addison Road, and Coppermill Primary School have all be judged “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Sir George Monoux College was judged “outstanding” by Ofsted and rated highest in area’s GCSE League Table; Kelmscott came in at fifth, with Willowsfield Humanities College at seventh. Sir George Monoux is a large sixth-form college for pupils to study for their A’ Level exams. They achieved a 3-year high in the results in 2017.
Private schools charge fees, and they don’t come cheap. But they do offer a higher standard of education.
Forest School is an academic private school near Snaresbrook. It has a prep school from age four to 11; then boys and girls attend classes separately between 11 and 16 years of age. In the sixth form, they are educated together. Another popular private school is Bancroft’s School, Woodford Green for boys and girls from age seven to 18. Other schools include Frederick Bremer School, Holy Family Catholic School and Walthamstow School for Girls.
International schools are popular with expats on short-stay postings. There is one such school in Walthamstow, Whitefield Schools and Centre. Places are limited, so children need to be put on the waiting list well in advance. The fees for this type of school are very steep.
There are numerous universities and colleges in London for those wishing to further their education.
Relocating to Walthamstow
London is a dream location, and Walthamstow really fits the bill for both singles and families. There is a great choice of accommodation, from period homes, terraced houses and apartments, and lovely areas, from quiet and peaceful to busy and vibrant. The high standard of education offered at the local schools and the massive green spaces to escape the hustle and bustle, with plenty of family and adult entertainment, great shopping and proximity to the City of London make Walthamstow a great choice for expats. Tricky lease negotiations and enrolling the kids in school may seem daunting for newcomers, but using the services of an expert relocation specialist will sort out these problems and any others that may crop up.
Average Monthly Rent - Walthamstow