Back when I was a Smash Hits browsing teen, Walthamstow was the epitome of rough urban glamour. It was in the East End of London – a thrilling yet terrifying proposition for a suburban girl like me – and it sounded a little like Walford, where we know people get shot, stabbed and run over with frightening regularity.
It turns out that East 17 were all talk. Walthamstow’s about as rough as Surbiton, or any other suburban part of London. There aren’t a huge number of stabbings and no-one has ever had their baby snatched – another regular occurrence in Walford. Brian Harvey did manage to run himself over, but the chances of that kind of thing happening again are pretty slim.
Basically, Walthamstow is nice. It’s where Hackney couples go when they want to have babies. It’s far out enough and so close to the M11 that it counts as “countryside” (it’s the whacking great marshes that give it away), yet Oxford Circus is 20 minutes away on the Victoria Line. There are good schools and affordable housing and the very nice Walthamstow Village (that’s not where the affordable housing is).
So, what is there to do there?
Well, it’s home to the newly-refurbished Lloyd Park, including the William Morris Gallery, and the aforementioned marshes. There’s a mall with some decent shops in, a very long market and the Stow festival. There’s also a Walthamstow toy library, where my cousin’s son had his fourth birthday party:
What do the locals say?
“There’s a lot of creativity and cultural stuff going on”
“It’s a great place to live”
Connections to Central London
Overland (various, into Liverpool St)
Victoria Line (Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Rd)
Night buses N26, N38, N73