Where to live in London with a toddler pt 1 – Walthamstow


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?

“Family friendly”

“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

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4 Responses to Where to live in London with a toddler pt 1 – Walthamstow

  1. Nice article. I agree, Walthamstow has changed a lot. Very leafy and family friendly now and surprisingly close to central London on the tube or train.

    • katese11 says:

      Hmmm…I seem to have fallen for my own hype on this one šŸ˜‰ (move to near Walthamstow imminent!)

      • We have a toddler too. Lived in Walthamstow before we had him and now planning a move back. Great parks (Lloyd Park in particular) and lots of other parents with toddlers to hang out with over a coffee. Two places I’d recommend if you haven’t already tried them – Arts and Crusts Cafe on Victoria Rd, Walthamstow, just off St John’s Road and Wood Street Indoor market, particularly on a Sunday – great pop-up coffee shop and Aura Rosa cakes, plus loads more.

      • katese11 says:

        Ah yes, we went to Arts and Crusts while house hunting…in fact, it *may* turn up in my list of London’s most toddler-friendly cafes, Wood Street market looks fab – will have to give it a try when we move. (We’ll be in Highams Park, but close enough)

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