Living in Walthamstow: area guide to homes, schools and transport links

Seven miles north-east of central London, Walthamstow sits between the Lea Valley and Epping Forest at the end of the Victoria line. With plenty of Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses, this cultural hotspot is attracting buyers searching for good-value homes.

Property area guide on Walthamstow with average property prices, current houses and flats for sale, best streets, up-and-coming areas and commuting times.

Local schools: there are plenty of primary schools with an outstanding rating from Ofsed in Walthamstow.

Renting guide to Walthamstow: there is a mix of people renting in Walthamstow, from sharers to professional couples working in the City and people who are thinking of buying in the area.

An ancient church, an overgrown graveyard, a 15th-century timber-frame house, a row of Tudor  almshouses and an  18th-century vestry that once doubled as  workhouse and police station. This could be a sleepy rural Essex village but instead we are just a short walk from Walthamstow town centre.

Seven miles north-east of central London, Walthamstow sits between the Lea Valley and Epping Forest at the end of the Victoria line. Its name derives from the Old English Wilcumestow meaning welcome place. Nowadays locals like to call it “Stow” or “Stowie” and it goes by the Twitter hashtag “awesomestow”.

The 19th-century designer, writer and social campaigner William Morris, Walthamstow’s most famous son, grew up in a fine Georgian house in Forest Road with his widowed mother and eight brothers and sisters. Morris’s friend, the artist Edward Burne-Jones, painted the trees in the garden.

The house has been a museum dedicated to Morris’s memory since 1950. Called the William Morris Gallery, it recently it had a £3 million facelift and this year won the Art Fund Museum of the Year award. One of the first exhibitions featured locally based Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry’s work, The Walthamstow Tapestry, a stinging criticism of consumerism that would have chimed with Morris’s dislike of mass production.

Walthamstow has played a key role in the development of transport. In 1894, local plumber Frederick Bremer built the first four-wheeled car powered by an internal combustion engine. It never went into production but is preserved in Walthamstow’s Vestry House Museum. In 1909 the Avro triplane took off from its Walthamstow Marshes base. Designed by Edwin Roe of AV Roe it was the first all-British plane to take flight. The company went on to design the Vulcan bomber. And from 1912 to 1927, the Associated Equipment Company built the “B” type London bus that was used as a troop carrier in the First World War. The company went on to produce London’s Routemaster buses. 

Houses and flats for sale in Walthamstow
There are plenty of Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses and some later Thirties terraces and semi-detached houses. The most notable builder, Thomas Courtenay Theydon Warner, built estates of Arts & Crafts houses off Blackhorse Road between Edward Road and Pretoria Avenue, west of Lloyd Park, off Lea Bridge Road, and in Higham Park. Warner houses, many designed as two purpose-built flats, often bear the “W” motif and have recessed porches and gables.

Estate agent Arona Sawar of the local Winkworth office, says three-bedroom Victorian terrace houses in the village area sell for about £650,000 with similar homes elsewhere going for £300,000 upwards. Winkworth (020 8509 9170) is selling a three-bedroom house in Ivy Road, half a mile south of Walthamstow Central station and a short walk to the village, for £565,000.

At the cheaper end of the market, agent Douglas Allen has a three-bedroom Victorian house near the North Circular Road between Wood Street and Higham Park stations for £300,000. One-bedroom Warner flats in the enclave west of Lloyd Park sell for about £265,000 and two-bedroom flats for about £350,000. A Warner flat off Blackhorse Road would be slightly less.

> READ MORE: > Why is everybody moving to Waltham Forest?
> London house prices: Land Registry figures reveal the average cost of buying now tops £439,000


New homes in Walthamstow: There are two new developments in central Walthamstow. The local council with developers Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association and Hill Partnerships are developing the Arcade site on the corner of the High Street and Hoe Street. Called The Scene ( the mixed used development will have new shops, restaurants, a multiplex cinema and 121 (50 affordable) one- and two-bedroom flats.

On the nearby Walthamstow Central Station site, Solum Regeneration (  – a joint venture between Network Rail and Kier Properties - has recently announced phase two of its station regeneration scheme with plans for more shops on the corner of Selborne Road and Hoe Street and a tower block of 80 new flats.

Travel: Walthamstow is well-connected to the West End and the City. Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road stations are on the Victoria line with a 20-minute trip to Oxford Street. Higham Park, Wood Street, Walthamstow Central and St James Street all have trains to Liverpool Street with journey times of between 15 and 22 minutes. Queens Road and Blackhorse Road are on the Overground line to Barking.  All but two stations are in Zone 3 (an annual travelcard to Zone 1 is £1,424). Highams Park and Wood Street are in Zone 4 (annual travelcard to Zone 1, £1,744).

The area attracts: Walthamstow has a strong community of artists who migrate from fashionable areas of the East End to trade flats for houses and get better value.

Postcodes:  E17 is the Walthamstow postcode, although Highams Park, considered to be Walthamstow, is in E4 the Chingford postcode.
Best roads: Anywhere in Walthamstow Village is desirable although according to Winkworthth’s Arona Sawar the area close to the newly restored William Morris Museum on Forest Road is almost as popular. “This is becoming a cultural hub. There is the museum, Lloyd Park, a leading fringe theatre at Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub, the Bell is a popular local gastro pub and Greenleaf is an excellent primary school.”

Staying power: a strong community spirit keeps families rooted locally. Many upgrade from a one- or two-bedroom flat to a three-bedroom house. A shortage of larger houses with good-size gardens forces some families to move further out into the Essex and Hertfordshire countryside.

Up-and-coming areas: there is a lot of regeneration around Blackhorse Road station. New flats have been built at Papermill Place on the old Andrex factory site, permission has been granted for 500 new student flats, and Willowfield School is being rebuilt. Blackhorse Workshop, opening in January, offers new affordable community work spaces to rent on Sutherland Road Path. Plans for the Old Standard pub site are likely to include a new live music venue, and the council is working with the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new wetlands nature park on the River Lea reservoirs.  Otherwise, Winkworth’s Arona Sawar is telling people who can’t afford Walthamstow to look in Leyton. It’s less expensive, yet nearer central London.

@Mousey_E17 It's nappy central and overflowing with mums and buggies - especially Lloyd Park. Lloyd Park is great. So green and leafy.

@dollyrockaUK It's fantastic, and it's just got a branch of the Women's Institute up and running. @stowroses has over 100 members already!

@adambenknights A friendly and diverse community,great transport links,victorian housing,thriving market,village,nice pubs,parks & more!

@Jberg999 it's all here in E17 - there's something to do every day & evening

@meOMalley stow is like a poor man's Putney. Great for getting outdoors-running, rowing, walking the dog and eating in good pubs!!

@SueStephenson1 Upper W'stow is lovely- good transport easy links to Central Line, Vic Line & Overground to Liverpool Street

@clairebradshaw Love it. Very friendly and good size flats with good transport. Stupidly overpriced now How will our kids ever stay round here

@MCPlace The Forest Quarter (Upper Walthamstow) is really great. 5 mins from Epping Forest. Great transport links, good people.

@Lucyvfreeman 20 mins from Oxford Circus & Epping Forest, real ale pubs, stand up comedy, a WI, great butchers and fab restaurants.

Shops and restaurants: Walthamstow is famous for its market which, at more than half a mile long, is said to be the longest in Europe. On the High Street, it sells everything from fruit and veg to clothing, to luggage. On the same street is the Grade II-listed L Manze Eel, Pie and Mash shop.

There are independent shops, cafés and restaurants along Orford Road in Walthamstow Village. Penny Fielding Gallery and Interiors sells contemporary art, 20th-century collectibles and interesting gifts. Eat 17, a bar and restaurant, owns the Spar store next door, which has its own bakery, and buys its meat from East London Sausage Company across the street. The Nags Head is a popular Orford Road gastropub.

Wood Street is Walthamstow’s second “high street”. It has its own website and  is being brightened up with the help of the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund. There is a treasure trove of  vintage finds at the indoor market in a former cinema, while Second Nature sells organic fruit and vegetables and runs a box scheme. God’s Own Junk Yard in Vallentin Road, a gallery displaying an amazing collection of neon signs, was recently filmed for an episode of the BBC crime drama Luther.

For more local restaurants, pubs, bars, theatres, cinemas or attractions; or to book a table or tickets for a night out, visit

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Open space: Lloyd Park behind the William Morris Gallery recently had a £5 million facelift and boasts a new children’s playground and café. Walks along the River Lea and in Epping  Forest are on the doorstep.

Leisure and the arts: The E17 Art Trail is an annual event when Walthamstow’s many artists open their homes and studios. Last year there were more than 350 listings and the trail, which runs next year from May 30 to June 15, generates other events throughout the year such as the Walthamstow Poetry Trail. Ye Old Rose and Crown on Hoe Street hosts theatre, comedy, poetry and the local folk music club, and there are community events, workshops and talks at the  William Morris cinema. The Vestry House local history museum is in the village, while Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum on South Access Road is an emerging new transport museum.

The McGuffin Film Society is a local community group campaigning to save the old Granada cinema — also known as the EMD — on Hoe Street and return it to use as a cinema. The nearest council-owned swimming pool is the Waltham Forest Pool and Track on Chingford Road. There is also a swimming pool at Waltham Forest College that opens to the public.

Council: Waltham Forest is Labour-controlled and Band D council tax for the current year is £1,455.21.

Which Britpop band went to the dogs?
Blur’s 1994 breakthrough album Parklife features two racing greyhounds. Inside there is a booklet showing the band enjoying a night out at Walthamstow’s greyhound racing stadium. This art deco gem is now closed and earmarked for housing but the two local MPs, Ian Duncan Smith and Stella Creasy are supporting a campaign to save the stadium, located in Chingford Road.

How is lion linked with a gherkin?
Isaac Solly and his wife Elizabeth are buried in a listed tomb in the churchyard of St Mary’s church in Walthamstow. The tomb has an unusual casket that is decorated with lion heads and sits on lion paws. Isaac Solly and his son, also called Isaac were wealthy City merchants; their house in St Mary Axe in the City is where the gherkin now stands.

What connects a threatened Walthamstow cinema with a Grade-I listed building in Tooting?
The Granada Walthamstow, now owned by an evangelical church, and the  Granada Tooting, now a bingo hall, both have fantastical interiors designed by the Russian theatre director Theodore Komisarjevsky, who was briefly married to the actor, Peggy Ashcroft.

Average prices: Buying flats and houses in Walthamstow
One-bedroom flat: £191,000
Two-bedroom flat: £244,000
Two-bedroom house: £346,000
Three-bedroom house: £389,000
Four-bedroom house: £447,000

Pictures by Graham Hussey

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