Living and renting in Walthamstow, London: travel links, parking, schools, best streets — and the average cost of monthly rent
As buyers have been pushed all the way through neighbouring Hackney by rising prices, so Walthamstow has been transformed from down-at-heel backwater to bona fide London village.
Steadily and slowly, new independent bars and restaurants have opened in Orford Road: locals can opt for a craft beer at Wildcard Brewery or a cocktail upstairs at the Nag’s Head, and tackle hunger pangs with a burger from Eat 17 or a cheese toastie from Froth & Rind.
Away from the village, central Walthamstow is still a bit basic by comparison, but there are plenty of regeneration plans on the cards including a £200 million upgrade of the local shopping centre, The Mall Walthamstow, hundreds of new flats on a series of sites, and a new plaza and shops in Wood Street.
Meanwhile, a string of Victorian reservoirs has been successfully transformed into Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetland reserve.
If walking and cycling around the Wetlands isn’t hardcore enough, there’s Walthamstow Leisure Centre and Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre, plus a YMCA gym, several yoga and Pilates studios and private gyms including The Gym London Walthamstow.
Average cost of renting in Walthamstow
|Property size||Average monthly cost|
|One-bedroom flat:||£1,140 a month|
|Two-bedroom flat:||£1,380 a month|
|Two-bedroom house:||£1,538 a month|
|Three-bedroom house:||£1,811 a month|
|Four-bedroom house:||£2,096 a month|
Source: Rightmove.co.uk | March 2019
Best Walthamstow streets to live on
These are in the village conservation area, including around St Mary’s Church and Orford Road.
Walthamstow travel links and accessibility
Walthamstow is on the Victoria line in Zone 3, with a journey of about 25 minutes to Oxford Street, while the London Overground adds services via Hackney to Liverpool Street. The No 48 bus goes to Shoreditch and the No 97 goes to Stratford.
Local Walthamstowrestaurant Eat 17 uses locally-sourced ingredients and bread from its own bakery (Adrian Lourie)
Best schools Walthamstow
Greenleaf Primary School, Woodside Primary Academy, and Walthamstow School for Girls are all considered “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Supermarkets and food markets in Wathamstow
There’s a cluster of supermarkets in the town — Lidl, Asda and Sainsbury’s. In the village, Eat 17’s Spar Walthamstow in Orford Road is desperately posh, with gourmet pizzeria and organic veg, while In Vino Veritas has a great selection of wines.
Being up and coming means there are some parts of Walthamstow that still feel a bit raw. The further south you go towards Lea Bridge Road the cheaper the rents become — for good reason.
‘Why I swapped south London for Walthamstow — and now I wouldn’t live anywhere else’:
Private chef Polly Wedderburn, 32, is a Walthamstow convert after moving to the area from Tooting in south London (Adrian Lourie)
Polly Wedderburn, a proud south Londoner, ventured north of the river 18 months ago in search of more value than her previous rental home in Tooting. Polly, 32, a private chef, moved to Walthamstow as some of her friends already lived there. She is now a north-east London convert.
“Walthamstow Village was a real seller for me as I run my own catering company and I love a foody culture, and there are lots of local and independent shops,” she says.
“Tooting had become too trendy, Hackney is now super-expensive and Walthamstow just felt more up and coming. It is a really interesting place, evolving all the time. Now I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
She and a friend pay £1,450 a month for their “airy” two-bedroom post-war flat which has a kitchen large enough for her to run her catering company from home (pollywedderburn.co.uk).
Shopping in Walthamstow
Polly recommends Central Parade, a co-op space in Hoe Street with an excellent bakery and an ever-changing range of pop-up shops. The Spar Supermarket in the village has been taken over by Eat 17 and now offers a rather posh range of seasonal, locally sourced food plus a refillable wine section.
Cafés, bars and restaurants
Polly tips Spice Box, a newly opened vegan Indian restaurant in Hoe Street. The Queen’s Arms is the “village pub”, while The Castle in Grosvenor Rise is “a bit off the beaten track but it has lovely pub grub and no pretentions — it’s a proper pub”, says Polly.
Mirth, Marvel and Maud, a bar, restaurant and venue in a repurposed Art Deco cinema in Hoe Street, is another favourite, while both Yard Sale Pizza, also in Hoe Street, and Sodo Pizza in Hatherley Mews are brilliant for carb loading.
Things to do
All roads lead to the award-winning William Morris Gallery. There is also an Empire multiplex, and the Stow Film Lounge shows a curated programme of blockbusters, indie hits and classics.
Polly admits her neighbourhood is not the leafiest, though Lloyd Park, to the north of Walthamstow Central, is a beautiful inner-city park and the excellent new Walthamstow Wetlands, formerly a string of Victorian reservoirs, is just to the west.
Parking in Walthamstow
Most of E17 is a controlled parking zone. A residents parking permit costs £35 per year for a typical small car, and £90 for a second permit.