Living in Walthamstow: transport links, parking, schools, best streets — and the average cost of monthly rent
It’s only a couple of decades since Walthamstow was best known for its postcode, as immortalised by local boy band East 17.
Since then, there has been a steady drip of arrivals from Hackney and Stoke Newington to the south of the area, attracted by pretty Walthamstow Village and the purpose-built Victorian Warner flats that each have their own entrance and often outside space, too.
Fast forward, and Waltham Forest’s designation as London Borough of Culture 2019 thrust the area firmly on to everyone’s radar as a happening pocket of the capital.
Who lives there?
Trendy young professionals are drawn to Walthamstow from nearby Stoke Newington and Hackney, thanks to the convenience of being on the Victoria line.
It’s a bohemian area, according to Stan Fung of the local Foxtons branch, who’s found homes for several actors in recent months.
Average cost of renting in Walthamstow
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What the locals say:
‘Lockdown’s okay… so far’
Coronavirus has cast a whole new light on group living, with housemates thrust together day and night as they work from home and stay in at evenings and weekends — indefinitely.
Paddy Vipond, 30, who shares with three housemates in Walthamstow, counts himself lucky.
Not only is he salaried and therefore more financially secure than freelance or hospitality workers, he can do his job from home fairly easily, even if he is confined to his bedroom for a large part of the week.
Renters like Paddy may be reassured by the Government’s promise to protect them from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent due to the virus.
Paddy Vipond pays £770 a month including bills at his E17 rental houseshare (Adrian Lourie)
However, as a direct marketing manager for the charity Freedom From Torture, Paddy is well aware that not all renters are as fortunate as him and his housemates during the crisis.
He says: “We work with survivors of torture, most of whom live in rented accommodation, often relying on food banks. It’s very concerning what they’ll do if they can’t get food, attend a therapy session if they get ill, or can’t self-isolate where they live.
“Meanwhile, the biggest change for me has been seeing a lot more of my housemates because we’re all at home and we gravitate towards each other’s company in the evenings much more. We’ve had a few takeaways, we’re going to do exercises together at certain times of day, have games nights and film nights.
“It’s early days, maybe we’ll end up ripping each other’s heads off.”
Originally from South Wales, Paddy has lived in his current house for 18 months, the longest he’s lived anywhere since moving out of his family home.
He estimates that he’s lived in 26 rental homes in the last five years, thanks to a love of travel and a knack of leaving things to the last minute.
His time has been divided between Brighton, Nepal, Turkey and Guyana, with interim periods spent all over the UK.
But, with friends pressuring him to move to London and the offer of an interesting job, he finally decided to move to the capital for the first time.
Paddy pays £770 a month including bills for the second-best room in the house.
“I’ve got two windows, room to swing a cat. The housemates are all really friendly and this house was by far the nicest of all the ones I saw.”
Walthamstow travel links and accessibility
The commute to his “bedroom office” is minimal, but Paddy chose Walthamstow as it’s on the Victoria line and convenient for the Finsbury Park office where he is usually based.
Although he lives a 10-minute walk from Walthamstow Central Tube station, his commute is just 25 minutes door to door.
Shopping in Walthamstow
Paddy is a big fan of Bloom of the Block where he buys house plants every couple of months for his house and bedroom.
He has also bought his mother presents from the William Morris Gallery gift shop.
Eating and drinking in Walthamstow
Paddy and his housemates made a goodbye trip to a quiz at their favourite local pub The Bell before social distancing commenced.
While they’re now entertaining themselves at home, he recommends vegan curry house Spice Box and Yard Sale Pizza.
Culture in Walthamstow
Last year’s London Borough of Culture, Walthamstow is arty and multicultural, so there’s plenty to see and do locally.
Paddy says: “Every couple of weeks there’ll be a Tamil or Sri Lankan wedding and they’ll be pulling a statue down the middle of the road and burning incense and playing music. You look out of your window and there’ll be a multicoloured procession just walking down the street and all the traffic stops, which is really cool.”
Green space in Walthamstow
Lloyd Park is “a stone’s throw” from Paddy’s house and he often goes there with his housemates to play football or Frisbee.
Parking in Walthamstow
Parking costs between £25 and £145 a year for the first car per household, depending on the engine size and emission level of the vehicle.
Crime in Walthamstow
Crime in Walthamstow is below the London average, with six crimes reported per 1,000 residents.
The most commonly reported crimes are harassment, violence and personal robbery.
Fitness clubs in Walthamstow
There’s a Gym Group gym next to Walthamstow Central Tube and a YMCA on Forest Road.
The Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre and Walthamstow Leisure Centre are both Better-run council facilities.
Best Walthamstow streets to live on
Walthamstow Village is the most popular spot, with streets around Orford Road — the “high street” — commanding a premium on rents, says Stan Fung, lettings manager of Foxtons Walthamstow.
His local tip is to rent near Walthamstow Central station, for convenient commuting.
Best schools in Walthamstow
Local primary schools with an “outstanding” Ofsted rating are Woodside Academy, Whitefield School, Greenleaf, St Saviour’s CofE and South Grove.
“Walthamstow branch had the longest rental contracts drawn up across the whole of Foxtons,” says Stan.
“The average new tenancy agreement was 21 months and some renters sign for as much as three years, so it can be quite hard to find a place to rent because people stay put.”