Walthamstow was once a thriving, working-class area with a strong sense of community and bustling market. Today, not much has changed except the net income of the residents - it has retained its East London vibrancy, the market is still bustling and ‘Awesomestow’ residents know and look out for their neighbours.
Walthamstow’s East End community culture
Walthamstow is famous for its Warner Houses. These were built by Thomas Warner between 1870 and 1914 as a new type of social housing for working class people. They’re distinctive to look at - beautiful, solid buildings with archways over double front doors - and comprise 2 flats per house. Each flat owner has their own front door, and the gardens are shared; the idea behind this design was to foster closer friendships between neighbours and forge a strong sense of community.
It clearly worked - here in Walthamstow, the spirit of East Londoners is undiminished by the gentrification of the local area. If you’re new to the area, you’ll soon make friends, and feel part of your community. Cast your mind back a few years to when a unicyclist got knocked over by a bus, and was rescued when locals gathered to lift the bus off him - that was in Walthamstow, and the whole incident tells you everything you need to know about the area!
Thinking of living in Walthamstow?
There are loads of reasons
you might want to move to Walthamstow.
Within the town, there are dozens of really good independent bakeries, cafes, bars and restaurants selling craft beers and top quality food made on site.
Those modern, fashionable places to eat and shop rub shoulders with a much more traditional E17 site - Walthamstow Market
is the longest street market in Europe and it’s open Tuesday to Saturday. The sights and sounds of market traders have been a part of this area since 1885 and there’s no sign that they’ll stop anytime soon. There’s an indoor market here too, on Wood Street, located in the former Penny Picture Theatre Co, and is a great place to browse if you’re looking for antiques, toys, gifts / crafts, plants and art.
If you work in Central London, Walthamstow is a great place to commute from - it’s well served by Underground and an Overground train service. It’s right at the end of the Victoria Line, so you won’t miss your stop if you live here - or you can catch connections to the West End, Brixton and Tottenham. Most stations are in Zone 3 (Wood Street is Zone 4) so travel is less expensive than in other parts of the City.
Just beyond the town centre is Walthamstow Wetlands
, run by the London Wildlife Trust. Newly regenerated and open to the public (with free entry!) it’s a great place to enjoy a weekend walk and spot some local wildlife and wildfowl. There’s a nice new cafe, which is always welcome after a walk, and a viewing platform at Coppermill Tower. Across town from the Wetlands is Epping Forest, and Hackney Marshes lie to the south.
Within the town, the main greenspace is Lloyd Park, where the William Morris Gallery (William Morris’s former house, now museum) is situated, with facilities such as a play area, tennis courts, a cafe and bowling green. On a Saturday, you can also visit the new food market held here to pick up fresh groceries and street food.
Primary schools in Walthamstow are generally Good or Outstanding, and Secondary schools are mostly Good - local experts think this trend will only improve as families continue to move to and settle in the area.
Practicalities of living in Walthamstow
The housing stock in Walthamstow is made up of Warner Houses, Victorian and Edwardian properties, and a substantial number of new housing developments. Many of the properties come with garden space, which is attractive to families, but not much square-footage. Flats, one- and two-bedroom flats and Warner flats are common, and space is generally at a premium.
It’s a hugely popular place to live
, for all the reasons listed above, but if you’re planning to move to the area you might need to think carefully about storage options.
Choosing multi-functional furniture is always a good idea when moving to a smaller property - an ottoman lift-up bed provides easy-access bedroom storage, and a headboard that doubles as shelving is also a great way to make use of a small space. Fold-up tables / desks can allow you to create an office that can be tidied away at the end of each working day or a dining table that only takes up space at mealtimes.
If you still have too much stuff and not enough space to live comfortably, you might need to think about external storage options. Rather than paying more for larger rooms or a spare room, your money might go further if you just pay for a house with the space you need to live in - then rent a self storage unit in Walthamstow
for all your excess belongings that you don’t necessarily need every day. Things like out-of-season clothing and bedding, camping gear, sports equipment and Christmas decorations can be stowed away in your own self storage unit and taken out whenever you need it.
If you’re interested in self storage in Walthamstow, our Chingford Walthamstow store is conveniently located
on Shadbolt Avenue, just off the A406 which runs near the border between Walthamstow and Chingford. Our friendly team can give no-obligation advice and quotes for whatever size of storage unit you might need, so feel free to give us a call, chat with us online or drop into your local store.