Why Walthamstow is called Awesomestow
City Hall copywriter Helen’s lived in Walthamstow for the past six years. She tells us why it’s the best move she’s ever made…
For people of a certain age, the first thing you might think of when I mention ‘E17’ is the ‘90s boy band. Well I’m here to tell you that E17, AKA Walthamstow is so much more. In fact, it’s London’s most happening postcode. That’s why those in the know call it ‘Awesomestow’. Here are five reasons why:
1 It’s warm and welcoming
When I first came to look around the area, I was struck by how helpful and friendly people were. Now I seem to find myself chatting with people in the street every time I pop out. I’ve lived in loads of different parts of London and have never experienced anything like it. I’ve even got good neighbours. You know the sort of people you can trust to feed your cat and take in your delivery when you’re not around. In fact, they even come around and fix my bicycle!
2 Loads of fun stuff to do
Culture vultures are spoilt for choice in the ‘stow. If you’re into theatre, try upstairs at Ye Olde Rose & Crown on Hoe St. Across the road, the beautiful old cinema is now home to a pop-up bar Mirth, Marvel & Maud. If you fancy getting off the beaten track, Ravenswood Industrial estate off Shernall St is well worth a visit. There you’ll find God’s Own Junkyard a treasure trove of neon signs you can ogle while you enjoy coffee and cake at the Rolling Scones café. You can also sample the local ales at Wild Card Brewery. There’s also Mother’s Ruin gin palace for something a little stronger.
If museums and galleries are more your thing, we’ve got two you can visit for free! At Vestry House you can discover the area’s fascinating history. Opposite on the corner of Church Lane, you’ll find the 15thcentury Ancient house, now home to an architect. Then there’s William Morris Gallery, where you can discover one of Britain’s most inspiring designers. Afterwards, go for a stroll in the Victorian splendour of Lloyd Park. If you’re planning ahead, Walthamstow also hosts one of the best local art trails around. Put 3-18 June 2017 in your diary now.
3 Walthamstow Village
One of the oldest villages in London, back in 1086 Walthamstow was a small rural farming community with just 82 residents! Now Walthamstow Village is a destination in its own right. At its heart is the pedestrianised Orford Road where people flock to the pavement cafes on a sunny weekend. You can even join in a game of petanque with locals in the sandy square on the corner.
You’ll also find the best meat in town at the East London sausage company. I recommend the chorizo and Argentinian varieties, but get there early as both sell out. If you feel peckish, try the afternoon cheese board at Froth & Rind. The coffee’s great too. If you fancy something meatier, head to Eat17 for the best chicken burgers in town. For takeaway, there’s a pizzeria in Spar. It’s bellissimo!
Walthamstow Market in Selborne Road is the longest – though not the largest – daily outdoor market in Europe. You’ll find all humanity there alongside fruit and veg from around the world, pots, pans and even pants for £1. If you like your markets a little quirkier, try Wood Street indoor market. This hidden gem has 25 unique shops selling everything from clothing to handmade crafts, antiques, football memorabilia and vinyl. While you’re there, check out Hillman’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and cakes vintage style.
5 Amazing green spaces
I don’t like to brag, but Waltham Forest has more green space than any other borough north of the Thames. To the south, there’s Walthamstow Marshes and ten reservoirs. Together, this huge green space will become Walthamstow Wetlands next year. Heading north from Whipps Cross, you can take a boat out on Hollow Ponds which borders Epping Forest – the largest green space in London.