You’re interested in living north of the river and Walthamstow has caught your eye, and who can blame you? Situated in the heart of East London, Walthamstow has a rich history and a thriving community that make it an ideal location for those looking to live in one of London’s liveliest areas. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the history of Walthamstow, what it's like to live there, as well as provide a selection of things to do.


History of Walthamstow

Walthamstow has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 12th century. Originally a small village, it grew rapidly during the 19th century as it became a popular destination for city workers looking for a more rural setting. The arrival of the railway in the mid-1800s brought even more growth, and by the turn of the century, Walthamstow had become a bustling suburb of London. During the Second World War, the area suffered extensive damage from bombing, but it was quickly rebuilt in the post-war years to become the trendy neighbourhood that we know and love today.


Living in Walthamstow

Walthamstow is a great place to live for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has a fantastic community spirit, with plenty of local events and activities that bring people together. The area is also well-known for its vibrant arts scene, with the William Morris Gallery and the E17 Art Trail being particular highlights. In addition, there are plenty of green spaces in the area, including Lloyd Park and Walthamstow Marshes, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic on a sunny day.


Transport Links in and around Walthamstow

Victoria Line

Getting around Walthamstow and the surrounding area is easy thanks to its excellent transport links. The area is served by two underground stations on the Victoria line (Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road) which provide quick and easy access to the city centre, getting you to Oxford Circus in around 19 minutes. 

The London overground also passes through Walthamstow, with direct connections to Liverpool Street as well as across to Hampstead Heath.

As with the rest of London, there are also several bus routes that run through the area, as well as a number of cycle paths for those who prefer to travel on two wheels.

Places to Eat and Drink in Walthamstow

One of the best things about living in Walthamstow is the food and drink scene. The area is home to a wide range of cafes, bars, and restaurants, serving everything from traditional British fare to international cuisine. 

The Chequers 

The Chequers Walthamstow

If you're looking for a relaxed spot for a drink, The Chequers is a great option. You’ll find a rustic atmosphere, classic for an East London pub. They have a rich variety of beers and local ales that’ll go down nicely in front of the latest live sports.

The Hornbeam Community Cafe and Environment Centre

The Hornbeam Community Centre and Cafe

The Hornbeam Cafe is perfect for a delicious vegetarian meal, working with surplus produce to do their part in reducing food waste. Running on a pay-what-you-feel basis, they aim to make good food accessible to everyone and provide a great way to support your local community.

Sodo Pizza

Sodo Pizza

The pizza joint that is taking the city by storm, Sodo Pizza is cropping up in a few of London’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods, from Deptford to Hoxton. Wherever they go, they become a firm  favourite amongst the local pizza aficionados.


Things to do in Walthamstow

There's never a shortage of things to do in Walthamstow, whether you're looking for a cultural experience or some outdoor adventure. Here’s some of our favourites:

The William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and design. Found in a historic Georgian House in Lloyd Park, the building was the family home of – you guessed it – William Morris. You’ll find a selection of free exhibits ranging from fashion to painting, making it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands

Composed of a cluster of Victorian reservoirs, the Walthamstow Wetlands are a nature preserve dedicated to providing shelter to a wide range of wildlife including rare waterfowl. As well as being a scenic place to get in touch with local nature, it also happens to be the main source of water supply for more than 3 million people.

Walthamstow Market

Walthamstow Market

5 days a week on Walthamstow’s High street, you’ll find Europe’s longest outdoor market, spanning a kilometer! Independent traders can be found selling anything from food from cuisines around the world, to clothes and household essentials.

Gods own junkyard

Gods own junkyard Walthamstow

Potentially the most-instagrammed part of Walthamstow, God’s Own Junkyard is a cafe and bar that doubles up as a awe-inspiring collection of neon signs from throughout the ages. Jam-packed from floor to ceiling with hundreds of different pieces, it’s a feast for the senses that has gained London-wide fame.

Is Walthamstow a nice place to live?

Walthamstow is a fantastic place to live, with a rich history, a vibrant community, and plenty of things to see and do. Whether you're looking for great food, cultural experiences, or simply a friendly and welcoming neighbourhood to call home, Walthamstow has it all. With excellent transport links to the rest of London, it's the perfect location for anyone looking to live in the heart of East London.

Josh Sebastian


Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.