Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Walthamstow's ONTO A WINNER

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Walthamstow's ONTO A WINNER

Article excerpt


E17 is best known for its greyhound stadium and Nineties boy band, but it's also home to a marina, riverside pubs and plenty of good-value property, says Mike Nichols

FLANKED by nondescript Chingford and Leyton, Walthamstow would hardly seem a candidate for the next Bankside or Notting Hill. But with its proximity to the City (six miles), an absence of tower blocks and useful position on the Victoria Line (very efficient), this east-London town has economic as well as aesthetic appeal.

It's a place that will see a huge expansion within the next few years, and no doubt an influx of the missing bistros, brasseries and cappuccino bars: its colourful ethnic population is still content with its market and pub culture.

But Londoners will soon discover E17's profusion of parks, sports grounds and reservoirs, which break up the rows of Victorian terraces.

To the west lie Walthamstow Marshes, an area of scientific interest featuring a marina, riverside pubs and a remarkable number of herons. The wading birds fly in from nearby Lea Valley Park, a vast green lung in the east.

The River Lea is also a popular amenity, especially for rowing, sailing and angling. This rural backwater can be accessed by foot or bicycle via Coppermill Lane, a continuation of the mile-long, pedestrianised High Street, which six days a week is home to W a l t h a m s t o w ' s bustling market.

The most easterly stalls meet Hoe Street, the other main shopping area, the pavements of which are covered with the wares of Cypriot greengrocers and Indian furniture dealers.

Beyond Hoe Street is Old Walthamstow, which includes Walthamstow Village, with its listed buildings, ancient alms houses and Vestry House museum, which was once a workhouse. This conservation area is a leafy network of narrow streets lined with period properties.

Faced with enquiries about the availability of houses or even twobedroom cottages in the village, local estate agents tend to shake their heads and mutter about yearlong waiting lists.

Neil Saha, sales manager with Spencers Property Services, reveals that a four-bedroom, tworeception room, two-bathroom house in Church Hill Road recently went for [pound]275,000, which was higher than the asking price. …

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