Exploring London: Walthamstow, east London

If you had spoken to me five years ago about planning a trip to Walthamstow I probably would have laughed in your face. I only really set foot in that part of the East End because we wanted to use the Victoria line and parked at Blackhorse Road station. It was a little too gritty and didn't have a good reputation. At all. But around a year ago it started creeping on my radar. Word on the grapevine was this part of east London was on the up. Delis, cool restaurants and markets were popping up but it was still managing to keep it's community feel. It didn't feel too hipster yet and hadn't had it's soul ripped out like Shoreditch. God bless that place - it's just not quite the same any more. On a side note, I had a realisation that I had been going out in Shoreditch for the past 10 years. Excuse while I sob into my anti-aging cream. But anyway. Last weekend we decided to jump the bullet and organised a day trip. Being on a 25 minute drive we decided we didn't have much to lose - we could always jump back in the car and pick up some Macdonalds on the way home.

One of the places I was keen to try out was Eat 17 located in Walthamstow Village. I'd read that this restaurant was the place that kinda kickstarted the whole revolution. So naturally it needed to be tried out. We got there about 11am to try their brunch menu. What a brunch menu that was. I've got a whole separate post ready for that. But take my word when I say that alone is worth heading east for.

After sharing three breakfasts we needed to walk the food baby off. So we opted to explore the village. I'm still scratching my head that this is part of Walthamstow. It felt a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Quaint chocolate box cottages lined the streets. Delicious food markets were taking place in church halls. People were milling around eating their breakfasts outside on the cobbled streets. Such a lovely place to wander and enjoy the sunshine. Just a stones throw away from the village was God's Own Junkyard. A collection of neon signs, vintage film props and salvage displays scattered around a old warehouse on an industrial estate. We could have spent hours slowly wandering around, reading every single sign. Next time I'm trying some cake in the cafe!

After a mooch around Vestry House Museum and spotting Toby Jones filming in the gardens, we decided to seek out the William Morris Gallery and have a walk around Lloyd Park. Opened way back in 1900, the park was gorgeous. Filled with tennis courts, a cafe and pretty lush foliage, it was a lovely place to have a wander and soak up the sunshine. I can imagine it's even nicer during the summer months with a picnic. Although we did see the police talking to a couple who had been mugged, it seems we were still in east London - despite the greenery.

Dedicated to the life of designer William Morris, the gallery is full of fascinating information and impressive prints. I never really knew too much about William Morris and had no idea of his socialist ideals. Offering free entry, his old house is a great place to will away an few hours of an afternoon.

Finally we wandered back to Wood Street where we had parked the car for a mooch around the indoor antique market. This quaint, charming market is such a gem. Vintage clothing, old vinyl and handmade gifts offer something for everyone. My boyfriend for one would have spent the whole day shifting through the vinyl if it was payday!

Now that Walthamstow is quite rightly on my radar I'll definitely be back. There's a handful of restaurants that I have on my list and a picnic in Lloyd Park is calling my name. It just goes to show you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Or by it's shady past!


  1. Walthamstow has such lovely hidden spots doesn't it! I'm already have a return trip planned to Eat 17 over summer x


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