You may have seen the name ‘Walthamstow’ on train station departure boards throughout the capital, but it’s not as far out as you may think. The largest district in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, it was originally part of the county of Essex, but population growth and commercial development now sees this neighbourhood as part of Greater London.

HFS London has numerous homestay properties available in Walthamstow and the surrounding areas, so read the following location guide to learn more on the area and to help you make an informed decision as to where to stay for your trip to the capital.

Where is Walthamstow located?

Walthamstow is in north London, seven and a half miles north-east of Charing Cross. To the east of Walthamstow is Woodford, to the south is Stratford, and to the west is Harringay, Wood Green and Crouch End. The River Lea flows to the west of the district, separating it from Tottenham Hale. The North Circular Road runs across the north of the neighbourhood.

What’s the typical accommodation type in Walthamstow?

Walthamstow is considered one of the best value places to live in the capital, as it’s easy accessible from central areas and has a variety of properties available. Estate agents and property hawks adore the area, but somehow have yet to make it ‘catch on’ enough to make the big profits they crave.

Period properties here are amongst the cheapest in London and the old village area is full of semi-detached and cottage-style terraces; more rural Essex chic than you’d expect from the capital. The residential roads tend to house the typical East End Victorian townhouses, but less of these have been converted into flats and apartments than elsewhere in the city. You’ll also find Victorian ‘Warner’ flats here – they look like terraced houses from the outside but have two front doors (one for upstairs, and one for downstairs), and each flat has its own garden.

How safe is Walthamstow?

Walthamstow used to be very quiet, but many of the older generations have moved out to Essex and more rural locations and younger generations moving in has given the area a bit of a boost, so you won’t find it as deserted as other residential neighbourhoods at night. Walthamstow is considered a safe area with an ‘urban village’ feel and isolated petty crime tends not to spill over into the mainstream.

What type of people live in Walthamstow?

Walthamstow’s population is increasingly becoming families and young professionals, taking advantage of the reasonable property prices that simply can’t be found in many other suburbs of London. The residents here come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. So, you’re more likely to find quiet and un-threatening dessert parlours than you are noisy pubs. Walthamstow has a real community feel and you can feel comfortable stopping anyone to ask for directions or help if needed.

What transport links does Walthamstow offer?

Walthamstow is home to six rail stations – four of them linked to the Overground, two the Underground, and one the mainline. Walthamstow Central and Blackhorse Road are both on the Victoria Line and Overground, with Walthamstow Queen’s Road, Wood Street and St James Street also on the latter. Lea Bridge connects Walthamstow to the mainline rail between Stratford and Tottenham Hale.

There are numerous buses travelling to and through the neighbourhood, including some with 24-hour services. You’ll find a whole bus station near the central train station and there’s plenty of taxis and minicabs available for private transport.

What is there to do in Walthamstow?

Despite not being the most central of suburbs, you don’t need to travel far to find activities to fill your time. Walthamstow has some great attractions considering its village feel, so be sure to browse these before you venture further into the capital.

Eat scones while browsing junk…

Yes, really. God’s Own Junkyard is London’s branch of the LA shop with a cult-like following. The owners upcycle neon lights from movie shoots, circus shows, and shops closing down sales and then display them so there’s lots to look at. The Rolling Scone Café is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so you can really immerse yourself in amongst the ‘junk’.

Get arty at the William Morris Gallery

Now open after an extensive refurbishment, the William Morris Gallery is Morris’ former family home dating back from the 18th century. There’s permanent displays hangings by Morris and is colleagues and lots of Morris’ domestic possessions on display for you to peruse. Even if you’re not a fan of Morris’ work (or haven’t heard of him!), it’s worth a browse around one afternoon.

If a North London suburb full of scrumptious desserts, quirky art and traditional British scones sounds like your cup of tea, the HFS London team can advise you of current availability in the area today!

Homestay in Walthamstow

If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay (“host family”) accommodation  in Walthamstow or close by, we would love to hear from you.  Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Walthamstow home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch with us.