There’s a reason why Walthamstow has been dubbed Awesomestow. As a permanent resident of this wonderful neighbourhood, I can think of many.
I travel daily on the Victoria Line. Wherever I get on, Oxford Street or Highbury and Islington, there’s only one stop I look forward to getting off at and that’s at the end of the line. Not many make it this far, but for me, this is the place I call home.
I get off the train, climb several steps out of the tube station and arrive short-winded into Walthamstow Central Bus Station. I don’t stop to ponder which way I need to go. I know this place like the back of my hand. I turn right and head straight towards Walthamstow Village. One of London’s best-kept secrets. This gem is so well hidden, that it’s unheard of by many Londoners. Some only discover the village by accident, when they cross through it on their way towards God’s Own Junkyard.
I once brought a friend here. Told her where we were headed, she was sceptical the whole way. As we walked along the quiet residential streets (that look like any other street in London) she questioned me about this unfamiliar place, “a village in Walthamstow?” she’d ask “never heard of it” she’d say. But once we reached the Church Passage she was awestruck by the quaint cottages and their pleasant front gardens. She soon thanked me for bringing her.
Today I’m back for another visit. I love taking a stroll through the village, it’s one of London’s prettiest spots. Here you will find a 12th-century church, 16th-century almshouses, the historical Vestry Museum – and it’s creaking floorboards, the ancient 15th-century house – with crooked timber frames.
I walk through Orford Road, a trendy street that is a classic mix of creative shops, restaurants and independent galleries. Here I find and appreciate local talent, From delicious food to innovative designs and art.
Typically I pick up a chocolate brownie and make my way home to marvel over my new pictures.