Waltham Forest Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

Waltham Forest Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

The London borough of Waltham Forest is located in the northeast of London, bordering Essex. The borough is made up of several areas, including Walthamstow, Leyton, Chingford, and Highams Park. It is known for its diverse population, access to green spaces, and relatively affordable living costs compared to central London.This guide will provide you with all the information you need, whether you’re living, visiting or investing in Waltham Forest. It includes the latest data from official government sources.

What’s it like to live in Waltham Forest?

Waltham Forest can offer a balance of affordability and access to amenities, with London Underground and Overground transport links providing connections to central London.

Waltham Forest has a range of amenities for residents and visitors alike. It has a number of green spaces, including Lloyd Park and Leyton Jubilee Park, plus Waltham Wetlands, one of Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserves. The expansive Epping Forest also stretches down to the north of the borough.

Waltham Forest is home to several vibrant markets, including the Walthamstow Market, which is one of the longest outdoor markets in Europe. These markets offer a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, clothing, and household items.

In terms of cultural attractions, the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is popular, showcasing the work of the famous Arts and Crafts designer who lived in the borough. The Vestry House Museum, also in Walthamstow, offers a glimpse into the history of the borough. The borough also has a popular football team in Leyton Orient FC, with its stadium, Brisbane Road, a fixture in the area for decades.

The cost of living in Waltham Forest is generally lower than in more centrally located London boroughs, but it varies depending on the area. There are some more expensive areas such as Highams Park and parts of Chingford, though overall it is more affordable to buy a property in Waltham Forest compared to London’s average.

Waltham Forest has transport links into central London via the Victoria and Central lines, plus London Overground services operating throughout the borough. There are also several bus routes running through the borough, providing connections to other parts of London.

Finally, there are many primary and secondary schools in Waltham Forest, catering to a range of educational needs. The borough has well-regarded schools, including Willow Brook Primary School and Chingford Foundation School. However, like most areas, some schools may have more competition for places than others, and admission requirements can vary. The borough also has further education options, including Waltham Forest College and Leyton Sixth Form College.

This guide provides an overview of important statistics about the borough and how it compares to other boroughs in London.

How much does it cost to buy a house in Waltham Forest?

Properties in Waltham Forest on average cost £512,507.87, ranking the borough as the 14 most affordable borough in London, according to data from HM Land Registry

One of the most expensive areas to buy a house in Waltham Forest is Highams Park. This area is known for its leafy streets, good schools, and proximity to Epping Forest, and as a result, house prices tend to be higher here than in other parts of the borough.

Other relatively expensive areas in Waltham Forest include parts of Chingford, such as the North Chingford and Chingford Hatch areas, as well as parts of Walthamstow, such as the Walthamstow Village area.

On the other hand, some of the more affordable areas in Waltham Forest include Leyton, Leytonstone, and parts of Walthamstow such as the Markhouse Road area.

How much does it cost to rent in Waltham Forest?

According to data from the ONS:

  • A studio costs on average £810 per month to rent which ranks 8 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A one bedroom property costs on average £1,120 per month to rent which ranks 12 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A two bedroom property costs on average £1,361 per month to rent which ranks 10 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A three bedroom property costs on average £1,658 per month to rent which ranks 9 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A four or more bedroom property costs on average £1,992 per month to rent which ranks 5 as the most affordable borough in London

How many people live in Waltham Forest?

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, it has 106000 in total, ranking 20 of London boroughs by number of dwellings.

According to data from the ONS:

  • 27.1% of households are owned outright
  • 38.5% of households are being bought with a mortgage
  • 16.3% of households are rented from the local authority of housing association
  • 16.3% of households are privately rented

Is Waltham Forest a good place to live?

Although determining whether an area is a good place to live is subjective, we can use data on personal wellbeing collected by the ONS through the Annual Population Survey as an indicator to compare boroughs:

  • Waltham Forest ranks 27 of 32 boroughs in terms of life satisfaction (i.e. ‘how satisfied are you with your life?’)
  • Waltham Forest ranks 11 of 32 boroughs in terms of ‘worthwhile’ (i.e. ‘to what extent do you feel things you do in your life are worthwhile?’)
  • Waltham Forest ranks 16 of 32 boroughs in terms of happiness (i.e. ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’)
  • Waltham Forest ranks 10 of 32 boroughs in terms of anxiousness (i.e. ‘how anxious did you feel yesterday?’)

What schools are there in Waltham Forest and are they good?

In total Waltham Forest has 85 schools, which are broken down into:

  • 51 state primary schools
  • 18 state secondary schools
  • 6 independent schools

Waltham Forest has a diverse range of schools, catering to students of different ages and educational needs. The borough has a number of primary schools, including Henry Maynard Primary School, Willow Brook Primary School, Thorpe Hall Primary School, Woodside Primary Academy, and George Tomlinson Primary School. For secondary education, there are options like Leytonstone School, Frederick Bremer School, Walthamstow School for Girls, Lammas School and Sports College, and Chingford Foundation School. Those seeking further education can explore options at Waltham Forest College or Leyton Sixth Form College. Additionally, there are special educational needs schools and independent schools in the area. It’s important to note that admission requirements and catchment areas may vary depending on the school, so it’s advisable to research before applying.

For a breakdown of all schools in the area and their latest ratings, search Ofsted’s reports.

Is Waltham Forest polluted?

According to data from the GLA and TFL Air Quality:

  • Waltham Forest ranks 16 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest NO2 concentration
  • Waltham Forest ranks 16 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM2 concentration
  • Waltham Forest ranks 15 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM10 concentration

What is the employment rate in Waltham Forest?

The employment rate in Waltham Forest is 69.9% which ranks 28 of 32 boroughs in terms of highest employment rate.

Employment rate is important to know for those considering moving to the area, as it can provide an indication of the job market and economic opportunities available in the borough.

Is Waltham Forest a wealthy area?

The average income in Waltham Forest is £34,900 according to data from HMRC. This ranks 30 of London’s boroughs (ranked by highest average income). 

Waltham Forest is not generally considered a wealthy borough in London. While it does have some affluent areas, such as Highams Park and parts of Chingford, it also has several areas that are considered as deprived, such as parts of Walthamstow and Leyton. According to Trust for London, Waltham Forest has a high unemployment rate compared to the rest of London.

Is Waltham Forest a religious area?

Like the rest of London, Waltham Forest has a mix of cultures and religions. In particular, it has a large Muslim population. According to the ONS:

  • 39.6% of the resident population identifies as Christian
  • 22.6% of the resident population identifies as Muslim
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Hindu
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Sikh
  • 1.5% of the resident population identifies as Jewish
  • 4.7% of the resident population do not identify as religious

How large is Waltham Forest?

Waltham Forest is 38.8 km2, making it the 16th largest borough in London.

Its population is estimated as 295,311 according to data from the GLA, ranking it 16 as the most populous borough.

Its population per km2 is 7,610, ranking it 15 as the most populous per km2 borough.

Is Waltham Forest safe?

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, in the last two years there were:

  • 14,040 total reported crimes and 47.54 total crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 7 of boroughs with the least total number of crimes
  • 669 total reported burglaries and 2.27 total burglaries per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 7 of boroughs with the least number of burglaries
  • 980 total reported cases of criminal damage and 3.32 total cases of criminal damage per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 7 of boroughs with the least number of cases of criminal damage
  • 669 total reported drug related crimes and 2.27 total drug related crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 15 of boroughs with the least number of drug related crimes
  • 531 total reported robberies and 1.80 total robberies per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 14 of boroughs with the least number of robberies
  • 290 total reported sexual offences and 0.98 total sexual offences per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 8 of boroughs with the least number of sexual offences
  • 6,883 total reported thefts and 23.31 total thefts per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 10 of boroughs with the least number of thefts
  • 3,829 total reported violent crimes and 12.97 total violent crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Waltham Forest as 7 of boroughs with the least number of violent crimes

What public transport options does Waltham Forest have?

Waltham Forest is predominantly served by the London Underground, Overground and bus services.

The borough has four London Underground stations: Walthamstow Central (Victoria line), Blackhorse Road (Victoria line), Leyton (Central line) and Leytonstone (Central line).

The Overground service stops at several stations in the borough: Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow Central, Walthamstow Queen’s Road, Leyton Midland Road, Leytonstone High Road, Wood Street, Highams Park and Chingford. These services provide direct connections to Liverpool Street station and other parts of east and north London. The borough also has one National Rail station in Lea Bridge, which provides connections to destinations such as Stratford and Meridian Water.

Waltham Forest is served by a variety of bus services, including several night bus routes. Some of the key bus routes include the 48 (which runs from Walthamstow to London Bridge), the 55 (which runs from Leytonstone to Oxford Circus), and the 97 (which runs from Chingford to Stratford).

What places are in Waltham Forest?

There are several distinct areas in the borough of Waltham Forest, each with their own unique characteristics and attractions. This includes:

  • Walthamstow: The largest town in the borough, known for its market, arts scene and diverse community.
  • Leyton: A residential area that has undergone regeneration in recent years and has a mix of independent shops, restaurants and cafes.
  • Leytonstone: A suburban area that is home to the former residence of Alfred Hitchcock and has a range of local amenities.
  • Chingford: A leafy suburb in the north of the borough, which is home to Epping Forest and has a village-like feel.
  • Highams Park: A residential area in the north-east of the borough that has a suburban feel and is popular with families.
  • Wood Street: A diverse neighbourhood in the east of the borough that has a mix of residential and commercial properties.
  • South Chingford: A suburban area in the south of the borough that is home to a golf course and a large park.
  • Blackhorse Road: A neighbourhood in the west of the borough that is undergoing regeneration and has good transport links to central London.
  • Whipps Cross: A residential area in the east of the borough that is home to the Whipps Cross University Hospital.

What is Waltham Forest famous for?

Waltham Forest is known for several things, such as:

  1. Home of William Morris: The famous English textile designer, poet, and socialist lived in Walthamstow and his former house is now a museum.
  2. Walthamstow Market: Europe’s longest outdoor street market, which sells everything from fresh produce to clothing and household goods.
  3. Leyton Orient FC: A professional football club based in Leyton that has a strong local following.
  4. Epping Forest: A large, ancient woodland that stretches across Waltham Forest and other parts of East London and Essex.
  5. The Mall, Walthamstow: A popular shopping centre that features many high-street retailers and restaurants.
  6. The Walthamstow Wetlands: Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve, which provides a habitat for many species of birds and other wildlife.
  7. The WaterWorks Nature Reserve: A nature reserve in Leyton that includes a large lake and wetlands, and is a popular spot for bird-watching.
  8. The Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre: A modern leisure centre in Walthamstow that includes a gym, swimming pool, and fitness classes.
  9. The Waltham Forest Music Festival: An annual event that showcases local musical talent and includes performances in various venues across the borough.
  10. Highams Park: A leafy suburb in the north of the borough that has a village-like atmosphere and is home to several historic buildings, including the Grade II listed Highams Park School.

What boroughs are next to Waltham Forest?

Waltham Forest is bordered by several other boroughs:

The county of Essex is also to the north of the borough.