I've always thought that everything in London is closer than you imagine. For example, I can walk to Shoreditch from my house in under 90 minutes. Not exactly an ideal commute, but a healthy amble on a sunny weekend, minus the ridiculous travel costs. Without meaning to drag on (and repeat myself from various other posts), I'm the biggest advocate for walking around cities and getting to know the true spirit of a neighbourhood. I've gotten to know so many unique things about the likes of Berlin and Copenhagen from using those little things I like to call legs and upon reflection of these posts, I've realised that I should be telling more about the places a little nearer you and me. That's right, London! Here's the very first in my new 'Lost in' series - a post focusing on the areas surrounding my little ol' home of Leyton - the ones that I can walk to. Welcome to Lost in: Walthamstow.
Literally get lost.
The walk from Leyton is a pleasant one and filled with culture and community vibes. I genuinely advise just getting lost on the way, you'll absolutely discover more than you ever could via googlemaps. Wonderfully historical architecture fills the back streets and street art lurks in the most random of places, and thanks to Wood Street Walls it's the kind of graffiti that you really want in your area. Locals are able to donate a wall to the cause and as a result colourful murals fill the area, their location never really truly available at ease.
The alms-houses and 'The Ancient House' on the way to Walthamstow village provide a picturesque setting for dog walks and the when Buzzfeed say somewhere is the best place to live in London, it's probably true, because that means novelty factor, right? Walthamstow manages to be hip and youthful without being gentrified. Every London Town's actual dream, yes?
Find culture at the Saturday Market
Walthamstow's market is the longest outdoor street market in Europe, absolutely bloody perfect for walking! From fruit and veg to faux fur jackets, the market is an eclectic mix of anything you may need in your life, Walthamstow's very own department store with slightly more banter. One of the beautiful things about the high street is the sheer diversity of cultures - this is absolutely a place for people watching as the weird and wonderful are certainly always around.
When all the galavanting has made you a little peckish, there's a vast number of traditional food stalls to keep you going. While the queue at Seth's Spice Hut tells you it has gotta be good, I'm always after the delicious looking crepes a little further a long the road. Either way, the prices are ridiculously cheap and if you're on a budget, it's the ideal lunch.
Get electrified in God's Own Junkyard.
Probably Walthamstow's worst hidden secret, God's Own Junkyard is a plethora of neon signs and retro memorabilia that can turn the grumpiest of companions into a smiling wreck. The buzz of electricity is obviously contagious as in the last twelve months, this place has gotten pretty busy but still, I'd highly recommend it for some neon sign lovin'. The coffee and cake in the accompanying cafe are sublime and ultimately the gallery makes for the perfect catch-up meeting place, as shown by the abundance of alternative social groups getting their Soho light fix. This one is only open Friday-Sunday - don't miss it!
Drink up in the Wildcard Brewery.
Now, after all of that hard work, you'll likely be in need of a drink and Wildcard Brewery is the perfect stop-off point for a freshly brewed pint of the good stuff. It's no secret that I love a place in London where you can get reasonably priced ale and Wildcard Brewery keeps me coming back for more. The micro-brewery offers a range of different beers and if you're lucky you can get your hands on one during an open-mic night or gig, I can assure you they make for fun nights. At the end of your long day, you can even grab a takeaway beer (or keg) for the journey home, the Ace of Spades is bloomin' lovely.
Other places to note:
While I could certainly go on for considerably longer, I won't. Explore the area for yourself and discover other hidden gems. For your reference there are some other wonderful places to go down below. Let me know what you think!
Mirth Marvel and Maud / A 1930s cinema turned bar.
William Morris Gallery / Pattern galore at this historical museum
Mother's Ruin / Gin. Gin. Gin. Need I say more?
Debbie Bliss Home / The name is cutesy but the selection in this design-led store is contemporary and pretty darn good.
The whole of Orford Road in general / It's alllll good down Orford Road with a selection of amazing looking restaurants and bars. I haven't tried them all but you can bet I will be.