Things to do in Walthamstow: We headed East to see what the sunny sights of Walthamstow had to offer; we got nature, neon and some proper cockney pie and mash, read on to see why it’s our East London place to visit in 2019.
The inspiration behind Eastenders (may or may not be true), the postcode behind THE band of the 90s (East17 in case you were wondering) and home to Waltham Forest FC. We went to see what put the ‘awesome’ in ‘awesomestow’* and well, to see how gentrification has made it a destination, take a look at our things to do in Walthamstow.
*NB NOT our name for it! Take a look below to see what the East End of London has in store!
Walthamstow Central, on both the Overground and the Victoria lines, seems like it’s far away. Particularly for those of us that live in the North West, but it really wasn’t that far. The perks of having the fastest tube line at your door must mean that more people head to E17 than would have done otherwise.
Walk the Wetlands
The weather was perfectly British for our day out, it was cloudy, cold and miserable except for the rain. So, what better thing to do than go for a walk in the Great British Countryside…well on the outskirts of London. And hey, it was just delightful. Considering how urban the rest of Walthamstow is, the Walthamstow Wetlands and reservoir are peaceful, calm and filled with nature.
The visitors centre does plenty of things for kids, and the walks are pretty easy to manage, and you can make up your own mind which you do, and how long you take. We enjoyed wandering around and watching people bird watch, as well as the carefully placed baubles filled with nature and facts along the way. Even if you aren’t spending loads of time in Walthamstow, it’s worth the journey to the Wetlands. In case you were wondering, it’s free!
Go to Magistrates for coffee
Tim is a massive coffee nerd, and this coffee shop came recommended from our love of Brutalist architecture and something quirky. The Magistrates is a great coffee shop from Perky Blenders (seriously the pun’s don’t stop) in the old magistrate’s court (hence the name), that is now the temporary location for council offices. Whilst you’re there however, you MUST have a walk over to the town hall and assembly hall to see the most beautiful Art Deco buildings (Jess’ heaven) and have a peak inside if you can!
Enjoy some William Morris
We didn’t quite have time with our day to pop in, as we spent a long time wondering the wetlands, but also within the vicinity is the William Morris Gallery, showcasing the work, life and contemporary inspirations of one of Britain’s great designers, William Morris. The museum is free to all, and will keep you occupied for ages!
Marvel at God’s Own Junkyard
A short walk up the hill from Magistrates, is the place where Neon goes to, not die in so much as rest. God’s Own Junkyard is the most incredible shop, that doubles as a gallery (and triples as an Instagrammers paradise). As well as all that, they claim to be neon and light artists, the largest stockists of vintage neons and signs in Europe AND the oldest signmakers in London. It’s worth going in just to see how expensive some of it is, and think about the mad parties they have hosted there. They also have a little cafe too should your tired legs need a drink and a snack! It was amazing, we came away thinking about just how much neon we would like in our flat!
Have a pint at Wildcard Brewery
Just opposite from God’s Own Junkyard is the Barrel store, of Wildcard Brewery, serving up their finest craft beers, which left Tim feeling more than smug that he’d had a walk, a coffee and craft beer on his grand day out in Walthamstow. Wildcard was great, full of people sheltering from the apparent rain that we managed to miss, and dads with babies, whilst their baby mummas were in the William Morris Gallery, or Mother’s Ruin (seriously, that’s not us being stereotypical, the people in Walthamstow were very chatty and actually these were incidents that occurred).
Have a pint at the Pillars Brewery
Recently refurbished and literally around the corner from Wildcard is the brewery and taproom of Pillars Brewery. Again, brilliantly brewed craft beer and a lovely setting to sit in to enjoy it. They even have screens for the Rugby!
Sample the gin at Mothers Ruin
As there are craft beer houses in Walthamstow, there be also gin distilleries, and Mothers Ruin is one of the best you could hope to find. Award-winning distillers of gin and other fruit liqueurs, all hand crafted in Walthamstow. The Gin Palace is open at the weekends and has over 80 gins that you could try, although we wouldn’t recommend trying all 80. Set up more like a hipster’s fancy living room than the breweries,
Head to M. Manze for proper pie and mash
From our boozy break we went into town and walked through the market. Feeling like a proper Eastender on Albert Square, we then headed for cockney pie and mash at Manze. Manze is amazing, by the time we got there in the late afternoon they only had meat pies left. Not saying that they have veggie ones at other times, but if they do it’s worth getting there early for one. Smothered in their cockney sauce (used to be made out of eels but isn’t now FYI), with a huge helping of mash, the pie was delicious. It’s not Michelin star food, or service for that matter, but that’s not what you’re there for! The characters that came in for their Saturday afternoon pie after us were an absolute treat for the ears and eyes too!
Spend your night at Mirth, Marvel and Maud
If you’re ready to while away the hours and the lovely establishments that you’ve visited during the day don’t tickle your pickle, then the other place to head is the glorious Mirth, Marvel and Maud. Art Deco heaven, with three separate bars a kitchen and some glorious history. That history being they were one of the first places to show film in 1896 and being a regular haunt of Alfred Hitchock’s. If you’re lucky, you may even be there on a night that A Door In A Wall are running one of their Lights! Camera! Action! nights and you coul dbook to take part, like we did here!