It is over 20 years since there was a residents’ war against the M11 link road. The neighbourhood went all a bit Che Guevara and declared Wanstead “the Independent Free Area of Wanstonia” (catchy), some went all Robin Hood and built a tree house in a 250-year-old Chesnut and others went pitch fork in hands; to occupy the roof of John MacGregor – then Tory Transport secretary.
Well that didn’t last long and the M11 now offers these militants great access to outer London, but if you move there, don’t say that to them. Always print the legend not the improved transport links.
Anyway, there is more than just a peoples’ uprising, it also has royal connections. Henry VII would come here to escape the pressures of court.
Wanstead, is only ten miles from central London on the southern edge of Epping Forest, some of the properties west of the River Lea fetch huge prices. But there are lots of bargains to be found.
And before you ask, of course it has a “village” area, apart from East Croydon, almost everywhere in London has. It has a pretty high street and many young professional couples from the likes of Hoxton, Shoreditch and Dalston, have moved here to buy houses with gardens. Some of the best streets are St Mary’s Avenue, Felstead Road, Draycott Road and Tennyson Avenue in the area to the east of Blake Hall Road.
Well apart from the claims of statehood 20 years ago, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favourite of Elizabeth I, had a house here, in which he died, much to Elizabeth’s intense sorrow, on 4 September 1588.
A royal getaway and a hub of activism, you rarely get both in the same area. Ok that was ages ago, but it really is a nice place to live and gets you into central London in under half an hour
The M11 might be handy, but it does add to air pollution; I am yet to find a motorway that adds to the aesthetic of an area.
The Central Line at Wanstead or Snaresbrook takes you to central London in 25 minutes. Driving: the North Circular, A12 and (hated) M11 link road make leaving town quick.
Primaries: Our Lady of Lourdes RC and Nightingale are “outstanding.” Secondaries: Wanstead High “requires improvement” but is “taking effective action”.
Lots of restaurants appearing on the high street, Provender is high end. Duke of Wanstead and the Cuckfield are good for a drink.
Property All properties correct via www.zoopla.co.uk on 6th October 2014
To Buy £300,000 two double bedroom, top floor, period conversion situated close to both Wanstead and Leytonstone Central line Stations
To rent £2,075 pcm (£479 pw) three bedroom house located a short distance to Wanstead Station and Wanstead golf course