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God’s Own Junkyard – London’s neon nirvana (2023)

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These days, it is nigh on impossible to proclaim that a place in London is ‘…totally unique’, but in the case of God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, we think it is a 100% accurate description.

God’s Own Junkyard is best described as a museum, showroom or arts exhibition in the most unlikely of locations (an unassuming northeast London industrial estate).

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

If we had to sum up God’s Own Junkyard in a linear way, the best we can muster is an explosion of neon noir, like a bar out of Blade Runner or a steamy Soho gin joint.

Packed to the rafters with all manner of bright lights signs, vintage signs and general retro goodness, this is one of the best free things to do in London (by far!) and worth making the trip to Walthamstow alone for.

Here is our guide to the neon nirvana that is God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, London:

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow
God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

How best to describe God’s Own Junkyard

An explosion on the eyes as soon as you enter (in a bizarrely beautiful and brilliant way), God’s Own Junkyard is a weird and wonderful Walthamstow warehouse with something incredible to discover in every nook and cranny.

 From religious statues holding guns to iconic and illustrative iconography this must be seen in person – our photos or the magazine spreads it often features in simply don’t do it justice.

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow
God's Own Junkyard - London's neon nirvana
God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

The History of God’s Own Junkyard

One of Europe’s oldest sign makers, God’s Own Junkyard was the creation of Chris Bracey who started out making signs for Soho’s strip joints, before expanding his neon portfolio to fashion props and studio lights for Hollywood films

For instance, Chris produced all of the neon signs for Stanley Kubrick’s last movie ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, recreating a neon soaked New York right here in the UK on the Pinewood Studios backlot.

Hollywood has also come knocking on God’s Own Junkyard door for light props and neon signs in such superhero fare as Superman, Batman and Judge Dredd.

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow
God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

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The Instagram Effect

As former local residents, we’ve visited God’s Own Junkyard many times over the years and we’ve definitely seen it get a lot more popular and busy recently, possibly down to the Instagram effect.

This is the one downside of visiting here as you’ll often find a steady stream of selfie takers staking out certain sofas or areas for their own ‘model’ shoots, without any regard for others. We’ve started doing the 5 second rule now where we give peeps 5 seconds to get their shot before we walk past.

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow
God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

The Rolling Scones Cafe

The best cafe name ever! We like the recent expansion of the God’s Own Junkyard cafe – the Rolling Scones cafe/bar  – with an outdoor seating area added.

Given the location and ‘mood lighting’, surely the Rolling Scones is one the coolest and most iconic places to snack or sip in the whole of London? Mick and Keith would approve.

The Rolling Scones Cafe Walthamstow Gods Own Junkyard
The Rolling Scones Cafe Walthamstow Gods Own Junkyard

God’s Own Junkyard at Blackhorse Road (sort of)

In neighbouring Blackhorse Road you’ll see a beautiful mural on the wall across the road (as you exit Blackhorse Road London Underground station, one stop from Walthamstow on the Victoria Line).

This Blackhorse Road mural was completed several years ago by the owners of God’s Own Junkyard with the motif ‘Welcome to the home of people who make and create’.

 A combination of paint, cut out shapes and sequins, this iconic mural is a warm welcome to Blackhorse Road and Walthamstow.

Read our guide to things to do in Blackhorse Road guide here >

Photography at God’s Own Junkyard

No professional photography is allowed at God’s Own Junkyard without prior arrangement although phone photography is permitted.

God’s Own Junkyard has been used as a photo shoot location for many magazine covers (and we hear for the odd ‘mucky’ movie too).

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

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How much is it to visit?

God’s Own Junkyard is free to visit (no admission fee) but donations and sales of items and art pieces are very much appreciated and will help keep God’s Own Junkyard open.

Recent news reports have indicated that God’s Own Junkyard may need to start charging in 2023 if they are to stay open.

To be honest, if they do start to charge an admission fee at God’s Own Junkyard, it’d be worth every penny.

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Where is God’s Own Junkyard?

God’s Own Junkyard can be found near Walthamstow Village in north east London, at Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ.

What else is there to do near there?

Right next to God’s Own Junkyard on Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow, you’ll find several fine Walthamstow Breweries and craft beer bars – plus even a Gin Palace!

There are lots of things to do in Walthamstow plus dozens of great restaurants in Walthamstow.

Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow
Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow

What are the opening hours?

God’s Own Junkyard is open to the public at these times:
Friday and Saturday: 11am – 10pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm

God’s Own Junkyard opening hours are correct as at February 2023.

God's Own Junkyard London Walthamstow

Why should you visit this neon museum?

In short, God’s Own Junkyard is something special, quite like no other thing to do in London, let alone Walthamstow. We recently rated it the number 1 free thing to do in London – get to this beautiful and brilliantly lit dreamland as soon as you can.

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