One of the most charming and oldest villages in London (the original settlement dates back to 1086), Walthamstow Village is a little slice of country life in London and renowned for its local produce shops and historic buildings.
Concentrated around Orford Road (both pretty and pedestrianised), this is the perfect place to explore on an afternoon walk, and combine your trip with some treats and tipples. From delicious delis to tasty tapas and breweries offering beer at the source, Walthamstow Village offers a veritable feast of gourmet goodness and fine foodie fare.
See how Walthamstow is becoming ‘Awesomestow’ with our list of the top things to do in Walthamstow Village:
Drinking in Walthamstow Village
You’re spoilt for choice in terms of pubs and bars to drink at in Walthamstow Village. If breweries are your thing (as we all know beer is best at the source), there are several breweries located on the Ravenswood Industrial Estate, at the top of Orford Road.
Wildcard Brewery, Pillars Brewery and The Real Al Company / Trap Taproom all have taprooms open to the public (generally at the weekends). We like Wildcard for their wide-ranging selection of beers and outdoor picnic table area, and at Pillars, you actually sit right amongst the brewing vats and the staff are always keen with their recommendations. If beer isn’t your thing, Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace is on the same industrial estate and certainly lives up to its name, offering gin cocktail concoctions galore!
Nearby, The Nag’s Head is a feline friendly inn (check out the cat silhouettes in the windows) that specialises in pizzas, good beer and often has special events like jazz Sundays – note that it is also an adult’s only pub so no families are allowed in.
The Village Pub and Queen’s Arms have both changed a lot over the years from sticky floor, old man type affairs to gentrified craft-beer pubs with gastro-aspirations. Both are well worth a visit and have local brewery offerings on tap.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: The best pubs, bars and brewery taprooms in Walthamstow >
Walthamstow Village Restaurants
Orford Road is lined either side with an awesome array of fine restaurants – there are delicious dishes and cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets. We particularly like ‘Eat 17’ (see what they did there), especially for their incredible Sunday roasts – we’ve spent a few Sundays in Walthamstow Village where we’ve been to here for lunch (make sure you book in advance) then been for some live music (usually jazz) at the Nag’s Head.
Orford Tapas Saloon Bar and Deli is a little piece of Spain (or should that be ‘pedazo pequeno’) in the heart of Walthamstow Village, offering cold and hot tapas (the lentils with chorizo are nom!), paella and various seafood dishes.
At the time of writing, Walthamstow’s newest neighbourhood restaurant is the The Kitchen, offering light bites and full meals throughout the day – like Eat 17, they also concoct cracking Sunday Roasts, which they are rightfully proud of.
Local produce stores
If you don’t fancy (or have time for) a sit down meal in a restaurant, you can always grab a snack to enjoy in Walthamstow Village Square or to take home from one of these local produce stores.
The Village Bakery is the first establishment you’ll see in the village if you are walking up from Walthamstow Station via Hoe Street. Serving sandwiches, baked goods and various sweet treats, this is a nice nibble for takeaway.
Cheesy does it! Froth & Rind is basically our dream – an artisan cafe that specialises in combining craft beers with cheeses from all over the world – you had us at ‘beer and cheese’!
A special shout out also goes to the Spar convenience store in Walthamstow Village too (I know, I know but bear with us…) as it specialises in local ingredients (e.g. cook at home ready meals from nearby Eat 17 restaurant) and the fridge is also chock full of ice-cold craft beers from local breweries like Wild Card and Beavertown, plus others from further afield in London. It also has its own sushi bar – so not your typical Spar shop!
St Mary’s Church and The Ancient House
We’ve coupled these as they are right next to each other and combine to become a picture perfect postcard setting, complete with a traditional red post box. The 15th century timbered Ancient House looks the part (it was restored in 1934 and then again in 2002) but isn’t open to the public as it is now private dwellings – it is also worth noting there are almshouses nearby dating from the 16th century, and the Vestry House – a historic museum dedicated to the heritage of the local area.
St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow was founded in the 12th century (although has been rebuilt several times) – you can walk through the graveyard to access Walthamstow Village gateway and it has a regular events programme, including taking part in festivals such as the annual Walthamstow Jazz Festival.
God’s Own Junkyard
Not strictly in the village as such, but a two minute walk away in an unassuming industrial estate will lead you to something truly unique (and it is very rare to say that in London these days). It is fair to say God’s Own Junkyard is like no other – a cacophony of colour and explosion of neon, like something deemed too uber cool for Bladerunner. Europe’s oldest signmakers, this wacky warehouse in Walthamstow is packed to the rafters with neon lights, vintage signs and hypnotic, hedonistic installations. From a religious figure with a firearm to the scandalous red-light signs from Soho, this is a must see when in the Awesomestow – our photos just don’t do it justice.
God’s Own Junkyard is open to the public at weekends and is one of the best free attractions in London (although donations are appreciated) – there is also a cafe inside and many of the naughty neon items are available to purchase. Read more in our guide to God’s Own Junkyard blog post >
Wandering around Walthamstow Village, you’ll come across some really cute backstreets, particularly Church Path. You can also find little glimpses of street-art like the David Bowie homage on the railway bridge.
Walthamstow Village Town Hall
Dating back to 1866, the Old Town Hall in Walthamstow is located at the top end of Orford Road and looks European in style (described as ‘Italianate’ but it could equally be as home in France).
Walthamstow Village Mosaics
Depicting wildlife and local artists such as William Morris, these wall mosaics can be found in Walthamstow Village gateway, just behind St Mary’s Church and were made by local community groups and pupils from nearby Walthamstow School for Girls – our particular favourite has to be the cheeky monkey.
Walthamstow Village Square
A gathering point for locals with a cute notice board bedecked with vines and flowers, this is a sublime little square where you can enjoy your treats from the Village – there are several benches to relax on, and it is also a good stop for cyclists passing by. We’ve also heard of locals playing games of petanque here (like French boules) but have yet to see it ourselves.
Other Walthamstow blog posts
- Guide to Walthamstow Wetlands, north east London
- Best pubs, bars and breweries in Walthamstow
- Ultimate guide to Walthamstow, London
- God’s Own Junkyard – London’s neon nirvana
- Walthamstow Beer Mile Guide with map
Other London blog posts
- Top things to do in East London
- Wanstead and Wanstead Park guide, east London
- Guide to Alexandra Palace in north London
- Top things to do in Shoreditch, east London
- A guide to Victoria Park Village and park
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
- Maltby Street Market in London
- Things to do in Hackney Wick, East London
- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- The best brewery taprooms in London
- Ultimate guide to Tottenham, London