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Highams Park area guide

Highams Park E4

Area Guide

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Highams Park Area Info

Highams Park Area Info

Located just three miles north east of Walthamstow and with Chingford and Woodford also on the doorstep, Highams Park is considered something of a hidden gem. Indeed many Londoners have never heard of the place, despite it offering excellent proximity to green spaces, good transport links, housing that’s considerably more affordable than surrounding areas, a thriving shopping centre and a strong sense of community.

Perhaps its low profile has something to do with its rather confusing history because until fairly recently, the whole of the Highams Park area was known as Hale End. This is evidenced by the fact that the railway station was originally called Hale End and the library continues to be named as such. The Halex factory also partially took its name from the area in which it was located and which up until 1971 was a major local employer, producing a variety of plastic goods (today a Tesco superstore and a small industrial estate occupies the site on Larkshill Road). Meanwhile, Highams Park takes its name from a mansion house on the edge of Woodford Green, with the Georgian building now occupied by Woodford County High School for Girls. Part of the grounds, meanwhile, now forms the Highams Estate, which to add further confusion, falls within the E17 postcode.

Today, however, Highams Park is a firmly established suburb and one that has attracted its fair share of notable residents over the years. Indeed, footballer Teddy Sherringham, jazz musician Johnny Dankworth and and Fred Pontin, founder of the eponymous holiday parks company, were all born here.

As previously mentioned, Highams Park has good transport links, with the station, on the London Overground Chingford branch, offering a regular service to London Liverpool Street in just 22 minutes. For drivers, the North Circular is nearby, providing easy access to the M11, A10, A12 and A13.

Highams Park affords potential buyers a wide choice of styles, with plenty of period houses, including Victorian terraces, Edwardian semis and large detached Thirties homes. More recently, developers have targeted area, with new builds springing up at quite a rate. As well as offering modern, luxury apartments, the there’s a good stock of Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and affordable housing.

Families looking for more bang for the buck regularly move here from neighbouring boroughs, while City workers attracted to a more outdoorsy lifestyle while still being within easy commute also make up a good percentage of residents. Once in Highams Park, most stay for the long haul, having realised that it really is a wonderful place to live.

Schools in the area are also what keep people anchored here, with Handsworth Primary School and Highams Park School (secondary), both rated good by Ofsted, while Oakhill Primary, on the southeast edge of Highams Park, receives an outsanding rating.

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History of Highams Park

Green space is in plentiful supply here, with the eponymous park, known locally as ‘the field’, providing 28 acres that includes a wonderful six-acre lake complete with carp, pike and trench to tempt local anglers, a playground and café. As well as serving great cake and coffee, the café also serves up a slice of history, being called Humphy’s after Humphry Repton, the acclaimed landscape gardener who shaped much of the park’s grounds when it was still part of the Highams’ estate (today it’s classified as part of Epping Forest and run by the City of London). Meanwhile Epping Forest itself is on the doorstep, offering over 83 acres of ancient woodland, open plains and a multitude of ponds and lakes, making it perfect for ramblers, joggers, cyclists, horse riders and nature lovers alike.

Shops in Highams Park are largely clustered around the station and include an eclectic mix of cafes, coffee shops, florists, wine merchants, beauty salons and a lot more besides. On Larkshill Road, meanwhile you’ll find Inside Job run by Jenny Lellow, one of the area’s leading interior designers and whose showroom is a treasure trove of bold and beautiful furniture, fabulous soft furnishings and elegant accessories.

Good, traditional, local boozers don’t come much better than The Royal Oak on Hale End Road, where you’ll get a warm welcome, a well stocked bar and a food menu that covers all bases. For something a little different, however, head to The Stag and Lantern on The Broadway, a community-focused micropub founded by local resident Robert and where the craft beer flows as freely as the conversation.

You’ll not go hungry in Highams Park, with restaurants on every corner, serving all manner of cuisines. If you’re after something spicy, then No. 1 The Avenue is a good bet, with owner Jay serving up classic Indian fare in a stylish, contemporary setting. Breeze Mezze Bar & Grill, meanwhile, takes the traditional Turkish to new heights, and also does a fine line in cocktails.

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