Living in Highams Park
Highams Park is great for commuters and families who want to live in this friendly, relatively undiscovered northeast corner of Greater London which is nestled between Walthamstow, Chingford and Woodford. The area is surrounded by green spaces such as The Highams Park, Epping Forest and Larks Wood.
Highams Park has a thriving shopping centre with an eclectic mix of independent shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars. A Tescos superstore is conveniently situated in the centre of the shopping area.
There is a choice of gyms, sports grounds and swimming pools in or near Highams Park. Arts and community events are organised by volunteers supported by local businesses and charities that champion local talent. Events such as Picnic in the Park, Spring Festival and the Christmas Fayre are held to bring the residents of Highams Park together regularly.
The residential architecture of Highams Park is a combination of Victorian, Edwardian, Arts & Crafts and some Art Deco. Many well-preserved examples remain and are sought after by home buyers, particularly in and around the Hale Park Estate and The Highams Estate.
The Regal Cinema is an imposing Art Deco building on Hale End Road near Highams Park Station. Subject to several development attempts since its closure in 1971, a new proposal for the Regal Cinema is undergoing public consultation. Hopes are high that it will reopen soon.
Highams Park lies on the Greenwich Meridian, about ten miles from St Paul’s Cathedral.
Highams Park Station is located within Zone 4 on TFL’s London Overground Liverpool Street to Chingford line. The nearest Underground stations are Walthamstow Central (Victoria line), Woodford and South Woodford (Central line).
TFL bus routes 212, 275 and W16 serve Highams Park, connecting to Walthamstow, Woodford, Leytonstone, Chingford, Chigwell and Barkingside.
The A406 road runs close to Highams Park, providing easy access to the M11 and M25. Stansted Airport is only 30 minutes away by car. Harwich and Dover Ports are around a two-hour drive away.
Schools in Highams Park
Highams Park is well served by nursery, preschool, primary and secondary schools. Selwyn Primary School has recently been given an Outstanding provider rating by Ofsted, along with Oak Hill Primary School. All other primary and secondary schools have been rated Good, including Highams Park School, which provides secondary state education within the area. Woodford County High School for Girls offers selective secondary education, and private schools such as the Forest School, St. Aubyns and Bancrofts are within easy reach.
Highams Park History
Highams Park was formerly part of Essex before it was absorbed into London along with the rest of Walthamstow in 1965. But its roots go back to Anglo-Saxon times, recorded in the Domesday Book.
Early settlers came to the Great Forest of Waltham. From the Tudor period to the Victorian era, the beautiful forest around Hale End, and its proximity to the City, appealed to Lord Mayors of London and wealthy merchant bankers.
Epping Forest and the lake attracted day trippers, who came by rail to Hale End station when it was opened in 1873. But the area continued to be semi-rural, with farms and grand houses making up the majority of land ownership despite its proximity to the City of London.
Development began apace in the 20th century when the Halex Plastic factory was established on the site of Jacks Farm in Hale End. More about Halex in Highams Park (PDF). Shops, schools and affordable houses were then built for these factory workers and City clerks, and a lively community was created around the station and beyond.
Fascinating people have always lived in the area, from Haldan in Saxon times to the designers of the Airship R101 and Concorde.
Learn more about the history of Highams Park by watching this talk by Sandeep Christian from Highams Park Society