Cookies disclaimer

I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.

Expat thoughts on how we lived in London and why we got back to Poland

Lifestyle Feb. 4, 2016, 9:49 a.m. United Kingdom Walhamstow London 2016 Lifestyle
Living in Walthamstow, London
By Joanna Dabrowska
Joanna Dabrowska
Nickname: Little Bee
Song that expresses me
What to change in the world?
Favorite activity
Mountain hiking
What drives you to create this blog?
Wish trip
Norwegian Fjords
Coolest person ever existed?

I was once told by an elderly British couple that Walthamstow had been a peaceful quiet village with everyone knowing everybody. That was until 1980s. Now it's vibrant and rather crowded part of capital of Great Britain (there's one question which comes to my mind - is there a place in London which isn't crowded?).

Walthamstow's a town in northeast London. The postcode is E17 which suggests that Walthamstow's in east London (the letter in postcode suggests geographic direction - in this case E stands for East).

Living in Walthamstow, London

When it comes to public transportation, London is divided into zones . Zone 1 is city center. Walthamstow is in Zone 3 but well connected – you can get to the centre by Victoria line in about 20 minutes. There are also many buses and rail services - you can plan your journey here .

In general, the quickest (and the most expensive) type of transport in London is tube . It can get you from point A to point Z very fast (excluding times when tube workers go on strike - you definitely don't want to be in London at that time!).

Living in Walthamstow, London

In order to be able to use public transport you need to get oyster card which is very convenient to use. I wish we had something like this in my current place of living! In general, public transportation in London is well organized and efficient and I cannot imagine it other way – with so many people in such a big city they cannot afford poor transportation services.

Living in Walthamstow, London

Walthamstow's comparatively cheap to live in . The price of rent is generally not as high as in other parts of London but still might be a significant burden on the budget. I've met quite a lot of people who, desperate to save some money, lived in big groups in small houses (six people for one bathroom - who's in?) which needed refurbishment asap.

Fortunately, Walthamstow has a lot of green space and is located close to Epping forest – ancient woodland with great twisted trees and ponds.

Living in Walthamstow, London

I'm so happy we found some time to go for a walk there - the place is kind of mysterious and makes you feel like you were in enchanted forest where fairy tales pop out from behind every tree. 😉 I highly recommend this place for relaxing afternoon – it's ideal to get away from big city traffic.

There are actually many more beautiful getaways and non-touristy things to do in London. One doesn't have to go to the most popular (and most expensive) places to get to know the city well.

Generally, we didn't go out as often as we would have liked to, because we were constantly at work and lived on a tight budget . But it didn't stop us from exploring the city.

However, as there are many interesting pubs and restaurants in Walthamstow, we treated ourselves to eating out a few times. One of the best restaurants would be “Eat 17”. It serves really good traditional British food. They use high quality local produce and they even bake their own bread! We especially liked the chicken burger and lamb pie – delicious! yes

I think that Walthamstow Market is also worth mentioning. You can get there literally everything – food, clothes, furniture and even antiques - you name it!. There are so many stalls and shops that everyone would find something interesting there. It's very vibrant, multicultural place which gets you into every corner of the world - looking for African shampoos? Here thery are. In need of Indian sari? Just round the corner!

Living in Walthamstow, London

Obviously, in places like this you would like to keep a close watch on your purse - loads of suspicious people hang out there. There is also a nice Polish restaurant “Miód Malina” (“Honey Raspberry”). We liked going there because the place is cozy and serves traditional Polish food which we missed a lot at that time!

When it comes to job market in this part of London, there's absolutely nothing positive to write about.

There may be many restaurants in Walthamstow which can help to kick off your career in UK but it's all rubbish employment - the majority of places offer unofficial jobs which are so badly paid that you're barely able to make the ends meet. There's also hardly any office jobs.

I regret wasting several weeks on trying to find work close to my place of living - in Walthamstow there's no decent job either in hospitality or in the office . Of course, it's the city center which offers the most interesting job vacancies. For me, the best website to look for a non-office job is . Absolutely don't use as all you'll get will be indecent requests for massage.

All in all, living in London didn't turned out to be our thing.

It's really great to go there for a few-day trip, do some sightseeing, buy some nice souvenirs and then get back home.

It may have the most interesting museums and the best pubs to hang out in but we simply missed our friends, family and our beautiful Polish mountains. Besides that, in contrary to what people might think, it's not so easy to get nice job in London . No matter if you know the language well, got master degree and worked in the office previously - the odds are that you'll end up washing dishes or waiting tables at least for one year after arrival.

And life in London is so expensive that you'll hardly save any money, not to mention being able to travel anywhere besides occasional visits to your homeland.

In addition, London's enormous and soooo crowded - I guess you need to specifically like big cities to be able to live there permanently. If you're nature folk like we are, you'll sooner or later run away for the big city hustle and bustle.

If you feel I left out some useful information about living in London or would like to share your opinion about the capital of UK, feel free to comment below or contact me directly here .

Ufff, that took me quite a lot of time

Now it’s your turn – we create this place together. It would be great if we stayed in touch. There are a few options:

  • If you liked this post, please share it with your friends.
  • Please leave a comment. It takes only a moment, but it’s an important hint for us.
  • Like our Facebook fanpage, you will keep track of our hiking trips.
  • Follow our Instagram account where you will find some nice mountainscape shoots.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter – news will come straight to your mailbox.

Our blog contains affiliate links, which means we will receive a small commission if you book your stay with such link. This comes at no additional cost to you, and helps to support this website in its goal to create quality content.

Subscribe to get our Annual Tatras CheatSheet!
Tatra infographic
Haven't found what you were looking for?

No worries! Submit here your question and we will get back to you.