Highams Park News

Highams Park makes Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live list

Described as a ‘bucolic and more affordable alternative to overdone Walthamstow’, the newspaper says it is one of the most desirable areas in London

By Marco Marcelline

Highams Park has made the Sunday Times‘ Best Places to Live in London shortlist for the first time, beating regulars Walthamstow and Leytonstone.

The Waltham Forest neighbourhood features in a shortlist including Little Venice, London Fields, and Wimbledon Village.

The Sunday Times describes Highams Park as a “lively, leafy neighbourhood on the Liverpool Street to Chingford Overground (soon to be the Weaver Line)” that “boasts a reassuringly metropolitan E4 postcode, yet lies a Swarovski crystal’s throw from Essex”.  The average house price in Highams Park is £516,000.

Speaking to the Echo, judge Tim Palmer said Highams Park was picked because it jumped out as a place people were “proud” and “happy to live in” with “good quality schools”.

Its proximity to the ancient woodland in Epping Forest made it especially desirable, meaning that dog owners had ample opportunity to walk their dogs.

Tim said judges had opted for Highams Park over Walthamstow because house prices in the latter had inflated “too much” plus “everyone knows about Walthamstow already”. Leytonstone was considered for the shortlist, Tim said, but it was not as “established” as other areas, “yet”.

Asked if he thought that lists like this help further inflate house prices in areas that are already becoming unaffordable, Tim said: “I think the effect we have on house prices is very low, because everyone knows these are good places to live already. [I don’t think people] are deciding where to live based on what [they’ve] seen in a newspaper.”

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While accepting that comments “below the line” of articles on this subject may not always be positive, he stressed that people living in areas that had previously been spotlighted by the Best Places to Live guide were “pleased” it had been chosen.

Clerkenwell was picked as the best place to live in London. In their selection, Sunday Times judges said the central London neighbourhood “embodies all that’s best about life in London, from a rich past of riot and ribaldry to its current status at the heart of the capital’s culinary and creative scenes”.

The list spotlighted Barbican and Sadler’s Wells as key cultural offers, and pointed to the “cosy pubs, cool cafes, lively bars and some of the city’s best restaurants” that Clerkenwell is home to.

Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, says: “This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.  

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.” 

You can read the Times’ full piece on Highams Park here

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