Map of Waltham Forest (2019) by Waltham Forest London Borough of CultureOriginal Source: Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture
Welcome to the Forest!
In 2019, Waltham Forest was the winner of London Borough of Culture, which celebrates the culture and diversity of London’s many boroughs in a way that’s collective and community-led. Waltham Forest, situated in the North East of the City, is known for its many famous former-residents; for its contemporary cultural diversity; for its pioneering fusion of arts and labour (from William Morris to Madge Gill to Grayson Perry); for its lush natural spaces, and for many more vibrant reasons, past and present.
Here’s an illustrated introduction to what the borough’s about.
1) Walthamstow Wetlands
Waltham Forest is also home to the Walthamstow Wetlands, a huge internationally important nature reserve! The wetlands offer homes to many species of animals, and serves as a pitstop for migrating birds.
2) Alfred Hitchcock
From migrating birds to The Birds: the home of London’s wetlands was also home to the master of cinematic suspense! Alfred Hitchcock, famous for films such as Psycho and Rear Window, is regarded as one of the world’s most influential and acclaimed directors. He was born in Leytonstone!
3) William Morris
Famous socialist, poet, philosopher, and textile designer William Morris was also from Waltham Forest, and the William Morris Gallery can be found in Walthamstow.
4) Duckie Loves Fanny
Queer London triflemakers Duckie came to Waltham Forest to celebrate the legacy of Leytonstone’s formidable homegal Fanny Cradock in 2019. Fanny Cradock was a real British icon who continues to inspire pop culture, style and food.
As part of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019, Chingfest - the borough's free family music festival, returned bigger and better. The line-up featured Grammy nominated singer and Waltham Forest-raised NAO as the headline act.
6) Epping Forest
Epping Forest is London’s lushest urban woodland and has a fascinating history. In 2019 The People’s Forest programme, curated by Luke Turner and Kirsteen McNish, helped locals and visitors to reconnect with and reimagine the forest.
7) Waltham Forest Mela
Each year the Waltham Forest Mela is a huge celebration of culture, fashion, community, music and dance from the south Asian communities in the borough.