Lifestyle

The hidden ‘Cotswolds of London’ is just 40 minutes from the centre


This is almost unrecognisable as London (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

From bustling city streets to towering skyscrapers, London isn’t necessarily synonymous with peace and quiet.

But if you’re looking for a slice of the rural vibe while maintaining proximity to the city centre, the hidden ‘Cotswolds of London’ could provide the answer.

Found in the northern area of Leytonstone in East London, Bushwood is named after the ancient woodland of the same name – and, as such, has gathered praise for its village-like feel.

It’s little surprise that it gives off this aura, considering that historically, it was a village. Taking its name from an old milestone called the ‘High Stone,’ Leytonstone was originally ‘Leyton-atte-Stone.’

Bushwood is only around 40 minutes from central London (Picture: Wikipedia/ LeytonstoneGuru)

Fast forward to 2024 and this up-and-coming area is found on the Central Line, with Bushwood specifically being only around 40 minutes from the likes of Soho on the tube.

And yet, it’s characterised by cosy cottages and cobbled streets – a million miles away from the high-rise developments further into the centre.

Things to do in Bushwood and Leytonstone

From independent pubs to green spaces, Bushwood and the wider Leytonstone area give off the idyllic vibes of a more rural community, but with a more central location.

Established in 1854, there’s atmosphere aplenty to be found at The North Star in the heart of the old Leytonstone village.

Formed of two Victorian cottages, it was refurbished in the 1950s and largely remains the same, featuring a saloon-style bar, fireplace and traditional tiling.

Here, you’ll find an independent community pub serving up the likes of Paulaner, Staropramen and Pravha beer as well as an array of wines, seltzers and soft drinks.

Papi’s Munchies serve up Italian-style sourdough pizza in the back garden, with menu highlights inspired by the local area including ‘Epping Forest’ and ‘II Pepperoni Di Hitchcock.’

There’s similar culinary delight on offer at taco restaurant Homies on Donkeys, the former winner of Britain’s Top Takeaways, as well as Back To Ours and Filly Brook.

There are 13 acres of green space to be found at Hollow Pounds, situated right at the tip of the leafy Epping Forest. Here, you can spend the afternoon hiring a rowing boat or enjoying a picnic.

And, the perfect family-friendly activity, the Leytonstone Festival hosts concerts ranging from folk and rock to spoken word.

Council tax in Bushwood

As with most boroughs, the amount of council tax you’ll pay in Bushwood depends on the value of the property you live in, whether owned or rented.

As per the guidelines for Waltham Forest, the London borough that Bushwood and Leytonstone come under, properties are valued depending on how much they were worth in April 1991.

Wanstead Flats also aren’t far away (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

If that’s up to and including £4000, the charge for 2024 to 2025 is £1,449.15, while for £40,001 to £52,000 it’s £1,690.67. At the other end of the scale, properties worth more than £320,000 currently have a yearly rate of £4,347.44.

House prices in Bushwood

So, how much does it cost to live in Bushwood? Sadly, it doesn’t come cheap.

According to data from Rightmove, properties in Bushwood specifically had an overall average of £857,000 over the last year. Prices were also 38% higher than in 2023.

But if you’d like to be close to the action for a more reasonable price tag, the averages in Leytonstone were slightly more promising at £619,581. Flats sold for an average of £387,022, while terraced houses fetched £721,988.

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