Taking its name from a gate that used to exist between Epping Forest and Woodgrange Road to stop cattle getting on the main road, Forest Gate is vastly different from its namesake, but does still hold onto a lot of it’s history.
The main construction of housing began in Forest Gate around 1850, when a large estate owned by Samuel Gurney, a Quaker philanthropist, was divided up and sold for housing development. Due to its leafy green surroundings, its proximity to Epping Forest and closeness to London via train, the majority of houses built were for the middle classes. These houses still remain today and can be seen in the grand double fronted Victorian villas that many residents inhabit.
Other features of today are the vast expanses of Wanstead Flats, part of Epping Forest that is slightly disconnected as society and building has expanded. There is also the world famous Green Street which is a little part of Asia that has been transported to England. It is here you can sample award winning food, buy designer clothes, lavish jewellery and shop for fresh produce in the local market. Be warned though, if you come around August 14th, there is a huge celebration to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day with a carnival taking the entire length of Green Street.
All in all, Forest Gate is a charming and pleasant place to live with its mix of friendly people, tree lined streets and large houses, all within 12 minutes of the City and 20 minutes to the west end.