Our estate agents live and breathe the local area and we’re confident you’ll love living in Forest Gate if you decide to make the move – but before you start looking for your ideal property, here’s our comprehensive Forest Gate area guide to give you a feel for this fantastic East End suburb.
Forest Gate lies in the E7 postcode within the London borough of Newham and takes its name from being the southern gateway to the beautiful Epping Forest. It’s one of the city’s outlying areas that saw an influx of new residents - including many young professionals and families - when the Crossrail development announcement opened up a future of easier commuting potential. Studies show that many households from Islington, Haringey, Hackney and Tower Hamlets made the move to the Forest Gate area, leaving the more cramped conditions of Central London to enjoy the opportunities provided by living in an area that’s well and truly on the rise.
At less than two miles from the Olympic Park, Stratford City and the Westfield Shopping Centre, Forest Gate is close enough to allow residents to enjoy all these brilliant benefits, but also far enough away to feel removed from the hassle, hustle and bustle of central city living.
In terms of property in Forest Gate, you’ll primarily find Victorian era semi-detached and terraced homes along with some stunning detached double-fronted houses in this largely residential area. Many of these properties still have their original features, retaining plenty of character and charm. The East End of London has changed in many ways over the years, and in many places for the better, but with these traditional features, in Forest Gate you can combine old and new in equal measure.
Forest Gate was once the home of Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger and it’s also the birthplace of 12 Years a Slave star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, musician Plan B and 30s film starlet Anna Neagle.
With plenty of things to do in the local area, living in Forest Gate could be a great move for you, so let’s explore its virtues in a little more detail…
Schools in Forest Gate
If you have children or are planning on starting a family, information on the schools in Forest Gate will be of specific interest. However, with the accessibility and quality of local schools having a direct influence on property prices, it’s a matter of interest for anyone buying in the area.
Thankfully, Forest Gate has a selection of high-performing and in-demand schools, so whether you’re looking for somewhere for your kids to start or continue their education or if you’re interested in your longer-term investment potential, it’s good news either way.
Here are the schools you’ll find within walking distance from the heart of Forest Gate along with their most recent Ofsted rating:
Primary schools in Forest Gate
- St Bonaventure's – Outstanding
- Sandringham Primary School – Outstanding
- St James C of E Junior School – Good
- Godwin Junior School – Good
- Earlham Primary School – Good
Secondary schools in Forest Gate
- St Angela's Ursuline School – Outstanding
- Forest Gate Community School – Outstanding
- Stratford School Academy – Good
A little further afield you’ll also find Wanstead High School and the fantastic independent Forest School, which provides an excellent standard of education and incorporates both primary and secondary schools.
You can see all the local schools on our map to help you pick the perfect property.
Getting around – transport in Forest Gate
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to transport in Forest Gate thanks to the fantastic overground connection to Liverpool Street in the city, which takes between 10 and 15 minutes running via Stratford – ideal for commuters and day trippers. Once you arrive at Liverpool Street, you have the whole London Underground network at your feet, making any onward journey across the capital pretty easy.
If you’re travelling by car rather than public transport, you can easily hop onto the North Circular Road towards London, and the M11 and M25 are also close by for a route around London or to head north.
Whatever mode of transport you prefer, Forest Gate benefits from a range of reliable options for work or adventure – complete convenience for any local.
Tube, rail and bus
Forest Gate railway station is located in Zone 3 and locals can also reach nearby stations at Woodgrange Park and Wanstead Park which run on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (locally known as the GoBlin), plus Upton Park tube station on the District and Hammersmith & City lines.
There are also some good bus routes, including:
- 58 to East Ham/Central Park
- 330 to Canning Town
- 25 – Stagecoach to Holborn Circus
- 425 – Stagecoach to Ilford
- 678 – Stratford
- N25 – Oxford Circus night bus
Various routes can take Forest Gate residents to nearby Stratford, where you can change to the overground station for a range of national rail services.
Parks and green spaces
With a name like Forest Gate, you’d expect a good amount of greenery in the local area and thankfully, you won’t be disappointed!
One of the largest outdoor spaces to enjoy is the Wanstead Flats – the southernmost part of the stunning Epping Forest. While it’s now classed as falling outside of Newham borough, it wasn’t always the case, just the result of shifting boundaries in the locale. Right on your doorstep, this gorgeous green space offers plenty of opportunities for exercise, socialising, walking and relaxing, and it also has its own Parkrun group which is a great way to stay active and meet people in the local community.
On the more modest side there’s also Forest Lane Park, which includes some lovely landscaped areas, a small lake, walking paths and a playground, plus Forest Gate Community Garden which is a fantastic local project you can either visit to enjoy or get involved with as a volunteer.
Snuggled right next to Forest Gate you’ll also find West Ham Park, which offers a selection of sporting activities, walks, cycle routes and children’s play areas.
Events and activities in Forest Gate
With Central London almost on your doorstep, living in Forest Gate means you can head into the city to enjoy its many impressive museums, theatres and places of interest – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do in the local area too!
There’s a fab locally organised food and crafts markets held in the clock tower and station area, a range of local exhibitions and plenty of kid’s activities such as football, ballet, cheerleading and karate in Forest Gate and its neighbouring suburbs.
Every year there’s the Forest Gate Festival with music, street performers, fun activities for families and children and much more, and the area also holds its own annual Gay Pride March.
Just a five minute drive away you can enjoy a round at Wanstead Golf Club, and there’s also a tennis and cricket club in Wanstead too – plus Westfield Stratford City is only two train stops away with its cinema and bowling alley.
Shopping, pubs and restaurants
You’ll never be short of places to eat, drink and get some retail therapy in Forest Gate – for a start you have around 244 shops to explore at nearby Stratford Westfield Shopping centre, plus a plethora of small international supermarkets, a Tesco Express and a large Morrison’s for your day-to-day supplies. For the freshest cooking ingredients, there’s also a local farmer’s market which is well worth a weekly visit.
For a drink and a catch up with friends or family, here are a few of the local pubs and bars to try:
There’s also the well-known Wanstead Tap which has previously been named the best cultural venue in Waltham Forest and is a fantastic space hosting plenty of gigs, talks and other events.
For those evenings where you really don’t fancy cooking, Forest Gate offers a range of restaurants, with Asian eateries a particularly prevalent feature:
- Elvet Steakhouse
- Lahori Spicy Biryani House
- Eastern Palace
- Hot Pot Caribbean
- Masala Chai Nashta
There’s also an assortment of trendy ‘pop-up’ restaurants opening in the area, adding to the rich variety in this super East End suburb.
Your personal, local Forest Gate area guide
It’s clear to see that Forest Gate has a lot going for it, offering a perfect balance between city living and suburban bliss with everything you could possibly need either right up the street or just a neighbourhood or two away.
We hope this Forest Gate area guide has given you a good overview and some insight into its suitability as a location for your next move, but if you’d like any more information on living in Forest Gate or any help in finding your perfect property, our team of friendly and experienced local estate agents are here and ready to assist.