Alternative London: the (unofficial) guide to Walthamstow
Big Ben and Tower Bridge may be the sights on the agenda of most tourists visiting London for the Olympics, but for the hordes who can't afford to stay in zone one, they'll be privy to a whole different side of the city: London suburbia. Cult site and Facebook success The (unofficial) Walthamstow Tourist Board, run by artist and filmmaker Warpdog, tells us what benevolent sights tourists can expect to see, accompanied by pictures:
Historically, Walthamstow was based in northern France until 1852 when Queen Victoria won it on a bet with Napoleon. She had the village flat-packed and shipped to east London, where it remains today. Walthamstow's most renowned resident was designer William Morris, who famously invented greyhound racing with his swift bitch, Brian Harvey, who won all of her 47 races.
This 'must-see' London suburb was coined Awesomestow by locals, and it's no surprise why. For your convenience, the Walthamstow (unofficial) Tourist Board has compiled a handy guide of things to do.
The Unofficial Walthamstow Tourist Board
Soft toy extravaganza in Walthamstow
Walthamstow's market is the largest in Europe and can be seen from space. It's not just fine quality that brings tourists here; it's the vibrant atmosphere and high ratio of Greggs to people. Start your day at the west end, which harbours seven Cash Converters, five pound shops, and a stall selling Kevin Clein briefs for 20p. Stroll leisurely through the friendly swarms and hopefully you'll still have your wallet by the time you get to Asda.
Walthamstowers are the proudest gardeners in Britain so mooch about the streets and admire the horticultural beauty of ornamental garden mattresses (mattri). If you see any stray mattresses, please do not feed them. It's a sorrowful sight but some are feral and diseased. Recently something positive came out of this heart-wrenching outbreak as many celebrities adopted the latest 'stow fashion craze of 'abandoned mattress chic'.
Finally, make your way to the world-famous Walthamstow Village to pick up a jar of bacon jam from the poshest Spar in the world, but not before stopping off at a local tavern. The Goose, opposite Walthamstow station, will get you muntered and fed for under £2, thus putting the awesome in Awesomestow.