Home to some of the UK’s most loved cultural figures like David Beckham, Fanny Craddock, Damon Albarn, William Morris and Alfred Hitchcock, Waltham Forest has been named as London Borough of Culture 2019!
As the first ever recipient of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award, everyone can enjoy Waltham Forest’s character and diversity and be a part of something extraordinary!
Made up of Leyton, Leytonstone, Chingford, Higham’s Park and Walthamstow, the borough will be packed with exciting events across 2019 to celebrate its cultural history.
And we’re here to help you get there! Leave your car at home and discover Waltham Forest by Tube 🚇, Overground 🚆, Bus 🚌, bicycle 🚴♀️ or walking 🚶♂️
History lesson 📚
Chingford May Day Fayre. Celebrate May Day, the International Day of the Worker, and the invention of the modern bicycle. Did you know it was invented by John Kemp Starley – Walthamstow born and raised – who helped democratise travel for the working classes?
Grab your bicycle and join thousands as they form a cycling procession through the urban woodland to Chingford Plain, bordering Epping Forest.
Like this? Then be sure to check out Atomic 50 – an immersive journey through Waltham Forest’s rich heritage of manufacturing and metalwork.
Artistic ambitions 🎨
Molecules on the Marshes, an intersection of science and spirituality, brings the wilds of the marshes to life and explores our relationship with nature and Waltham Forest as the ‘Lungs of London’.
Immerse yourself amongst the water molecules – made from recycled plastic and LED lights – and be suspended in the marshes as they gently change colour.
Like this? Then check out more of the Borough’s incredible artistic offerings this year such as E17 Art Trail: Wonder, Art Night,From Page to Pavement, Bauhaus Centenary, and Government Art Collection.
The show must go on 🎭
Seeds of Change Commission is a unique and shared experience for audiences across the country – connected by culture, imagination and curiosity.
A brand new, large scale outdoor performance drawing on unique characteristics of the location, the performance works with local communities and artists.
Culinary delight 👩🍳
Duckie Loves Fanny. Deep in a secret location in Waltham Forest, on an illegitimate cruising ground, Duckie invites you to a taste of Fanny in this late night alfresco feast.
Bent London troublemakers Duckie celebrate the legacy of Leytonstone’s feisty home gal Fanny Cradock as post-war pop culture, style, food, gender politics and aspiration combine in this very queer celebration of a real British icon.
A feisty, fantastical, forest feast awaits! Find out more
Lights, camera, action! 🎥
Leytonstone Loves Film is a weekend-long event featuring screenings of local and international work, film-inspired workshops and activities, music, talks and installations in cafés, pubs and pop-up venues.
Produced by the Barbican in partnership with local residents and organisations, this new festival will bring people together over a shared love of film to inspire a new generation of makers, risk takers and radical thinkers.
Like this? Be sure to check out EastSide Story – uniting young people from two local estates to tell their own stories in their own words for a special documentary, filmed during the London Borough of Culture 2019 year.
Fun all year round 😺
The People’s Forest is London’s urban woodland – an outdoor year-long programme of events including poetry and art.
Explore the complexity of our human relationship to the forest and the meanings we place on woodlands. From poetry to protest, artists and residents can respond to the forest through the seasons.
Without dance, what’s the pointe? 🕺
New Adventures: Dancers in Residence is sure to kick up some dust.
See a performance by Matthew Bourne’s award-winning dance-theatre company and Roger Ascham Primary School.
Students can take part in dance workshops and assemblies on gender stereotypes in an astonishing journey of discovery.
Music to your ears 🎶
Africa Express: Circus is a three day celebration of unity across borders, genres, generations and boundaries through music in the borough where founding member Damon Albarn grew up.
Featuring 100 artists from across Africa, Europe and Britain, enjoy new music and reworking of loved songs.
Like this? Then be sure to check out Walthamstow Jazz Festival, bringing together legendary and cutting edge talent, and Re-Textured Festival – examining experimental electronic music and its relationship with its surroundings across London.
Year round fun 🗓
Waltham Forest Tours is an alternative travel agency for days in the borough, mini breaks and tourist information and travel shop. Choose from overnight stays in some of Waltham Forest’s most unusual locations to fantastical workshops!
One Hoe Street offers a space where you can discover more about the London Borough of Culture programme, share ideas, and network.
Getting around 🚶♀️🚴♂️🚌
Travelling by bus? Make unlimited journeys anytime, anywhere for £1.50, within one hour of touching in, with our Hopper fare.
Kids aged 5-10 travel free on all Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services with a valid 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard. All kids aged 5-10 travel free on buses and trams.
Need more inspiration? Go and discover London off-peak at Time Out.