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South Woodford is a suburb of Woodford in North East London situated 8.9 miles (14.3 km) north-east of Charing Cross. South Woodford, Woodford Green, Woodford Bridge and Woodford Wells form the area known as Woodford which has its origins dating back at least to the Saxon period. It was part of Essex until 1965.
South Woodford's retail and business area is centred on George Lane — the main high street for the district — and Woodford Green High Road. There are a number of well-known chain store shops, such as Boots and Marks & Spencer, and a good selection of smaller shops, restaurants, cafes, and a crown post office, including a Royal Mail sorting office.
There is an Odeon cinema in the High Road, which is one of the oldest buildings in South Woodford and the only cinema in the area. It has a listed building status which protects it as a cinema and does not allow for major internal structural changes. Next door is The George Pub, another one of the oldest buildings in the area, having originally been a stopping point for stage coaches, with several different bars including a saloon bar. The George once had a fine dining area on the first floor and then later a pizzeria in the basement, with a large spiral staircase between the floors. Other amenities include a number of green areas, many of which form part of Epping Forest.
This area was also, until 2004, home to the student residences of Queen Mary, University of London, but the distinctive tower blocks were demolished in 2007 and replaced with lower-rise privately owned apartments, as well as some council housing, known as Queen Mary's Gate.
There is also the Redbridge Drama Centre, situated next to Churchfields junior school. It provides workshops for young children aged 5 and above right up until 65, it provides education to local schools and brings culture to the surrounding area. It has an in-house theatre company under the name Vital Stages. There are shows at least once a week from touring companies.
South Woodford lies within the London Borough of Redbridge, covering the wards of Church End, Roding and Snaresbrook. Each ward has a team of Neighbourhood Police, both managed by one sergeant.
South Woodford sits at the junction of the North Circular Road with the start of the M11 motorway, which begins at "Charlie Brown's Roundabout" and is accessible from the "Water Works" roundabout. "Charlie Brown's roundabout" is named after the pub which was demolished in 1972 when the roundabout was enlarged to accommodate flyover sliproads onto the newly constructed motorway.
South Woodford also offers easy access to the A1400, which merges into the A12, as well as access to the A12 from "Green Man's" roundabout and the A104 which is known as Lea Bridge Road and is a major link to areas of central London via Hackney
George Lane itself is split into two by the Central line rail track with the western part of the road containing the majority of shops and businesses. There was originally a level crossing at this point, but now a flyover (locally referred to as "the Viaduct") carries traffic between the east and west sides of George Lane.
There are many bus routes which connect South Woodford to other parts of London, including the N55 night bus from central London. All services serve George Lane and South Woodford Station, excluding route 123 which only serves the North Circular stops in South Woodford, and route 549 which only serves South Woodford Station and George Lane South. All services are low floor and wheelchair accessible.
|Route Number||Route||Places served in South Woodford||Operator||Operation|
|123||Ilford Hainault Street to Wood Green Station via Tottenham||North Circular Road (Southend Road)||Arriva London||Daily. Times|
|179||Chingford Station to Ilford Hainault Street via Woodford Green||High Road Woodford Green, George Lane, Hermon Hill||Stagecoach London||Daily. Times|
|549||South Woodford Station to Loughton Station via Buckhurst Hill||George Lane South, Hermon Hill||Go-Ahead London||Mon-Sat. Times|
|W12||Wanstead Station to Walthamstow Coppermill Lane via Walthamstow||Woodford Road, George Lane, Hermon Hill||CT Plus||Daily. Times|
|W13||Woodford Wells Horse & Well to Leytonstone Station via Wanstead||High Road Woodford Green, George Lane, Hermon Hill||CT Plus (See route N55 for a night service)||Daily. Times|
|W14||Woodford Bridge to Leyton Asda via Leytonstone||Woodford Road, George Lane, Hermon Hill||Tower Transit||Daily. Times|
|N55 Night Bus||Woodford Wells Horse & Well to Oxford Circus via Leytonstone||High Road Woodford Green, George Lane, Hermon Hill||Stagecoach London||Daily nights. Times|
South Woodford has a good selection of schools including Nightingale Primary, Snaresbrook Primary, Churchfields which as a junior and infant department, as well as Oakdale. There is also Snaresbrook Preparatory, St Josephs' Convent voluntary maintained school, and Woodbridge Secondary School.
Forest School is an independent school, within close proximity to South Woodford, in that the playing fields are arguably in South Woodford.