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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 location of South Woodford tube station, and Woodford Green High Road. There are several leading chain store shops, such as Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Boots and a number of smaller shops, restaurants and cafes. There is a crown post office and Royal Mail sorting office, both of which are facing closure.
There is a seven screen Odeon cinema, which opened in 1934 as a Majestic and is the only cinema in the area. As of November 2017, its freehold is for sale. Next door, The George pub, an 18th-century building on the site of an earlier inn, was originally a stopping point for stagecoaches, with several bars. 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 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.
The Redbridge Drama Centre, situated next to Churchfields Junior School, provides workshops for young children aged 5 and above and adults up until 65, drama education to local schools and culture to the surrounding area. It has an in-house theatre company named 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 part of Snaresbrook. Each ward has a team of Neighbourhood Police, each 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 and Oakdale which are both split into infants and juniors. There is also Snaresbrook Preparatory 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.