Hornchurch is a thriving historical town within the London borough of Havering. There’s a wide range of businesses, restaurants, bars and retail shops in the area providing excellent amenities for locals.
It’s on the District line of the Underground, with regular services taking 40 minutes to reach central London. Hornchurch tube station is just half a mile from the centre of town, and there are other local stations too, including Upminster Bridge and Elm Park tube stations, giving access to London Liverpool Street. The area also has overground services from Emerson Park. The M25 is about 15 minutes drive from Hornchurch for those travelling by car, meaning travel further afield and into the Essex countryside is easily accessible too.
Hornchurch has good primary schools, such as Scotts Primary School (rated outstanding by Ofsted) and secondary schools, like Hornchurch High School. There are also private schools in the area, as well as sixth form colleges.
Hornchurch has a great mix of shops. There are independent shops in the area, including Home Sweet Home (a furniture and homeware store), Apache Shops (a ladies clothes store), and East Homes Music, which sells and repairs instruments.
The area has fantastic cafes, like Top’s Café, which is very popular and serves great coffee and food. Le Moulin is another popular choice due to its tasty baked goods. For restaurants, The Cranleigh serves fish and grilled dishes, Xich Lo Hornchurch is a great Vietnamese restaurant, and Sortie Grill and Bar serves delicious Mediterranean food.
When heading out for a drink, there are plenty of bars and pubs to choose from. Try Fatling Hornchurch (a large traditional pub), Sutton Arms (with DJs on the weekend) or The Hop Inn Micropub. If you’re after cocktails, then head to the top floor of Vertigo on Station Lane.
There are excellent local amenities here, with Hornchurch Library, local Post Offices, a leisure centre (with a gym, swimming pool and fitness centre), local GP services and pharmacies. There are excellent greenspaces, which is another pull for families. Hornchurch Country Park has over 100 acres of space and has the River Ingrebourne passing through it.
Queens Theatre is an award-winning theatre that develops artists, runs various workshops, creates homegrown theatre productions, and hosts visiting entertainment. It’s a popular local landmark that opened on its current site in 1975 after moving from its previous home on Station Lane. The original theatre opened its doors in 1953.
It isn’t known how Hornchurch got its name, but in the 13th century, the area was known as Horned Church. Interestingly, if you look at St Andrew’s Church on High Street, there’s a horned bull’s head above one of its stained glass windows, which could be where the name came from.