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A real curio just north of Dagenham in the further reaches of east London, eleven miles out of the city, Becontree is probably more of interest to social historians than tourists truth be told, being made up almost entirely of one huge social housing estate.
27,000 homes were built here after WWI as ‘Homes for Heroes’ – a gift for the veterans of the Great War. With a population of 100,000, Becontree was larger than many of the smaller UK cities, and it’s still predominantly social housing today.
As principally a housing centre there’s few shops – no town centre as you’d know it – and the area was still lit by gas lamps until as late as 1958.
However, Becontree’s escaped the ghetto-ised fate of many of London’s other larger social housing developments, and nearby Dagenham and Ilford are urban centres with lots of shopping and other leisure facilities; you’re also close to the countrified areas of Loughton and Woodford Green, with numerous golf courses and Epping Forest, a haven for walkers and mountain bikers, and Fairlop Waters Country Park (Forest Road, www.fairlopwaters.info) with a lake for sailing and windsurfing, boats for hire, an angling lake and two nice golf courses.
Becontree (Zone 5) is served by the District Line.
|Becontree Station||5||District||1.57 miles|
|Dagenham Heathway Station||5||District||1.84 miles|
|Upney Station||4||District||2.66 miles|
|Dagenham East Station||5||District||2.73 miles|
|Newbury Park Station||4||Central||3.61 miles|
|Chadwell Heath Station||1.49 miles|
|Goodmayes Station||1.80 miles|
|Seven Kings Station||2.49 miles|
|Dagenham Dock Station||3.36 miles|
|Barking Station||3.80 miles|