Wanstead is a suburban area in the London Borough of Redbridge, North-East London (formerly in Essex). The main road going through Wanstead is the A12. The name is from the Anglo-Saxon words wænn and stede, meaning "settlement on a small hill".
The town has a largely suburban feel, containing open grasslands such as Wanstead Flats, and the woodland of Wanstead Park (part of Epping Forest). The park, with artificial lakes, was originally part of the estate of a large stately home Wanstead House, one of the finest Palladian mansions in Britain, from its size and splendour nicknamed the English Versailles, and the architectural inspiration for Mansion House, London. It was demolished after the bankruptcy of the owner, William Wellesley-Long, in 1824. It is also home to Wanstead Golf club, which has hosted many of the major events in the Essex County calendar. A notable landmark towards the northern edge of Wanstead is the former Wanstead Hospital building, now a housing complex. A small annex of the old Burns Unit is now used for research on Flu vaccines and bovine diseases.
Wanstead High Street is distinctive because of its many independent retailers, attracting shoppers from a wide area. Public houses include The George (which began life as the George and Dragon in the 18th century), The Cuckfield and Bar Room Bar.