Strange things are afoot in northeastern London. The hitherto unglamorous area of Wanstead, Chingford and Walthamstow is awash with tourists. The sudden influx of coaches packed with camera-toting pilgrims from Asia has bemused locals. They cannot be there to see Chingford, the nondescript lower-middle-class 1920s suburb, can they? It is famed for little else than being the former lair of one-time local MP Lord Tebbit - aka The Chingford Skinhead - the former Thatcher minister and rabble-rouser who once advised the jobless to get on their bikes and find work, just as unemployment hit a record 14 per cent. What about Walthamstow? Home to the famous greyhound track and a worryingly thriving coroner's court, a down-at-heel Victorian suburb with booming house prices because no one can afford anywhere else. And Wanstead? The crisp, upper-middle class and nouveau riche manor whose millionaire's mile nestles by a spirit-level-smooth wasteland known as The Flats? Or Leytonstone, which has, well, nothing of note at all? Neither can they be there for the borough's dull, grey-bricked hospital and state schools, its humdrum churches, barren parklands, civic sports centres and council-run football pitches. Or can they? Actually, they are. So few attractions does Waltham Forest boast that the council struck gold with a website celebrating the life of its most famous resident. Welcome to the David Beckham Trail, dubbed the 'goldenballs tour', where tourists spend two hours visiting 'Beckham's Bethlehem' (the Whipps Cross hospital where he was born), the Chase Lane Junior School, where he possibly performed in a nativity play, the Peter May Sports Centre where he scored 100 goals in three seasons for the under-10 Ridgeway Rovers, and Mansfield Park, where the England captain apparently had his first kiss. (No names are mentioned). There is even a courtesy call at Walthamstow greyhound stadium, where young David collected empty beer glasses for GBP10 ($142) a night, plus Gilwell Park, where he was a young cub scout, and his secondary seat of learning, Chingford School. The relevant webpage, handily in Spanish and Japanese, and found through the portal at www.lbwf.gov.uk , recorded 36,000 hits last month alone. Much to residents' consternation, coaches of Japanese tourists are even pulling up at local churches, disgorging pilgrims armed with cameras, all sure in the knowledge that they are recording the great religious sites where St David must have worshipped as a boy. Apparently he did not. Still, he is worshipped there now.