St Albans, with its rich history and vibrant community, is not just a city; it’s a way of life. However, nestled in the outskirts are charming towns and villages that offer a unique blend of history, nature, and modernity. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the best towns and villages around St Albans, each with its distinctive character and lifestyle.
Harpenden is ‘Britain’s most desirable place to live’ according to a Telegraph study, the town is steeped in history, has beautiful green spaces and has easy access to London. It is no wonder why moving to Harpenden is the ideal move for many families, retirees and professionals.
History and Heritage
Harpenden’s medieval roots are showcased in landmarks such as St Nicholas Church, a Gothic marvel dating back to the 15th century. The historic High Street, adorned with timber-framed buildings, whispers tales of the town’s rich heritage. The renowned Rothamsted Research, founded in 1843, adds a touch of agricultural innovation to this historical tapestry.
Green Spaces, Parks and Activities
Rothamsted Park, spanning 56 acres, offers a verdant haven with playgrounds and tennis courts. Harpenden Common, a cherished green space, hosts the annual Highland Gathering and fosters a sense of community through picnics and events. On top of this the monthly, Farmers Market on the fourth Sunday of each month (except December) builds a sense of community in the locals.
Outstanding schools like Sir John Lawes School and St George’s School underscore Harpenden’s commitment to education.
Radlett’s upscale residences, from modern apartments to luxury homes along Newberries Avenue, define its contemporary charm. The high street, adorned with boutique shops and designer stores, provides a curated shopping experience. Alternatively, a short trip out of town to the Battlers Green Farm Shopping Village.
Efficient rail links and proximity to the M25 make Radlett a commuter’s dream, while cultural facilities like the Radlett Centre and Aldenham Country Park enrich the town’s recreational scene.
Wheathampstead is a historic village in the heart of Hertfordshire equidistant to St Albans and Harpenden. The Gustard Wood Nature Reserve offers picturesque walking trails through ancient woodlands. Residents can use the Wheathampstead Community Library and village events like the Scarecrow Festival contribute to the town’s close-knit community.
The village of Redbourn has some wonderful features residents can enjoy. St. Mary’s Church and Redbournbury Mill highlight Redbourn’s historical significance, with the Mill having a history dating back to the 11th Century. The village’s small-town atmosphere is reflected in traditional pubs, local shops, and events on the village green. Emerging business initiatives and artisan markets contribute to Redbourn’s blend of tradition and progress.
The Cricketers of Redbourn pub and village green gatherings, such as the Redbourn Festival and Fete-Du-Velo, showcase the charm of the village. Redbourn Industrial Park and artisan markets add a contemporary flair, creating a dynamic local economy.
One of the best reasons to live in Sandbridge is the access to natural beauty. Heartwood Forest, England’s largest continuous new native forest, is a natural gem in Sandridge. The Jersey Farm Woodland Park provides well-maintained trails for residents seeking a peaceful retreat.
Sandridge is connected to St Albans so there is good access to larger towns and London. An array of pubs and Sandridge Village Hall and the annual village fete foster a sense of community spirit.
In Markyate, Cell Park is the pride of the village. A timber-framed structure and gardens create a visual masterpiece for residents and visitors alike. Architectural diversity, from Tudor cottages to Georgian townhouses, adds to Markyate’s picturesque surroundings.
Markyate’s Football & Cricket Club and community allotments embody the town’s close-knit community.
Colney Heath is a small village located between St Albans and Hatfield. The Riverside Walk along the River Colne provides a tranquil environment for residents to enjoy. Colney Heath Nature Reserve showcases the village’s dedication to preserving natural habitats. Proximity to Colney Fields Shopping Park and village stores ensures convenient access to amenities.
London Colney FC and the residential area of Napsbury Park exemplify the town’s suburban charm. Efficient rail links and M25 accessibility make London Colney an attractive option for commuters. The Colney Fields Shopping Park and access to the 100-acre Verulamium Park contribute to the town’s retail and leisure offerings.
This village is well known for its areas of natural beauty. Bricket Wood Common, a local nature reserve, offers residents a woodland retreat. The Bricket Wood Residents Association foster a sense of community and the railway station connects to Watford Junction.
Another small village which almost connects to St Albans, Part Street is a picturesque small village in Hertfordshire. It offers excellent road links to London via the M25 and the railway station connects to Watford Junction. A couple of pubs, a primary school and the Park Street & Frogmore Society give the village a sense of community.
Chiswell Green’s village atmosphere offers a suburban oasis with diverse housing options. Napsbury Park Manor combines historical charm with modern living. Local facilities like the Greenwood Park Community Centre and Cherry Hill Play Area contribute to the village’s appeal.
Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits nature reserve showcases the town’s dedication to preserving natural habitats as well as The Bird Club protecting local wildlife. Well-maintained trails provide opportunities for outdoor activities. Whilst the Tyttenhanger House conversion from a country mansion to commercial offices provides the village with a commercial area for businesses.
Moving to St Albans
For professionals, families or retirees considering moving to St Albans, the town itself might not be the right option. Researching the surrounding area is imperative to find the right community, atmosphere and price for your needs.
If you are moving to the St Albans area then speak to Alban Moves. Our 20 years of experience in the area will give you the smooth, stress-free move you require to start the next stage in your life.
Contact our friendly team today for more information.