Harpenden is the ideal commuter town for sports lovers
Posted 12 September 2016 by Fiona Brandhorst
Frequently selected as one of the UK’s best places to live offering the highest quality of life combining a great community spirit, good local shops, services and lots of outdoor space.
Harpenden also has frequent and quick trains to London St Pancras taking just 23 minutes making it a commuter’s idyll. Comedian, the late Eric Morecombe, moved to Harpenden in the 1960s where he was laid to rest.
The centre of Harpenden is called “the village” by residents and is characterised by Church Green, Leyton Green and the High Street Greens surrounded by upmarket shops, restaurants and pubs. Just to the south of the town centre is Harpenden Common, stretching from the shops in the town centre for more than a mile to the south.
Harpenden has a good stock of housing. West Common, East Common and the Avenues are sought after by families for large houses on generous plots of land. Within the centre there is a lovely enclave known as the Poets Area with roads named after famous poets including Byron and Milton where the majority of homes are large Victorian villas interspersed with some smaller cottages.
Milton Road includes many fine apartments, handy for commuters, being close to the station. To the north end of the town, the areas of Roundwood, Wood End and Kinsbourne Green are also popular family areas. Just outside of central Harpenden, there are the popular districts of Aldwickbury and Southdown which offer more contemporary family homes, neighbourhood shops and good schools.
Harpenden has three supermarkets including Waitrose, many boutiques, charity shops, banks, estate agents and chemists. A good proportion of these are run by independent retailers. Cafés, restaurants and many pubs are abundant both in central Harpenden and in its suburbs.
The town is renowned for its local sporting facilities including golf, tennis, rugby, football and cricket clubs. Harpenden Common hosts two cricket clubs, two golf clubs, a football club, bridleways for horse riding and ramblers’ paths, all contained in an area of natural beauty. There’s also a sports centre and swimming pool. Harpenden Public Halls is set on the edge of Harpenden Common, close to the town centre and train station and hosts everything from pre-school activities, educational programmes, dance classes, antiques fairs and theatre productions and an annual Christmas Panto as well as an excellent film programme hosted by the Harpenden Film Society.
Harpenden has a great choice of schools with both state and private options with almost all Harpenden’s state primary schools judged either “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted. St Hilda's School for Girls and Aldwickbury Boys Preparatory are popular private options. Harpenden has three state secondary schools, all judged “outstanding”, taking co-ed pupils aged 11 to 18. St George’s School is a state day and boarding academy, and there are also two other academies — Roundwood Park and Sir John Lawes. Further senior schooling is available close by at St Albans.
A monthly season ticket to London costs £347.60 from Harpenden (£3,620 annually) with the fastest journey time of 23 minutes. Trains to St Albans take 5 minutes (£105.60 monthly, £1,100 annually); Luton Airport Parkway takes 6 minutes (£132.90 monthly, £1,384 annually).
Road and rail links are excellent with the M1 Junctions 9 and 10 around five miles away providing convenient links to London which is 34 miles away taking 54 minutes. Luton Airport is just one stop north by train and 6 miles or 13 minutes by road. Heathrow is 35 miles away via the M25 with a journey time of 45 minutes. There is also easy access to the A1 (M) at Hatfield.
Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Harpenden:
Sheldon Lodge (McCarthy & Stone) - This retirement development of 48 one- and two-bedroom senior apartments has a winning combination of design and safety in both the kitchen and bathroom, all tastefully designed with customers’ needs in mind. Prices from £382,950. Read more about Sheldon Lodge from McCarthy & Stone
Poet’s Chase (Ashtons) - Consisting of four sizeable family homes spread over three floors, complete with private gardens and off-road parking, this exclusive development reflects sophisticated design with an emphasis on character and is within walking distance of Harpenden station. Price guide £995,000. www.ashtons.co.uk ; call 01582 461166
Cromwell Court (Shanly Homes) - There are 14 luxury two-bedroom apartments in this private gated development. Close to Harpenden village, the development has private allocated parking and spacious open-plan layouts. Prices from £550,000. Find out more about Shanly Homes; 01494 671331
Ellenbrook Meadows (Crest Nicholson) - This luxury collection of executive three- and four-bedroom homes benefit from spectacular countryside views. Each home boasts the ultimate combination of stylish, contemporary interiors and beautiful, traditional exteriors. Four-bedrooms now available from £980,000. Find out more www.crestnicholson.com/ellenbrookmeadows ; 01727 616930
Westfield Road (Ashtons) – This three-bedroom semi-detached house is set in a private enclave on the tranquil banks of the River Lea, overlooking rolling meadows and close to a diverse range of local amenities including good schools. Commuters will appreciate its proximity to Harpenden station. Priced at £539,950. www.ashtons.co.uk ; 01582 461166