St Albans maintains its commuter town cachet by adding quality new homes
St Albans is one of the UK’s smallest cities just 20 miles north of central London and regular tops charts for the best place to live. With its cathedral, Roman remains and medieval architecture, the historic city of St Albans has plenty of character and now serves as prime commuter belt area.
The city has seen a number of new housing developments from nationals and local housebuilders to meet demand from families and young professionals alike wanting to grab a slice of the action.
Central London can be reached in just 17 minutes with a fast one-stop train to London St Pancras and onward connections via the Eurostar terminal to the Continent. Direct trains from St Albans will also meet Crossrail at Farringdon when it opens in 2018. The town offers excellent transport links to many surrounding areas of interest including Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead, Hatfield, Potters Bar and Dunstable.
A monthly season ticket to London St Pancras International costs £318 from St Albans (£3,320 annually). Trains to Luton Airport Parkway take 11 minutes (£152.90 monthly, £1,592 annually); Gatwick takes 1 hr 11 minutes (£359 monthly, £3,748 annually).
London is 25 miles away with a journey time of 1 hour 12 minutes by car. The M1 and A1 connect superbly with the rest of the UK.. Heathrow and Stansted Airports are also easily reached via the M25 which is close by.
There is a fantastic range of restaurants, cafés and pubs, a fine selection of boutiques, high street stores and independent shops in Market Place and Christopher Place, in addition to the twice-weekly street market. There are masses of open spaces such as Clarence Park the surrounding countryside provides a good choice of sport and leisure activities.
There is a thriving culture scene in St Albans with theatre and live music venues offering a range of performances of different styles. The Maltings Arts Theatre and Alban Arena are two of the main venues for entertainment, while the cathedral contributes its own musical and choral recitals.
Education is a big draw for parents. Popular state secondary schools include St Albans Girls School which also accepts boys in the sixth form, Verulam School (boys only until the sixth form when it’s mixed), co-ed Beaumont School and co-ed Sandringham School. Leading independents are St Albans School for boys from 11-18 with girls in the sixth form and St Albans High School for Girls from four to 18.
Every year in June, St Albans Cathedral celebrates of the life of Saint Alban who gave the City its name. Giant carnival puppets retrace Alban’s last steps and tell his remarkable and moving story. Roman chariots, centurions, lions, roses and executioners all take their place in the procession from St Peter’s Church, through the City Centre to St Albans Cathedral.
Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in and near to St Albans:
|Nash Mills Wharf (Linden Homes) - A collection of new one- and two- bedroom apartments is the final phase of this development located next to the Grand Union Canal just over six miles from St Albans. Offered with an impressive contemporary specification these homes are under a mile from Apsley station with commuter trains to London Euston. Prices on application. Find out more about Nash Mills Wharf from Linden Homes |
|Abbey Gardens (CALA Homes) - Just over one mile from the centre of St Albans this luxury collection of 11 two-bedroom apartments which have been designed with the discerning downsizer and professional couple in mind. Ranging in size from 858 to 2,135 sq ft in each home has open-plan living accommodation as well as a private patio or terrace. Prices on application. Find out more at www.cala.co.uk ; 01628 536229|
|Napsbury Quarters (Crest Nicholson) - A transformation of a 1920s Arts and Crafts nurses’ home into luxury homes set in beautiful surroundings of Napsbury Park. Just 21 high specification three- and four- bedroom refurbished townhouses and one-, two- and three- bedroom refurbished apartments make this collection of homes truly unique. Prices from £649,950. Find out more at www.crestnicholson.com ; 01727 223182|
|London Road (McCarthy & Stone) - The forthcoming launch of this exclusive new development offering Assisted Living for over-70s is hotly anticipated providing a collection of 47 one- and two- bedroom apartments, each with its own private balcony, alongside attractive landscaped gardens and on-site parking. Find out more at www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk ; 0800 201 4811|
|Aquila Grove (Rowan Homes) - Built by a renowned local developer this superb development of just four brand new, three-bedroom semi-detached homes is in a popular and convenient location to the north of the city. Arranged over three floors and designed with modern living in mind, each home will be finished to a high standard. Prices from £735,000. Find out more at www.rowanhomes.co.uk : 0800 0644 555|||