CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Trading places: Rickmansworth

PUBLISHED: 08:09 30 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:29 20 February 2013

Adriana Toderica, Kamil Keles, Lucia Zupcall, Salt & Pepper, High Street

Adriana Toderica, Kamil Keles, Lucia Zupcall, Salt & Pepper, High Street

From high street chains to independent traders, Rickmansworth offers shoppers a little bit of everything as Damion Roberts discovers...


A LEAFY small town situated on the Grand Union Canal just inside the south-western border of Hertfordshire, Rickmansworth offers shoppers something a little different when it comes to competing with the likes of its larger neighbours such as Watford.


The High Street, which leaves the Park Road roundabout to the east and runs through the centre of the town to Wensum Way to the west, has a diverse range of shops that offer everything from the latest fashions and technologies to smaller, hidden gems.


And while the High Street is the towns main thoroughfare, branching off it are several other roads, including Station Road and Church Street, where further businesses vie for customers.


From national outlets such as WH Smith, Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Kodak Express and Clinton Cards, the High Street is also home to other smaller chains and independent stores like wine merchants FL Dickins, general store Serve-U-Rite, pet shop Paws & Claws, clothes shop The Block and The Shoe Box.


Councillor David Sansom, whose council ward is Rickmansworth, believes that having both independent shops in the town centre as well as free parking goes some way to explaining how Rickmansworth is able to compete with its larger neighbours.


We have free parking, and thats something were committed to, Cllr Sansom said. You have to compete with Watford and to bring people into the town and having free parking for shoppers will always help.


Weve got an old High Street which has grown over many hundreds of years. Things are obviously updated shop fronts are updated but it has an ambience, its own identity. And you cant build that. Its haphazard and that is what gives it its character compared to other towns and shopping centres. Its a very vibrant town centre with shops you wont find anywhere else and shopkeepers who have been there for years and years.


Like most thriving town centres, there are not just shops. There are services including hairdressers (such as Louvere and Fratelli), travel agents (Rickmansworth Travel Ltd and Thomas Cook), and estate agents (Taylors, Savills, Gibbs Gillespie, Sewell & Gardner).


There are also plenty of eateries on the High Street from Tandooris (Maharaja), to delis (Brown Sugar) and snack bars (The Upper Crust). And to satisfy those parched throats there is The Pennsylvanian (No.115-117) named after William Penn, the former High Street resident who founded the US state of Pennsylvania, and The Fox & Hounds among other town centre pubs.


The Fox & Hounds is also home, once a month, to the individual, tasty, interesting Little Fox Market which has stalls run by local traders promoting crafts, jewellery, cupcakes and sustainable seafood. The next market is the Christmas market which will be held on Saturday, December 17 from 10am to 3pm.


There has also recently been approved a number of car charging points for electric vehicles which will be dotted at several locations around the town, including the Three Rivers District Councils own offices just off the High Street. If you head out of town, then Uxbridge Road, and its tributaries, offers further reasons why Rickmansworth is a place to shop.


Coffee & Creme Fashion is a boutique which specialises in occasion wear for all sizes (8-26), while on the same stretch of Uxbridge Road are cafes, a florist (Essential Flowers), a DIY shop (Decor Scene), and much more including Walkers Furnishers.


Further down Uxbridge Road is Country House, a family business which was established in 1980 to deal in antique country pine. The owners can supply entire antique bedroom suites, individual pieces of furniture such as bespoke, dressers, bookcases and wardrobes, or smaller items such as planters, buckets and umbrella stands. There is also, in Mill End, County Pursuits, which has 15 years of experience in the gun trade as well as all field sports equipment.


Asked if the town and its independent traders have coped well during the recent economic turmoil, Mr Sansom said he believes it has and that Rickmansworth continues to offer a competitive shopping experience.


Things are tough, of course, but the town seems to be weathering the storm, Mr Sansom said. Some shops come and go of course, but the town is fairly resilient. Weve got one major pub which has shut, but weve not had any empty shops for a while and business is continuing and people are continuing to come to the town to do their shopping.


People wont travel tens of miles, perhaps, to go to the town but the reasons why people have come to Rickmansworth in the past the variety of shops, the local feel about the town do continue to draw people in.



PHOTOGRAPHY: Liz Giroud


0 comments

More from Out & About

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018

Hertfordshire is a county with a vast, fascinating and sometimes dark and bloody history that has reportedly lead to more than a few angry ghosts sticking around to wreak havoc and take revenge on the living. We have gathered 10 of the most haunted places in the county

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Hussey explores the fascinating world of bats and new projects in the county to help conserve these remarkable creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is asking the public to look out for mammals on Hertfordshire’s roads as part of a citizen science project

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From stately homes to skateparks, we have selected some of the best ideas for things to do in Hertfordshire

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The diverse parkland of Pishiobury Park in Sawbridgeworth is undergoing a five-year plan to promote its heritage and enhance its habitats. It makes for a royal day out

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Aldbury to Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire has a plethora of pretty villages. We have picked just 10 that you should visit

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search