Why it's time to move to Kings Langley and Abbots Langley
PUBLISHED: 10:26 28 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:57 20 February 2013
Good schools, shopping and amenities make these two villages popular places to live
PROSPECTS for the local economy in the two villages midway between Watford and Hemel Hempstead were given a welcome boost following Warner Brothers decision to invest 100m in nearby Leavesden Film Studios.
In November the Hollywood giant paid 22m to buy the freehold of half a million square feet of stages and other buildings it leased to make the Harry Potter films and a further 80 acres of land.
The redevelopment of the whole 170-acre site will create about 300 contruction jobs over the two year building programme but more importantly 1,500 existing jobs at the studios will be safeguarded. A permanent Harry Potter exhibition will be one of the attractions when work on the redevelopment is completed in 2012.
All of this is good news for the area but the villages of Kings Langley and Abbots Langley are accustomed to having stars in their midst. Theyve been on the map for almost a thousand years.
The man who became the first English pope was born in the hamlet of Bedmond between Abbots and Kings Langley in 1100. Young Nicholas Breakspear became Pope Adrian IV. And wasnt Kings Langley the village where the Plantagenet Kings of England had a royal palace? Oh yes. When it comes to history these Hertfordshire villages can teach Hollywood a thing or two.
Rail: Main line trains from Kings Langley run every 30 minutes
into London Euston and take
roughly 25 minutes.
Road: Kings Langley is about one and a half miles from J20 of the M25. The M1, A41 and A414 are virtually on the doorstep.
Air: Luton Airport is 13 miles up the road, Heathrow is 17 miles down the road.
Great choice of state and private schools for all ages.
The latest Ofsted report following a visit in October 2010 confirmed that the local comprehensive in Kings Langley continues to improve year on year. Last summers GCSE results were the best ever.
Rudolf Steiners school is on the site of the 13th-century palace built for Queen Eleanor of Castille. Its one of the longest established of the 33 Rudolf Steiner schools in the UK. Its been there since 1949.
Shopping and leisure
Both villages have an excellent choice of shops and boutiques for most things but the major shopping malls at Watford and Hemel Hempstead are both within about five miles so shopaholics have a field day.
Villagers could dine out every evening for a fortnight and not visit the same place twice. For family parties when you want to push the boat out, Shendish Manor on the edge of Kings Langley and The Grove at Chandlers Cross are both country hotels with golf courses so if youre buying a house in Kings Langley or Abbots Langley, no worries about putting up overnight guests.
How much to live here
Paul Sackett, senior manager at the Kings Langley branch of Proffitt & Holt, says values are currently about five per cent off the peak 2007 prices. Both villages have a diverse range of property types, anything from 17th century to brand new. Prices in the area start at around 160,000 and soar up to four million for a country pile in nearby beauty spots such as Chipperfield and Commonwood. The area is London-centric and therefore hasnt suffered as badly as other parts of the country in terms of price falls. We are quietly confident that activity will pick up even further in the new year.
Of the two Langley villages, Abbots is marginally cheaper.
Typical prices for a house or flat in Kings Langley and Abbots Langley (Abbots Langley in brackets) according to Paul Sackett at Proffitt & Holt
2 bed apartments
from 190,000 (170,000)
2 bed houses
from 225,000 (210,000)
3 bed houses
from 300,000 (275,000)
4 bed houses
from 450,000 (425,000)