Why it's time to move to Rickmansworth and Croxley Green
PUBLISHED: 11:17 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 20 February 2013
Watersports, picnics, great schools and beautiful homes - what more reasons do you need?
THIRTY minutes by train from London, top schools, Waitrose, M&S, Tescos and a high street lined with successful independents, riverside walks, picnics by the canal the list of whats good about Rickmansworth goes on and on. Theres a 21st century council-owned theatre/cinema/event complex in the centre of town, plus a library, post office and free parking in the high street for an hour while you to nip to the shops to pick up a pound of butcher Chris Blakes award-winning sausages made to his olde Victorian recipe oh it isnt difficult to make out a copper-bottomed case for moving to Ricky.
Peter Waters, vice chairman of the Residents Association and a fountain of knowledge about Rickmansworth and its life enhancing culture, says its more like a large village than a small town. A sunny Saturday morning here should be enough to convince you.
Further up the road, Croxley Green, far from being just a long row of houses, shops and a Tube station on the main drag into Watford, has one of the longest village greens in the county as well as a good many hostelries where workers from Watfords business parks enjoy a lunchtime refreshment.
Train: Commuters from Rickmansworth have the choice of Chiltern Line into Marylebone or the Met into Baker Street and the City. Croxley Tube station is on the Watford branch of the Met.
Road: Junction 18 of the M25 is about a mile from the town centre. From there, it should take no more than ten minutes or a quarter of an hour to reach the M40 or M1.
Air: Heathrow and Luton are within about half an hour via motorways as long as you dont get held up.
Excellent state and private schools include The Royal Masonic School for Girls pupils no longer need to be the offspring of masons Merchant Taylors for Boys, St Joan of Arc Catholic School, St Clement Danes and Rickmansworth School which was originally a grammar and now a grant maintained self-governing specialist science and arts college. At primary level, Rickmansworth PNEU girls prep school for three to 11-year-olds gets top results.
Sport and leisure
If youve always hoped to have a home near water but need to live near London which rules out the coast, Rickmansworth is blessed with the presence of the Rivers Colne, Chess and Gade and the Grand Union Canal.
The aquadromes 41 hectares which received the Green Flag award last year has man-made lakes from flooded gravel pits for watersports and wildlife spotting. Theres also marine life on the canal to draw visitors. And the car park is free.
Famous Moor Park Golf Club is a championship course but the public course adjoining it fosters single handicap players and no doubt a few who go on to be pros.
The newly opened swimming pool at the William Penn Leisure Centre has a varied programme for the summer holidays and Rickmansworth Cricket Club, one of the oldest in England, has four teams in the Saracens Herts League and always welcomes keen players.
Whatever your interest, whether its music, local history, narrow boats, theatre, films, Rickys your mecca.
How much to live here
Twenty four smart new flats are being built in the high street. Prices for the first release range from 235,000 for a one-bed to 420,000 for the largest three bedroom apartment. Park Heath is the agent. Joe Rylett, assistant sales manager at the firms Rickmansworth office, described the local market at the beginning of the year as fantastic but admits it hasnt been quite so fantastic more recently.
Expect to pay around 300,000 for a two-up, two-down Victorian cottage in the centre of town, 500,000 to 1million for a family-sized house on the posh Cedars Estate and even in economically challenging times, the skys the limit for houses in the best roads such as Valley Road and The Drive. A five-bedroom new house in Valley Road was recently sold by Park Heath for in the region of 1.6m.
Top events in the annual calendar
>> Croxley Revels, the annual fair when they dance round the maypole on the village green (June)
>> Rickmansworth Week culminating in Rickmansworth Festival with a gathering of narrow boats from all over the country on the canal (May)
>> Pantomime time at Watersmeet (Dec-Jan)
>> Ricky Road Run last year 500 took part (Oct)