Why you should move to Baldock
PUBLISHED: 08:31 30 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:28 20 February 2013
Town centre improvements, fine examples of architecture and good links a – it's no wonder Baldock is a popular place to live
BALDOCKS recently completed 3.2m town centre enhancement scheme has done exactly what it promised brought fresh vibrancy to the historical centre of the town.
Broader pavements and the new pedestrianised area have cleared a path for tables and chairs to be brought outside and a caf culture to spring up. Shoppers can sit with friends in the spring sunshine enjoying a coffee or a glass of fizz. They can admire the Georgian and Victorian architecture in their very own high street and take a look at the new shops and eating places opening up.
Education is almost always top priority for families moving to a new area. Baldock is fortunate in having excellent state schools which is why it attracts househunters coming out from North London to a Hertfordshire town where educational standards are among the best in the county.
Last year the over-subscribed Knights Templar co-ed secondary school retained its outstanding status following a repeat visit by Ofsted inspectors. They reported, Parents are overwhelmingly positive particularly about the dedication of the staff and the outstanding well-rounded education provided for their children. Students make exceptional progress in academic skills as well as in their personal development and well being.
Shopping and leisure
Baldock has always been a friendly and convivial town. Welcoming strangers is part of its heritage. In the old days, it was the first stop on the coaching route out of London. Travellers dismounted at the end of a bumpy ride to discover that seemingly every other building in the high street and immediate area was a coaching inn.
Baldock was also a centre for malting which in a large way explains why for many years there were more pubs and ale houses in the immediate vicinity than in most neighbouring towns put together.
The number of pubs has declined in recent times but not drastically. Those who love good food and wine and a fun night out are still well catered for.
The annual town festival which extends for a fortnight in May is probably the highlight of the social calendar. The varied programme for this years event included a day of Morris dancing, a book fair, exhibitions, classic car show, cricket match, concerts, Petanque for beginners, a barn dance, a visit to a brewery, malt whisky tasting, a three-day beer festival and lots of other enjoyable attractions concluding with the street fair when traditionally stall holders dress up in costume to celebrate the towns medieval roots.
Meanwhile there's the new improved present day shopping centre to explore with fresh shops and cafes popping up and a weekly market to boost the local economy.
All in all, Baldock is a lively town in a historic setting but much more peaceful since the through traffic has been diverted.
How much to live here?
Buyers in Baldock are paying more than they did at the depths of the recession. Prices are on the up, says Alan Hilditch at Satchells local branch. Four out of five of the new three-bedroom mews houses being built in the town centre have been sold by his office since Christmas. The remaining one is 325,000.
The agent is expecting strong interest in the two and three-bedroom houses coming on stream as a result of the conversion of the 16th-century Musgrove Maltings in the heart of the town.
Its exciting times in Baldock, he reports, there are good opportunities for professionals wanting to move up-market, for first time buyers and downsizers. Something for everyone.
Rail: The journey to King Cross from Baldock takes 35-40 minutes.
Road: The new by-pass completed in 2006 greatly eased the traffic jams not cured by the earlier 1970s scheme. The nearby A1 (M) is a fast road to the A1 and major towns in the north and to the M25 in the south.