Why you should move to Harpenden
PUBLISHED: 17:05 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 February 2013
Beautiful and well-located, Harpenden is one of Hertfordshire's most popular towns. Laura White discovers why so many people want to settle there
HARPENDEN is a respected town with a traditional English village atmosphere, situated between Luton and St Albans. As a place to settle it is difficult to beat, with tree-lined streets, period cottages and numerous commons and open spaces.
Property here does not come cheap and there has been a particular rise in the demand for large detached family homes, an indication of the growing number of affluent commuters choosing the area. The town has plenty of multimillion-pound properties but it is still possible to find modern two and three-bedroom houses for between 200,000 and 300,000 to the east of the railway line.
Two of England's best-performing state schools are based in Harpenden - Sir John Lawes and St George's. Competition is fierce to attend the schools and outstanding examination results attract many new residents who wish to live in the catchment area. The town's independent schools are well-established favourites with parents and also offer an excellent standard of education.
Nature is a main attraction in Harpenden and those who live in the town can enjoy the outdoor space whenever they choose. Quality of life and health is improved by the endless opportunities for activity. Families can engage with the great outdoors and keep children away from their TVs with exciting countryside outings.
The large expanse of land known as 'Nomansland' Common has an interesting history. Here, part of the Second Battle of St Albans was fought in the War of the Roses and it was reportedly the haunt of the highwaywoman known as 'The Wicked Lady.'
Harpenden has a vibrant set of fantastic shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There is limited representation of nationwide multiple High Street stores in order to retain Harpenden's character, but there are an abundance of tempting independent shops brimming with antiques, boutique clothing and luxury goods.
Sport is a popular pasttime in Harpenden. Cricket is still a loved Hertfordshire county pursuit, as are rugby and football. There are three golf clubs in central Harpenden and two bowls clubs. Harpenden Leisure Centre is a thriving family-friendly focal point for sporty residents of all ages and abilities. The large, well-equipped leisure centre has indoor badminton and squash courts, outdoor floodlit tennis courts, hockey and football pitches, two swimming pools, a health club and dance/fitness studios.
Eating out in Harpenden is a real treat. There is a wide choice of excellent restaurants, cafes, pubs and wine bars catering for all tastes. From simple 'pub grub' to gourmet dinners, there are great dishes suiting any budget. For nightclubs, a journey to St Albans or London will satisfy, while those who enjoy culture can sit back and relax in Harpenden Hall.