Area Guide: Broadwater explored

Shephalbury Park has lots for children to enjoy

Shephalbury Park has lots for children to enjoy - Credit: Archant

Broadwater is a borough of Stevenage, boasting green space and useful amenities aplenty.

One of Broadwater's more characterful buildings

One of Broadwater's more characterful buildings - Credit: Archant

There are many things that make Broadwater the best of both, balancing proximity to Stevenage town centre with acres of green space.

The 24-acre Shephalbury Park boasts football pitches, two play areas for children and Stevenage tennis centre, among other attractions.

Broadwater is also home to a great number of services including pubs, convenience stores and takeaway restaurants.

The Roebuck Inn, London Road

The Roebuck Inn, London Road - Credit: Archant

There two bustling parades of shops along Broadwater Crescent, including a Co-Op, a letting agency, a funeral director,a tanning salon and a fish and chip takeaway. Jenna Little works at a branch of Well pharmacy there, and says: “There is a strong community spirit, everyone’s friendly.”

Simon Walken from Vincent Giddings estate agents in Stevenage agrees that the area is one to watch, saying: “We let a number of properties in Broadwater and the area is very much sought after for its quality housing, amenities and transport links.”

Broadwater is just three miles from Knebworth House. The turreted, gargoyle-clad brick building dates back to the Tudor period but has been adjusted by Lytton heirs to meet the trends of the centuries that followed. An amalgamation of Tudor, Gothic and Victorian styles makes Knebworth House a piece of living history.

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One of the most famous residents was Edward Bulmer-Lytton, the Victorian novelist and playwright, who famously said ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. It is now possible to wander the halls that Edward occupied because the current resident Henry Lytton-Cobbold offers a historical tour, discussing his predecessors from 1490 onwards.

The Willows, Broadwater Crescent

The Willows, Broadwater Crescent - Credit: Archant

Broadwater boasts an array of primary schools, all of which have been awarded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted certification.

The area also offers rustic pubs and inns that provide lunch and dinners suitable for the whole family. The Roebuck Inn is a three-star hotel and restaurant housed in a characterful 15th century building. The Three Horseshoes serves classic pub grub, with plenty of parking spaces and free Wi-Fi connection. The Willows provides a Sunday carvery with a Caribbean twist and is described as ‘a unique casual dining experience’. Robbie Burgess, who works at The Willows, believes the area has a lot to offer. He said: “We have two really good parades of shops. Broadwater is well looked after, always clean and tidy with friendly people.”

A short drive from Broadwater is Stevenage train station, which has excellent links to central London, taking as little as 25 minutes to get to King’s Cross. The M1 is also a stone’s throw away, connecting London to Edinburgh and everything in between.

If you’re looking for history on your doorstep then take a stroll to St. Mary’s at Shephall Church which is believed to date back to the Norman era, with later additions being the fifteenth century roofing and the Victorian stained glass windows.

Broadwater has a mix of architectural styles

Broadwater has a mix of architectural styles - Credit: Archant

Exciting plans have also been put in motion for a redevelopment of large areas of Stevenage, including an extension to the Westgate Shopping Centre, new housing in the surrounding area, an additional fifth platform at Stevenage station, a new library, primary school and supermarket. 1,500 new homes and hundreds of job opportunities are also in the offing. Work is expected to be finished by 2031.

There is history, convenience and entertainment to be discovered and many new additions to anticipate for this up-and-coming area.

Shephalbury Park provides acres of green space

Shephalbury Park provides acres of green space - Credit: Archant

Broadwater balances proximity to Stevenage with plenty of green space

Broadwater balances proximity to Stevenage with plenty of green space - Credit: Archant