Area Guide: The Garston area of Watford

Garston has a good range of local shops. Picture: Danny Loo

Garston Park Parade is a local shopping hub. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Home to a cinema, a handful of shops and restaurants and the most over-subscribed secondary school in Hertfordshire, Garston has a lot to offer residents. We found out more... 

Garston has great road links. Picture: Danny Loo

Garston has great road links. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Garston's streets are lined mostly with a mix of 1930s semis, terraced houses and flats. 

Homes currently on the market locally include the 14-bed, Grade II listed High Elms Manor, which was most recently in use as a school (it's advertised as 'price on application', which means it's on the very expensive side). More affordable options include a three-bed end terrace on Queenswood Crescent for £480,000 and a one-bed flat on Crown Rise for £150,000. 

According to Rightmove, properties in Garston had an overall average price of £421,752 over the last year, up 6 per cent on 12 months ago.  

More of Garston's semi-detached homes

Some of Garston's semi-detached homes. - Credit: Archant

Schools 

Garston is renowned for its outstanding secondary schools, and Parmiter's in High Elms Lane is the most oversubscribed in Hertfordshire. 

Originally based in East London before moving to Herts in 1977, Parmiter's is a partially selective co-educational state comprehensive with sixth form. It was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted at its last inspection. 

Parmiter's School, High Elms Lane, Garston. 

Parmiter's School, High Elms Lane, Garston. - Credit: Google Street View

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Another 'outstanding' school is St Michael's Catholic High School, a comprehensive with pupils between 11 and 18 years of age, also on High Elms Lane. 

Francis Combe Academy on Horseshoe Lane opened in 2009, replacing Francis Combe School and Community College. It was found to require improvement by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in March 2019.  

Primary options in Garston include The Grove Academy and Coates Way JMI (both ‘good’).  

Transport links 

Garston has excellent road links and is within easy reach of the M1, M25 and A41. 

It also has its own railway station, which is the third stop on the Abbey Line, after Watford Junction and Watford North. Mainline train services from London Euston also go through Watford. 

Food and drink 

Chain restaurant fans are well catered for in Garston, with branches of Frankie & Benny’s, McDonald's, TGI Friday's and Papa John's all close at hand. There is also a Harvester on North Orbital Road and a few independent outlets on Garston Park Parade, including Chinese, pizza and fish and chips takeaways.  

A popular nearby pub is the Dome Bar on St Albans Road – they serve food and have sport on the big screen as well as live music. 

Sport and leisure 

Garston Park. Picture: Danny Loo

Garston Park. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A major attraction is Garston Park, half of which is a nature reserve. The park itself covers 6.4 hectares, including woodland, grassland and wetland, and is inhabited by wildlife such as red foxes, woodpeckers and butterflies. 

There is a playground for children, as well as exercise spots and mown grass areas that are ideal for running. 

Woodside Leisure Centre on Horseshoe Lane has two pools, a gym, an exercise studio, a squash court and a hall offering table tennis, badminton and five-a-side football. There's also an on-site crèche. 

At the Woodside Leisure Park there is a Vue cinema and Hollywood Bowl which has 10-pin bowling, plus a bar, café and arcade. More family fun comes in the form of Ninja Warrior, which has recently replaced Gambado soft play as a popular kids' party venue. 

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) - Credit: Archant