Area Guide: The affluent Hertfordshire town of Rickmansworth
Herts Ad Property team
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
About five miles west of Watford, just inside the M25, lies Rickmansworth - a bustling town that proudly boasts its own Tube station.
Arranged mostly to the north of the Grand Union canal and the River Colne, Rickmansworth regularly crops up on 'most expensive places to live' lists.
According to a 2019 study, there are more streets where homes average £1 million or more here than almost anywhere else in Britain. (It came seventh in Zoopla's Rich List, a countdown of post town areas outside London, with 139 such streets.)
Naturally, living in such a high end enclave doesn't come cheap: according to Rightmove, the overall average price of a property in Rickmansworth over the last year was £746,878.
Detached homes were even more expensive, with an average price of £1,183,659, while a typical flat fetched £388,889.
Homes currently for sale in the town include many a top end option: a £3m, 5,000sq ft new build in 0.4 of acre on The Clump, a £2.95m pad set in 1.7 acres on the gated Loudwater estate and a six-bedder on prestigious Valley Road for £2.25m.
The most affordable home currently for sale in the town is a £250,000 one-bed flat above a restaurant on Uxbridge Road.
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A town steeped in history, there has been a settlement here since the Stone Age.
In the 8th century, King Offa granted Rickmansworth to the Abbot of St Albans.
The Manor of the More - a palace that stood on the grounds of what is now Moor Park - was held by notorious Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, between 1520 and 1530. Henry VIII was a regular visitor.
Rickmansworth is well known for its three rivers: Colne, Chess and Gade. These helped establish an economy in the town with a thriving watercress trade.
One of Rickmansworth’s claims to fame is its role in the building of the original Wembley Stadium, as gravel from local quarries was used in its construction.
Rickmansworth was also a place of residence for famous explorer and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. The Three Rivers Museum is housed at his former home, Basing House, on High Street.
Leisure and sport
One of the biggest attractions in the area is the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. This is a public park and local nature reserve with two lakes, woodland walks, kids’ play areas, a restaurant and open green spaces that are perfect for picnics. Water-skiing, canoeing and sailing are also on offer on the surrounding lakes.
The William Penn Leisure Centre on Shepherds Lane is a great place for keeping fit with its gym, award-winning swimming pools, group exercise studio and floodlit artificial football pitch. Locals and visitors alike enjoy taking advantage of the picturesque canal, and the Batchworth Lock Canal Centre offers boat trips and a shop selling ice cream and gifts.
London is easily accessible, as the M25 is just minutes away. There are strong rail links, with trains on the London to Aylesbury line and Metropolitan line tubes from London to Amersham.
The town also has many bus services connecting it to surrounding areas, such a Hemel Hempstead and Garston, as well as Heathrow Airport.
Rickmansworth has strong school options. Local primaries include Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School and St Mary’s Church of England School (both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted).
St Clement Danes in neighbouring Chorleywood is an ‘outstanding’ secondary, while St Joan of Arc Catholic School and Rickmansworth School are ‘good’. Rickmansworth is just a short drive from Watford, which is home to the ‘outstanding’ semi-selective Watford Grammar School for Boys and its girls’ equivalent, both of which are over-subscribed.
Food and drink
The town centre presents a selection of cuisines, from Italian at the classy Buon Cibo to Thai at Tamarind or Chinese at the deceptively named Mexica Buffet, all on Station Road.
Go to Church Street and you will find a 400 year old building which is home to the highly popular (and multi-award winning) Cinnamon Square bakery. For drinks, there is a multitude of pubs and bars; The Fox & Hounds on High Street is just one of the locals’ favourites.