Area Guide: Highfield
- Credit: Archant
Born in the 1960s from the post-war expansion of Hemel Hempstead, Highfield is a pleasant residential area, providing its residents with a plethora of activities and communal areas.
A Tight-knit Community
Open since the early 70s, the Highfield Community Centre has graduated from its simple offering of Friday night bingo to an array of activities for the whole community throughout the week. The centre runs an internet café and hosts several community functions, and also holds activities ranging from kickboxing lessons to meetings of the Bangladeshi Welfare association. The weekly Wednesday psychic sessions are reputedly very popular.
The area is primarily served by two retail hubs; the Heights shopping centre, and the Bellgate parade. Bellgate parade provides convenient essential shopping, with a local supermarket, restaurant and post office. The Lemon Plaice is well worth a visit for those who want to indulge in generous portions of classic British food, either in house or as a take away.
Choice of local schools
The area is well supplied with primary schools, many of which are rated ‘good’ by Ofstead. Secondary schools are a convenient distance from Highfield, and include the Astely Cooper, Adeyfield and Cavendish schools. Ofstead describes the Cavendish school as ‘a harmonious community’ and notes that “staff, parents and students alike say how well students enjoy being at the school.”
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Highfield is a well-connected neighbourhood. Linked by the no. 4 bus to the old town centre, and to St Albans via the B487 and A5183 roads, a shopping break can be easily arranged. The nearest rail links are Apsley, Hemel Hempstead and King’s Langley and the nearest airport (Luton) is only a twenty minute drive. A trip to London takes some minimal planning, with an hour and a quarter journey to the Capital.
History & Landmarks
As an area of the Hemel Hempstead ‘New Town’, Highfield was built as part of a project to provide pleasant and affordable housing to those families displaced by the Blitz. The drive for expansion began in early 1946 and continued right through to the 1980s. Highfield itself was founded in the late 1960s.
But Highfield is known for more than just its classic 60s architecture; the area boasts a well preserved Bronze Age burial ground (c.1700 BC) near the junction of Queensway and High Street Green that features prominently as a site of archaeological interest.
Most of the properties in Highfield are terraced, with an average price of £273,623, whilst semi detached and detached housing average £332,094 and £445,186 respectively. The area is filled with character; one of the quirks of the area is its planetary associations, featuring Jupiter Drive, Neptune Drive, Apollo Way, Uranus Road, Pluto Rise, Saturn Way, Mercury Walk and Martian Avenue.