Area Guide: The Hertfordshire village of London Colney
- Credit: Archant
A large village on the outskirts of St Albans, London Colney is best known for its retail park, aircraft museum and activity farm. We found out more...
First recorded in 1555, London Colney takes its name from the River Colne and refers to “Colney on the road to London”.
The high street used to be one of the main routes to the capital, with its range of inns proving a popular stopover with travellers.
With a population of nearly 10,000 residents, London Colney offers a great balance: it's a cosmopolitan area with access to London, while also offering many opportunities for people who enjoy appreciating nature.
There are many walks associated with the village, as well as a number of open-water fishing areas in and around the River Colne, notably Broad Colney Lakes.
The village also offers supermarkets, hairdressers, several takeaways and a variety of different businesses including a tattooist and several estate agents.
In addition there are doctor’s practices, a library and a handful of popular pubs.
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The retail park, Colney Fields, offers a selection of supermarkets and stores including a Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer’s and Next.
London Colney is steeped in history, being the area in which the Romans captured Alban, before executing him at Verulamium.
In more recent history, London Colney was the landing site of German spy, Karel Richter on May 12, 1941. After landing, Richter hid in a forest, too nervous to travel to London. After eventually coming out of hiding, Richter was approached by two lorry drivers asking for directions towards London.
When he was unable to give directions, they became suspicious and reported him to a police officer who took him to the local police station. Eventually, Richter confessed to the true purpose of his mission.
While there is obviously much more to London Colney than aeroplanes and animals, they're the key components of the village's most popular attractions.
The de Havilland Aircraft Museum, established in 1959, is the UK’s oldest aviation museum dedicated to the preservation of the de Havilland aviation heritage and is located at Salisbury Hall on the south side of the M25 motorway.
Those with young children could also enjoy a day out at Willows Activity Farm, which offers a mixed bag of attractions including cow-milking demos, funfair rides, JCB ride-ons, indoor soft play and farm animals.
Fans of sports, particularly football, will be able to enjoy watching non-league team London Colney FC, who play at Cotlandswick Playing Fields.
They are also able to appreciate the proximity of both Arsenal FC and Watford FC’s training grounds, which are next door to each other on Bell Lane.
Located to the north of London, close to Junction 22 of the M25, London Colney has excellent transport links.
Bus routes connect London Colney to a range of destinations, including St Albans, Barnet, Watford and Borehamwood.
Thameslink trains then run into London from both St Albans and Borehamwood.
House prices in London Colney are marginally more affordable than those in neighbouring St Albans. Homes currently on the market in the village include a three-bed character property on High Street for £650,000 and a two-bed, first-floor flat on Wyedale for £255,000.
There are three primary schools in the village, which are all rated ‘good’ by Ofsted: Saint Bernadette Catholic Primary School, London Colney Primary & Nursey School and Bowmansgreen Primary School.
London Colney students often attend secondary schools in St Albans, including St Albans Girls’ School (‘outstanding’) Samuel Ryder Academy ('good') and Verulam School ('good’).