Area Guide: Oaklands
- Credit: Archant
Oaklands is the area to the east of St Albans, between Smallford and Fleetville. It includes Wynchlands Crescent, Oakwood Drive and Elm Drive and surrounding roads.
It is made up small and large impressive family homes and is situated just over three miles away from central St Albans.
Oakwood Primary School, in Oakwood Drive, is very popular and was rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2014, who noted that “pupils reach standards that are consistently above average” and are “exceptionally well prepared for their future lives”.
Nearby schools include Fleetville Nursery, Infant and Junior School, which is within walking distance and a few minutes away by car.
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Beaumont School is also in Oakwood Drive and is a coeducational secondary school with a sixth form and academy status. Established in 1938, it has become a large school now comprising around 1,200 pupils (300 of which are in the sixth form).
Oaklands College is an impressive further education college, which offers 1,500 full and part time courses and qualifications for 10,000 students of various ages. The college was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its most recent inspection. It also runs work-based learning programmes with close links to local employers and apprenticeships.
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There is a row of small local shops near Elm Drive and one in Oaklands, including a newsagents and mini grocery store, off Hatfield Road.
Marshalswick is a ten-minute walk from Oaklands and features bakeries, a Budgens supermarket, a florist and other shops at The Quadrant.
Fleetville is within easy walking distance and offers a Morrisons supermarket, newsagents, an outdoor play area for children and a few cafes.
The Galleria with its many various shops, places to eat and cinema is a five-minute car journey or bus ride away – as is St Albans town centre with its bustling diverse characterful market, large and independent shops, restaurants and cafes.
St Albans city station is a half-hour walk from Oaklands, providing direct routes to and from London and Luton, Brighton to Bedfordshire and beyond. It’s around 20 minutes on the train to central London and trains run every few minutes at peak times.
St Albans Abbey station is about a 45-minute walk and has a single-track line to Watford Junction station.
The M25, the M1 and A1(M) are very close to Oaklands, meaning easy driving north and south and for commuting, day trips or travelling to airports.
Food and drink
Wongs Fish and Chips takeaway in Oaklands is a great reason alone to move to this area!
The Speckled Hen is a friendly place to eat and drink, offering a wide range of beers, wines and spirits. The good value menu includes everything from Sunday roast to salad nicoise, which can be enjoyed in the beer garden on warmer days.
Five minutes away by car is The Three Horseshoes, a well-loved restaurant bar with delightful food. It has a cosy fire in winter and a large beer garden for alfresco dining.
The Rats Castle with cask ales and guest ales is situated on the corner of Sutton Road on Hatfield Road, about 10 minutes on foot from Oaklands.
A bit further away is The Crown pub with a full menu, including homemade burgers, Sunday roasts and cake and coffee mornings. Drinks served include an extensive selection of rare premium spirits, real ales, new craft beers and fine wines.
Places to eat near to Oaklands include popular Tea for Two at the Fleetville Vintage Emporium, Fleetville Café and the wonderful Chinese Express, which delivers.
Thai, Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisine can be found in St Albans town centre, where there are hundreds of coffee shops, cafes and pubs with a vast array of food and drink choices.
Sport and leisure
Westminster Lodge is a local council-run recently developed pool, gym and leisure centre. It runs fitness classes and sports sessions for all ages. There is a small soft play centre, café and baby pool with features for children. It is within walking distance (about 45 minutes) of Oaklands but you would probably be better off taking a car or bus.
Nuffield Health is a private gym requiring membership, which is a five-minute drive from Oaklands. Boasting health experts from personal trainers to physiotherapists and physiologists to help you get fit, it also has a squash club and courts and offers swimming lessons and nutritional therapy. There is a day nursery for children.
Fleetville Community Centre in Royal Road runs a number of clubs and facilities for families, and is available for party hire and other purposes. It has easy disabled access.