Area Guide: The affluent commuter hotspot of Radlett
- Credit: Archant
With its swift rail link to central London and highly-regarded schools, its easy to see Radlett’s appeal. We found out more about it.
A prosperous area with a strong Jewish community, Radlett is a large village with a lot going on.
Of its population of approximately 8,000, around 2,200 Radlett residents identify as Jewish.
The needs of the Jewish community are well taken care of on Watling Street, the main road running through Radlett, with a kosher butcher and a couple of kosher-style delis.
There are also two synagogues (and four churches).
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Famous former residents include Simon Cowell, who grew up in the village, and ex-Girls Aloud star Cheryl, who left her luxury home on Cobden Hill for a new life in Surrey with One Direction’s Liam Payne (and look how well that turned out...).
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There has been a settlement known as Radlett since 1453, however the area as it stands has been created almost entirely since the end of the 19th century. During this time, the village was a rural community dominated by the estates of the Kendals, who owned the majority of the land to the west of Watling Street, in addition to Newberries Avenue and Aldenham Lodge. The only buildings at the time were located at the crossroads at the bottom of Shenley Hill, which included a pub and an inn.
In 1860, the Midland Railway service was extended from Bedford into London and a station was built in Radlett, connecting it with London.
1948 was a momentous year in sport for the village, with the Olympic marathon running through the area. An out-and-back course from the Empire Stadium in Wembley was laid out through the main high street.
A quick glance at Rightmove confirms that living in Radlett is far from cheap: there are nearly 100 homes currently listed for sale, and more than half are priced in excess of £1 million. At the very top end is Dell House on Cobden Hill, a huge pile with a pool and a guide price of £8 million.
The Warren is arguably Radlett’s most prestigious address, however: last year it topped Lloyds Bank’s list of Hertfordshire’s most expensive streets, with an average price of £1,945,000 recorded there between 2014 and 2019. It’s also home to Apple Hatch, the third most expensive home sold in Herts year, which changed hands for £3,575,000.
There are three popular state schools in Radlett – Newberries Primary and Fair Field Junior School were both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at their last inspections, while St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School was ranked ‘outstanding’.
Fee-paying options include Edge Grove, an independent day and boarding school for pupils aged three to 13, and Radlett Preparatory, a day school for children aged four to 11. Radlett Prep old boys include Simon Cowell and Vinnie Jones (the latter of whom was expelled).
The area has excellent transport links, with close access to the M25, M1 motorways and A1, while the commuter rail service from Radlett to St Pancras takes less than half an hour.
Eating, drinking and entertainment
Radlett has a variety of restaurants and bars to suit all taste preferences, ranging from popular chains such as Pizza Express to unique independently owned venues.
The Broadwick is Radlett’s number one restaurant according to Trip Advisor, with recent visitors praising its “excellent” service, as well as its fine food and fabulous cocktails.
Isot is a Turkish restaurant with an authentic Mediterranean menu and a friendly atmosphere with themed entertainment evenings.
Entertainment venue The Radlett Centre’s 300-seat auditorium shows a wide range of performances throughout the year.