Area Guide: The affluent Hertfordshire village of Radlett
- Credit: Archant
With its excellent transport links, fine properties and fantastic schools, it’s no surprise that Radlett is currently one of the most prosperous places in Britain.
Of its population of approximately 8,000, around 2,200 identify as Jewish; the religious needs of the population are well catered for, with two synagogues and four churches.
Located within the council district of Hertsmere, the village contains a mix of multi-million pound detached houses, modern red-brick refurbishments and Victorian cottages.
Famous former residents include Simon Cowell, who grew up here, and ex-Girls Aloud star Cheryl, who left her luxury home on Cobden Hill earlier this year for a new life in Surrey with One Direction’s Liam Payne.
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She’s struggling to shift her six-bed home, which went on the market for £5m back in March, and has since dropped its asking price to £3,999,999.
According to Rightmove, the average price of property in Radlett during 2016 was a relatively affordable £1,116,315 – up 5 per cent on 2015 and 14 per cent on 2014.
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There are four popular state schools in Radlett – Newberries Primary and Fair Field Junior School were both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at their last inspections, while Hertsmere Jewish Primary and St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School were rated ‘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 Vinne Jones (the latter of whom was expelled).
The area has very good transport links, with close access to the M25 and M1 motorways and the A1 trunk road. The commuter rail service connects Radlett to St Pancras in under half an hour, with fast and easy access to the Eurostar.
Radlett also offers train services to Gatwick and Luton airports, while Heathrow is an accessible 40 minute drive away.
Bus services connect Radlett to many nearby towns and villages, including Watford, St Albans, Hatfield and Borehamwood.
Landmarks and history
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.
The introduction of the Metropolitan Green Belt in the 1950s set a legal framework limiting further growth of the area beyond the existing limits of the village, restricting Radlett to infilling within the built-up area rather than expanding outward. Despite this, the popularity of the area has meant that new houses continue to be built in former large estate gardens.
Shopping and culture
Watling Street, the main road running through Radlett, has a wide selection of local shops, in addition to some national chain stores. The needs of the Jewish community are well taken care of, with a kosher butcher and a couple of kosher-style delis.
Entertainment venue The Radlett Centre’s 300-seat auditorium shows a wide range of performances throughout the year.
On the outskirts of the village is Battlers Green Farm Rural Shopping Village, which has grown substantially since it was set up in 1960. Starting as a single farm shop, it now houses 17 independent businesses including a salon and spa, an indoor cycling and pilates studio and stores selling everything from fruit to furniture.
Sports and leisure
Radlett’s very own football club, Belstone FC, compete in the Herts Senior County League Premier Division. Cricket is played at Brunton Memorial Ground, which is also the training facility of the Middlesex County Cricket Club, hosting their cup match against Yorkshire in 2013.
Radlett is also the home of Tabard RFC, who play in London 2 North West. The training facility offers two full size pitches, in addition to subsidiary pitches for their growing junior and mini rugby section.
Radlett Bowls Club play on a six-rink green, owned and maintained by Aldenham Parish Council, during the season (mid-April to the end of September).
Eating and drinking
Radlett has a variety of restaurants and bars to suit all taste preferences, ranging from popular chains such as Prezzo and Pizza Express to unique independently owned venues.
Isot is a Turkish restaurant with an authentic Mediterranean menu and a friendly, warm atmosphere with themed entertainment evenings. Marinated meat and traditional kebabs can be enjoyed as a filling main or shared as part of a group mezze menu.
Bukushi offers pan-Asian cuisine and sushi to take-away while Va Pensiero is renowned locally for its mouth-watering Italian menu and a mix of world wines to be enjoyed in a contemporary setting.