Area Guide: The Apsley area of Hemel Hempstead

The Paper Mill pub, Apsley.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Paper Mill pub, Apsley. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Once an industrial village in its own right, Apsley is now a south-westerly suburb of Hemel Hempstead. ​Tom Caldon found out more...

Frogmore Paper Mill, Apsley.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Frogmore Paper Mill, Apsley. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

With its own retail park, the historic Frogmore Paper Mill, a selection of fine schools, and plenty of places to eat and drink along the Grand Union Canal, there’s a lot to like about Apsley.


Situated in the valley of the Chiltern Hills, at the confluence of the rivers Gade and Bulbourne, Apsley is widely seen as the birthplace of paper’s industrial revolution.

John Dickinson’s paper mills were based along the canal – an early trade route between London and the Midlands – and dominated local industry. Dickinson bought Apsley Mill in 1809 and it made paper until 1888, converting paper into stationery for many more years. It closed in 1990.

Apsley Marina.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Apsley Marina. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Beside the railway line stands St Mary’s church, a Grade II listed building which was first consecrated in 1871.


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Apsley’s streets contain largely a mix of flats, semis and terraced homes.

Apsley Marina.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Apsley Marina. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

According to Rightmove, the average sale price for a property in Apsley during 2017 was £403,844.

During the last year, sold prices were up 13 per cent up on 2015 when the average selling price was just £358,046.


The Grand Union Canal, Apsley.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Grand Union Canal, Apsley. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Apsley has brilliant transport links. It has its own train station and is less than a mile away from Hemel Hempstead station. Apsley station operates a Southern Line service which travels directly to London Euston in 30 minutes. Apsley is also within easy reach of the M1, M25 and A41.


There are some excellent educational institutions in Apsley, including Two Waters Primary School in High Ridge Close, which was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection.

Nearby secondary schools include Kings Langley School and Longdean School (both ‘good’).

Abbot’s Hill School on Bunkers Lane is an independent day school for girls aged 4-16, which also accepts boys into the nursery. It was a boarding school until 2003 and still retains a communal feel.

Sport and leisure

Fishing is allowed along the canal, but don’t forget your rod licence! Canoeing is permitted, too, and you can also tee off at the tranquil Victorian Shendish Manor golf course.

Then there’s the Frogmore Paper Mill museum on Fourdrinier Way. A paper mill since 1803, it now doubles as a not-for-profit visitor attraction which is well used by the community. Guided tours are available every Thursday and on the first Sunday of each month. Additionally, there are drop-in paper crafting sessions for children.

Apsley Mills Retail Park on London Road is home to stores including Homebase, Wren Kitchens, Argos, Carpetright and Currys PC World.

Food and drink

Your fast food needs are catered for in Apsley, with McDonald’s and popular takeaway Raja Tandoori both based on London Road. The Oddfellows Arms on the corner of Weymouth Street provides the chance to share a drink in an intimate setting and enjoy live music and comedy. while Bull Rozizio is a unique Brazilian steakhouse with fine service.

The Paper Mill pub serves tasty grub and refreshing beer at a relaxing terraced canalside location. It has weekly quizzes and live music.

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