Area Guide: The family friendly Oaklands area of St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Families love Oaklands for its great schools and handy road links. We found out more about this popular residential area.
Located between Smallford and Fleetville, the Oaklands area has a distinctly suburban feel, with detached and semi-detached family homes making up most of the housing stock.
Though it's not the most expensive part of St Albans, anyone wishing to buy here should expect to pay a schools premium - families regularly move from London and other areas of the city to secure a place for their child, and homes comfortably within catchment can get snapped up quicky.
Those with the budget to live on the doorstep of Beaumont School can buy one of the new homes at the Kingsbury Gardens development, which is still under construction. Built on what was once a Beaumont playing field, the homes currently available start from £889,950 for a five-bed.
Properties on the market in the wider Oaklands area include a five-bed semi on Elm Drive for £950,000, a four-bed semi on Oakwood Drive for £750,000 and a three-bed end terrace on Wynches Farm Drive for £475,000.
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The City station is more than half an hour away on foot, or a short bike or bus ride. Regular bus services are available on Hatfield Road.
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The M25, M1 and A1(M) are also very close to Oaklands, meaning easy driving north and south.
There are plenty of amenities within walking distance, including the parade of shops on Hatfield Road with its dog grooming parlour, estate agent's office, barbers and convenience store. Several food options are also based here, including a pizza and sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant and takeaway and The Green Kitchen vegetarian café, plus the ever-popular Wongs fish and chip shop and Chinese takeaway.
There's also a smaller parade of shops on Central Drive, while neighbouring Fleetville and the Quadrant in Marshalswick offer a wider range of amenities, including Morrisons and M&S supermarkets.
The Speckled Hen is a family friendly pub on Hatfield Road, serving a range of food, including steak, burgers and bangers and mash.
Across Hatfield Road is Longacres Park, with its large playing fields and two children's playgrounds. The Alban Way walking and cycling route runs alongside this open space, connecting St Albans with nearby Hatfield.
St Albans is renowned for its great state schools, and no area is better equipped than Oaklands when it comes this.
Oakwood Primary School, in Oakwood Drive, was rated 'outstanding' in all areas by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2014. It was noted that "pupils reach standards that are consistently above average" and are "exceptionally well prepared for their future lives".
The enormously popular Beaumont School, also on Oakwood Drive, was also rated 'outstanding' across the board in 2014. The coeducational academy prepares pupils "extremely well" for their future and behaviour is "exemplary in and out of the classroom". Competition to secure a place is fierce, and the school's catchment is extremely tight.
Oaklands College is a further education college which offers around 1,500 full and part-time courses to approximately 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 and apprenticeships.