Area Guide: The Hertfordshire district of Panshanger
- Credit: Archant
Panshanger was once a country mansion between the edge of Hertford and Welwyn Garden City (WGC). Now a district of WGC, people also strongly associate the now defunct famous Panshanger Aerodrome with the area.
Celebs with a connection to Panshanger include ex-England football goalkeeper David James, professional golfer Nick Faldo and presenter and model Lisa Snowden.
Within close proximity of virtually all the amenities, leisure, sport and shopping facilities you could want in nearby WGC town centre, Hatfield Galleria and attractive market towns St Albans and Hitchin, Panshanger is an ideal location for active families, young people and older adults.
Panshanger is within easy reach of London and the M25, and there are regular mainline trains to Kings Cross, which take 26 minutes. There are comprehensive rail and bus services to major nearby towns and the A1(M) and the A414 facilitate car journeys further afield.
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Panshanger Primary School, in Daniells, WGC, was rated by Ofsted as mostly ‘good’ with some ‘outstanding’ features in 2012. It has a nursery class and is situated on the land that was originally part of Panshanger House estate.
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When it was being built, the grave of an Iron Age chieftain was unearthed, dating back to between 25 and 10 BC. Artefacts from the grave, including an Italian silver cup are on display at the school.
Sir Frederic Osborn School in Herns Lane, Panshanger, was formed when two other schools merged. It was built in 1960, provides co-educational secondary education, and has a particularly strong reputation for sport and drama. It was found to require improvement when Ofsted visited in 2015.
Food and drink
The Attimore Hall in Ridgeway offers a good selection of well-kept real ales, a varied menu featuring classic meals, seasonal specials, buffet food for all occasions and a selection of fine wines. They also serve coffee and a muffin for £2.99, host a regular quiz and are Cask Marque Trust accredited.
The Fairway Tavern, on Panshanger Golf Course, is a three-star hotel with basic rooms, a large bar serving food and free Wi-Fi.
Close by there is a huge array of eateries from large brands like Pizza Express, Costa, Beefeater pub/restaurant The Stanborough, McDonald’s and KFC to independent Chinese and Indian takeaways, fish and chip shops and kebab houses.
WGC hosts a fine food and craft market on alternate Saturdays and the popular Stable Yard Farmers’ Market is open at Hatfield House every third Sunday.
Sport and leisure
Panshanger Football Club is very lively and puts on an annual festival, where they play, have a barbecue, ice cream van and bouncy castle for families.
Gosling Sports Park, in Stanborough Road, is impressive and diverse with a 100-station techy gym, studios, tennis courts, swimming pools, a golf driving range, athletics track and dry ski slope.
Sir Frederic Osborn School sports centre, in Herns Lane, provides many fitness activities and opportunities, such as marshal arts, table tennis, football, cricket, trampolining, hockey, basketball, dance, netball and badminton.
Stanborough Park, also referred to as Stanborough Lakes, is a beautiful countryside location, spanning 126 acres on the outskirts of WGC. It has water sports facilities and is popular for walking, sailing, windsurfing and angling.
Garden City Runners start at 8.30am at the Moneyhole Sports Ground in Panshanger – every Sunday except the first of each month, when they run from the School Lane car park in Welwyn village.
Although Panshanger House was demolished, Panshanger Park remains with the orangery, nursery garden wall, stables and cottages and all the estate buildings are there and listed by English Heritage.
It has a 1,000-acre country park and nature reserve – 200 of which are open to the public, who can enjoy damselfly and dragonfly species, kingfishers, wildfowl and osprey among the wetlands, grasslands and reedbeds. However, although named after the Panshanger estate and aerodrome, Panshanger Park is not classed as being in the ward of Panshanger.