Area Guide: Between Hatfield and St Albans, the village of Smallford
- Credit: Archant
Located in the City and District of St Albans and in the Civil Parish of Colney Heath, Smallford is rich in heritage and diversity.
The village originally had a railway station on the former St Albans branch line which opened in 1866. The railway line closed to passengers in 1951 and was permanently closed in 1969. Now known as the Alban Way, the disused line runs from St Albans to Hatfield.
The Alban Way has a number of different walking and cycling paths and is popular among dog walkers. The remains of most of the station platforms exist along the route, with some having recently been refurbished.
There are just two properties currently for sale in the village - a five-bed detached bungalow on Station Road for £850,000, a four-bed detached house on Oaklands Lane for £799,950 and a three-bed semi, also on Station Road, for £475,000.
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Smallford is just off the A414, with the A1 nearby. M25 junction 22 is about four miles from the village. Bus routes connect Smallford to St Albans and Hatfield, with buses travelling as far as Luton and Watford. Most bus routes into St Albans go via St Albans City railway station, with its speedy 20-minute link to London.
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Colney Heath JMI, situated in the nearby village of Colney Heath, is the nearest primary school and nursery. Its latest Ofsted report commended the school with a 'good' rating.
While Beaumont is the closest non-denominational secondary school, its catchment is so tight that students from Smallford are unlikely to secure a place there. Nearby alternatives include Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School in St Albans ('good') and Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School ('outstanding').
Oaklands College's Smallford campus ('good') offers A Level, vocational studies and higher education courses.
St Albans Nursery and Montessori Pre-school ('outstanding') on Hatfield Road is part of the Busy Bees chain. It provides childcare for children aged three months to five years.
Sports and leisure
The recreational ground situated on Oaklands Lane is home to St Albans Rugby Club and Harvesters Football Club. The rugby club was formed in 1970 and was the first open rugby club in St Albans. Harvesters train youth teams from reception age upwards, inclusive teams and a walking football team.
Hertfordshire Sports Village is just down the road from Smallford in Hatfield, offering a variety of different sports clubs, as well as a gym, squash courts, an eight lane swimming pool and a climbing wall.
A new addition to the local landscape is the Smallford Farm Shop, a hugely popular store and café located at the site of a nursery. The shop and café sell home-grown produce, much of which is sourced locally from artisan producers. A small play area has helped attract the family crowd.
The Three Horseshoes is located along Hatfield Road. The 18th century pub has a separate restaurant area, as well as a real log fire.
The Plough is a traditional, thatched, family-friendly pub in nearby Sleapshyde. Run by the team behind Dylans Kings Arms on George Street, St Albans, the pub dates back to the 16th century and serves seasonal menus of quality pub food. Along with a large pub garden and a children's play area, it is also dog friendly.
Other local amenities include a petrol station, a veterinary surgery and Notcutts Garden Centre. Notcutts has a café, animals to look at and buy and a gift shop, hosting special family-friendly events at key times of year, including Christmas and Easter.