Area Guide: The historic village of Abbots Langley

Abbots Langley

Abbots Langley - Credit: Archant

Abbots Langley is an old settlement with a rich history, dating back to 1045. Jacob Savill found out more about this pretty part of Hertfordshire

Welcome to Abbots Langley

Welcome to Abbots Langley - Credit: Archant

Located between Hemel Hempstead and Watford, Abbots Langley uses a Watford postcode (WD).

It was mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name ‘Langlai.’ At the time it was inhabited by 19 families and valued at £10!

St Saviours church, Abbots Langley

St Saviours church, Abbots Langley - Credit: Archant


According to Rightmove, Abbots Langley had an overall average sold price of £452,907 in 2017. This was more expensive than nearby Garston (£369,075), but cheaper than Kings Langley (£547,622) and Bricket Wood (£494,486).

The majority of sales were terraced properties, which sold for an average of £409,263. Semi-detached properties had an average sold price of £498,194 and flats averaged at £261,501.

House prices in Abbots Langley were 8 per cent up on 2016, and 15 per cent up on 2015, when they averaged at £393,915.

Abbots Langley village centre

Abbots Langley village centre - Credit: Archant

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The high street is lined with a diverse selection of food outlets, including four highly regarded Indian restaurants - the Noor Mahal, the Abbots Tandoori, the Forest of India, and the Village Tandoori.

There is also the popular Pin Wei Restaurant which specialises in Chinese seafood, plus Aroma Kitchen, famous for its Sunday buffet.

Homes in Abbots Langley village centre

Homes in Abbots Langley village centre - Credit: Archant

The three major pubs in the village are the Royal Oak, which is currently running a ‘Friends Eat Free’ promotion. The Compasses, a traditional, family-owned pub which hosts a quiz night every Wednesday, and has a large beer garden, complete with heated deck. And there is The Unicorn, which is located right next to Kings Langley train station.


Kings Langley rail station is on the edge of the village, offering regular services into London that take about half an hour.

Abbots Langley

Abbots Langley - Credit: Archant

The village also has excellent motorway links. The M25 passes directly through the parish, and the M1 is very close, just to the east side.

The Grand Union Canal runs through the village, and has excellent water connections to major UK cities, such as Leicester, Birmingham, and Nottingham.

Famous faces

Abbots Langley is the proud birthplace of Nicholas Breakspear, circa. 1100, who would later become Pope Adrian IV - the only Englishman to ever be Pope. The site where his home stood, on Breakspear Farm, is marked by a plaque. The village contains several roads named after its most famous inhabitant, including Breakspeare School.

More recently, Abbots Langley was the birthplace of entertainer and actor Bradley Walsh, and the Labour MP, Liz Kendall.


Abbots Langley is a superb location for primary education, with several schools to choose from - the largest of which is Abbots Langley Primary School (rated ‘good’ by Ofsted), just off Bedmond Road.

Breakspeare School (‘outstanding’) is an excellent option for children aged three to 19 with severe learning difficulties, and offers a highly individualised curriculum for all its students.

Nearby secondary options include Parmiter’s School (‘outstanding’), Francis Combe Academy (‘good’) and Kings Langley School (‘good’).


For keen Harry Potter fans, just a five minute-drive away from the village is the Leavesden studio tour – one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. It includes a behind-the scenes tour of all the film-sets and props used in the making of the movies.

Abbots Langley has a historic bowling club, founded in 1935, which at full strength has about 50 members. The village is a 10 minute drive from the Woodside Leisure Centre in Watford, which has first class sports facilities and 59 acres of woodland for outdoor activities.

The parish council also has a 28 page online booklet detailing eight excellent walks around the area, complete with maps and directions. See here for more information.