Area Guide: The popular Camp area of St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Unpretentious, friendly and more affordable than some other parts of big, posh St Albans, we found out more about The Camp area of town - including its celebrity patron Harry Styles...
The Camp is a popular, multi-cultural area of St Albans with a strong sense of community spirit.
Close to the town centre and next to Fleetville it is well placed for all that St Albans has to offer.
The Camp includes Camp Road and roads off it, such as Royston Road and Ely Road.
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It has a mix of character terraces and council (and ex-council) semis and many of the homes here have been extended, with plenty of dormer windows to be seen.
Homes currently on the market in The Camp include a three-bed detached period house on Royston Road for £650,000 and a three-bed terraced house on Camp View Road for £459,950.
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The parade of shops on Cell Barnes Lane includes a Co-op supermarket, a newsagent and the popular Smoke House Deli, while nearby Fleetville has a large Morrisons supermarket, a Tesco Express, a launderette, Post Office, bakery, florist, funeral director, cafes and an active community centre. The town centre is about a 20-minute walk away.
Much to residents’ dismay and sadness, The Camp – a popular community pub, which the area is named after – was sold to property developers in 2015. A block of studios and one, two and three-bed apartments has since been built on the site.
The closest pubs now are both on Hatfield Road: The Crown, a five-minute walk from the City station, has an extensive food menu offering everything from Sunday roasts to weekend brunch, plus a special gluten-free menu. There are weekly events, including Tuesday comedy night, Wednesday ukulele club and Monday’s good old ‘burger, banger, booze’-fest. The Rats Castle in Fleetville has big screen sport, live music and a bit more of a ‘local’ vibe on account of its position further from the centre of town.
The legendary Camp fish and chip shop on Sutton Road is not only considered the best chippie in town, but it’s also got the best celeb connection: former One Direction star Harry Styles filmed a Gucci ad at the shop in March.
There’s a great mix of restaurants on offer in Fleetville from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern (The Oasis) to Italian (the hugely popular Nonno’s).
As with everywhere in St Albans, you can easily travel north and south using main road routes on the M25, M1 and A1(M).
The City station is a short distance on foot or by car, and has a regular fast service into London taking under 20 minutes.
There’s no shortage of excellent schools locally. Camp Primary and Nursery School was graded ‘good’ at a recent Ofsted inspection, as was Windermere Primary.
Fleetville Infants and Junior Schools were rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, as were Cunningham Hill Infant and Junior Schools.
Samuel Ryder Academy (‘good’) is an ‘all-through’ school, accommodating children from age 4-19, while Verulam, a boys’ academy, which admits a small number of girls in the sixth form, was found to be ‘inadequate’ when it was last inspected in October 2017.
Sport and leisure
Nearby gyms include Nuffield Health, which has squash and tennis courts, swimming pools and many classes, as well as physiotherapists and personal trainers and the more affordable Highfield Park Centre, with its gym and tennis courts, among other facilities.
The Royston Club, in College Road, is a popular social club with live music and regular quiz nights.
The Camp area of St Albans is just off the well-loved Alban Way cycle and walking track.
And it would be wrong not to mention the Organ Museum, on Camp Road, where you can see and hear about historic theatre organs and music boxes that have been lovingly restored by enthusiasts.