Area Guide: The popular Hertfordshire village of Abbots Langley
- Credit: Archant
A busy village located within a short drive of Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford, Abbots Langley offers the best of both worlds.
Abbots Langley is an old settlement with a rich history, dating back to 1045.
Located between Hemel Hempstead and Watford, the village uses a Watford postcode (WD).
It was mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name 'Langelai.' At the time it was inhabited by 19 families and valued at £10!
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According to Rightmove, Abbots Langley had an overall average sold price of £439,250 over the past year, making it more expensive than nearby Garston (£402,225), but cheaper than Kings Langley (£518,359).
Homes currently on the market in the village include a four-bed detached house on Abbots Road for £1,600,000, a three-bed semi on Tibbs Hill Road for £550,000 and a two-bed terrace on Oak Green Way for £320,000.
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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.
For fans of the great outdoors, details of eight scenic walks around the area can be downloaded from the parish council website (http://www.abbotslangley-pc.gov.uk/footpath-walks/).
Eating and drinking
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.
The Royal Oak is a child-friendly pub offering a range of food and occasional live music and DJ nights, while The Compasses is a traditional, family-owned pub with a large beer garden and a special claim to fame: it's the closest pub/restaurant to the Harry Potter studio tour. Finally, The Unicorn, which is located next to Kings Langley train station, offers live music and plenty of food options.
Kings Langley rail station is on the edge of the village, offering regular services into London that take about half an hour.
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, offering great water connections to major UK cities, such as Leicester, Birmingham, and Nottingham.
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, as well as 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 and Kings Langley School (both 'good').