Area Guide: The popular Oaklands area of St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Excellent schools are the main draw for house hunters looking to move to Oaklands.
Located between Smallford and Fleetville, the area has a distinctly suburban feel, with detached and semi-detached family homes making up most of the housing stock.
Though it’s certainly not the most expensive part of St Albans, anyone wishing to buy here should expect to pay a schools premium - families regularly move from other areas of the city specifically to secure a place for their child at the massively over-subscribed Beaumont School.
Properties currently on the market include a four-bed detached house on Wynches Farm Drive for £850,000 and a three-bed semi on Oakwood Drive for £660,000.
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The City station is more than half an hour away on foot, or a short bike or bus ride. Regular bus services are available on Hatfield Road.
The M25, the M1 and A1(M) are also very close to Oaklands, meaning easy driving north and south.
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The city centre may be a short drive away, but there are many other amenities within walking distance.
The parade of shops on Hatfield Road includes a dog grooming parlour, an estate agent’s office, a barbers and a wine shop. Several food options are also based here, including a pizza and sandwich shop, a Chinese restaurant and takeaway and The Green Kitchen vegetarian café, plus the ever-popular Wongs fish and chip shop and Chinese takeaway.
There’s also a smaller parade of shops on Central Drive, while nearby Fleetville and the Quadrant in Marshalswick offer a wider range of amenities, including a Morrisons supermarket.
The Speckled Hen is a family friendly pub on Hatfield Road. It serves a range of food, including steak, burgers and bangers and mash, and has a beer garden.
Across Hatfield Road is Longacres Park, with its large playing fields and two children’s playgrounds. The Alban Way walking and cycling route runs alongside this open space, connecting St Albans with nearby Hatfield.
Other nearby attractions include Gravity Force trampoline park at Alban Park, on the way to Hatfield.
St Albans is renowned for its great state schools, and no area is better equipped than Oaklands when it comes this.
Oakwood Primary School, in Oakwood Drive, was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2014, who noted that “pupils reach standards that are consistently above average” and are “exceptionally well prepared for their future lives”.
The enormously popular Beaumont School, also on Oakwood Drive, is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. The coeducational academy houses 1,200 pupils and was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection. Competition to secure a place is fierce, and the school’s catchment is extremely tight.
Oaklands College is an impressive further education college, which offers around 1,500 full and part-time courses to approximately 10,000 students of various ages. The college was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its most recent inspection. It also runs work-based learning programmes with close links to local employers and apprenticeships.