Area Guide: The popular St Stephen’s area of St Albans
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Between the city centre and Chiswell Green is the St Stephen’s area of St Albans. We found out more about it.
A mostly residential area, St Stephen's is centred on Watling Street's historic church of the same name.
Founded in 948AD, St Stephen's is a picturesque place of worship with a lively community. It operates in partnership with the more modern St Julian's Church on the Cottonmill estate.
Homes currently for sale in this part of St Albans include a two bedroom flat on Trevelyan Place, off St Stephen's Hill, for £500,000, and a five bedroom detached house on Watford Road for £1,195,000.
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St Stephen's has excellent road links, with the A1(M), M25 and M1 all a short distance away.
The Abbey Line runs to and from Watford Junction, while speedy train services from St Albans City station can get you into the centre of London in around 20 minutes.
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Primary schools in the St Stephen's area include Mandeville, Prae Wood, Killigrew and St Adrian's Catholic primary, all of which were rated 'good' by Ofsted at their last inspections.
The Malborough Science Academy is a 'good' secondary school in Watling Street, with a strong sense of community spirit and an exciting annual music festival, M Festival, which has been running for a decade.
For families looking to go private, St Columba's College is an independent Catholic day school for boys aged 4-18, located on King Harry Lane.
There is a local grocery shop, a hairdressers, a launderette and a dog grooming parlour on Vesta Avenue. St Stephen's is also close to the Abbey View Retail Park, Griffiths Way, which has branches of The Range, Matalan, Halfords and Pets at Home, among other stores. A large Sainsbury's is just across the road, and there's a branch of Waitrose off King Harry Lane.
Food and drink
The row of shops on Vesta Avenue includes a handful of popular fast food outlets - a chicken shop, Chinese takeaway and a fish and chip bar. There is also a McDonald's on Griffiths Way, while Sainsbury's and The Range both have cafes.
The King Harry, aptly positioned in King Harry Lane, is a gastropub with a beer garden and snug, which offers everything from laidback lunches to hearty Sunday roasts.
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks - arguably England's oldest pub, dating back to the 8th century - is on Abbey Mill Lane, on the edge of Verulamium Park. As well as food and drink, it also serves up its own merchandise range, including everything from hats to hoodies.
Sport and leisure
There is a park with lovely trees and a play area off Wilshire Avenue, which extends to the back of St Stephen's Church, while the space between St Stephen's Avenue and King Harry Lane also has a playground.
It's only a short walk to the city's main park, Verulamium, which is situated next to the picturesque Abbey cathedral. The park has a play area, lake, cafe and museum, as well as tennis courts, a splash park for young ones and an outdoor gym.
Equally close by is Westminster Lodge, off Holywell Hill, with its swimming pools, fitness classes, climbing wall and soft play.