Area Guide: The Watford suburb of Garston
- Credit: Archant
Equidistant from St Albans and Watford, Garston is best known for its schools and its cinema.
Once a village, it is now a suburb of Watford, with its own parade of local shops – the aptly named Garston Park Parade – plenty of sports and leisure facilities and, yes, those renowned secondary schools.
There is also a petrol station, a crematorium and churches of several denominations.
Garston’s streets are lined mostly with a mix of 1930s semis, terraced homes and flats.
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Last year there were more semis sold than any other type of property, with Rightmove reporting an average asking price of £460,704; the overall average price for a property in Garston during 2017 was £393,187.
Sold prices last year were up 5 per cent up on 2016 and 15 per cent on 2015 when the average house price was £341,346.
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Homes currently on the market in Garston include a three-bed detached house on Woodside Road for £730,000 and a two-bed apartment on Hales Court for £283,500.
Garston is renowned for its outstanding secondary schools.
Parmiter’s School in High Elms Lane is one of the most over-subscribed schools in Hertfordshire.
A partially selective co-educational state comprehensive with sixth form, it was originally based in East London, moving to Hertfordshire in 1977. It was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection.
Founded in 1955, St Michael’s Catholic High School, also in High Elms Lane, was the first Catholic secondary school in Hertfordshire. Rated ‘outstanding’. It is a comprehensive serving children between 11 and 18 years of age.
Francis Combe Academy, based in Horseshoe Lane, opened in 2009, replacing Francis Combe School and Community College.
It also has a sixth form, and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Garston has excellent transport links.
It has its own railway station, which is the third stop on the Abbey Line, after Watford Junction and Watford North.
Mainline train services from London Euston go through Watford.
Garston is also within easy reach of the M1, M25 and A41, and has its own bus station.
Sport and leisure
Garston Park is a huge open space, around half of which is taken up by a 6.4 hectare nature reserve. It includes woodland and areas of grassland and wetland and is inhabited by muntjac deer, red foxes, pipistrelle bats, woodpeckers and several species of butterflies. It also has a football pitch with changing rooms, an outdoor gym and a children’s play area.
Woodside Leisure Park, Kingsway, is home to a Vue cinema, Hollywood Bowl, a children’s indoor activity centre, Gambado, and Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s restaurants.
Woodside Leisure Centre on Horseshoe Lane has two pools, a gym, an exercise studio, a squash court and a hall offering table tennis, badminton and five-a-side football. There’s also an on-site crèche.
Food and drink
All your fast food needs are catered for in Garston. As well as the chain restaurants at Woodside Leisure Park there’s McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s and Papa John’s, plus independents like Wok Express Chinese.
The Dome Bar, St Albans Road, has a menu of Thai food to eat in or takeaway, plus regular big screen sport and live music.
New Shapla and Indian Sizzler are popular Indian restaurants next door to each other on Longspring, while the Harvester on North Orbital Road sells all your family-friendly favourites, including burgers, steaks and ice cream sundaes.