Area Guide: Welwyn Garden City explored
- Credit: Archant
England’s second garden city, Welwyn Garden City has a lot to offer locals. Chloe Vialou-Clark found out more about this bustling place.
The green and leafy Welwyn Garden City is the perfect mix of urban and country. The houses have spacious gardens and are less than seven miles away from St Albans, Hatfield, and Harpenden.
History and culture
Welwyn Garden City was founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard, the father of the garden city movement. It was only the second garden city in England. The town was designed specifically by Ebenezer to benefit from both a thriving industrial community but also the peaceful surrounding countryside.
The feeling of open fields and woods has been preserved in the town. The pavements and roads are wide and the central street, Parkway, is almost a mile long. It is marked by a tree-lined boulevard and the large Coronation Fountain in the centre.
The water of the fountain is often entertainingly coloured to support particular causes, such blue for the NHS's 70th birthday and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
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There is plenty of neighbourhood shopping in and around Welwyn Garden City's town centre.
The main shopping centre, The Howard Centre, is central to the community and is decked out with a large variety of shops, including the likes of H&M, Fat Face and Next. There are also banks, travel agents and plenty of coffee shops for daily errands.
There are many accessible supermarkets around the main high street that have large car parks, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and ALDI. Welwyn Garden City also boasts a large John Lewis department store, complete with café.
There are a number of primary and nursery schools in Welwyn Garden that have been reported as 'good' in their latest Ofsted reports, including Commonswood, Swallow Dell and Peartree. Templewood Primary School was also named 'outstanding' by Ofsted.
Monk's Walk School ('good') is a notable secondary school in the area.
The independent co-educational Sherrardswood School, admitting students from Reception to Sixth Form, is located just over two miles away near Welwyn North train station.
Welwyn Garden City also boasts a lively restaurant scene, with chains including Pizza Express, Bill's, Prezzo and Zizzi all within walking distance of each other.
Popular independents in the town centre include Turkish/Mediterranean favourite Misya Meze & Grill and Red Indian Restaurant, while The Waggoners is a highly regarded pub in the nearby hamlet of Ayot Green.
Welwyn Garden City provides a number of fun activities for adults and families alike. For a refreshing stroll, Stanborough Park is a beautiful area for a day out. It has two large lakes with planned nature walks and trails in the surrounding woodlands. There is also a water sports activity centre with rowing and pedal boats for a fun day on the water.
Another perk of the town is the local Roller City roller skating rink at The Campus. Perfect for families or large groups, kids will love zooming around the arena and the café is great to recharge everyone's batteries.
The cinema, found within the same building, shows a selection of the latest releases every day.
The Gosling Sports Park provides a wide range of sports facilities. It is very popular for its dry ski slope, driving range and tennis courts, but also has a large gym and athletics track used for local events.
Welwyn Garden City's football team was established in 1921 and is one of the area's biggest clubs. The town's golf club offers beautifully-kept greens and fairways on its 18-hole course and its welcoming clubhouse has fantastic facilities.
Welwyn Garden City is a popular area for commuters and city-goers, due to its excellent transport links.
There are over 80 regular buses travelling to towns around the county including St Albans, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead and many more.
The train station, located behind The Howard Centre, provides direct services into King's Cross (in less than half an hour) and Moorgate, as well as destinations further north, such as Cambridge.
The town is also close to many motorways including the A1 (M), M25 and M1.