Harpenden deemed an ‘oasis’ for commuters

Welcome to Harpenden

Welcome to Harpenden - Credit: Archant

Country Life has named Harpenden one of the best places to live for commuters into London.

In fact, they declare Herts an ideal base overall for those wanting to escape the capital at the end of the work day, listing several other villages and towns in the area as great locations to set up home.

Harpenden in particular is noted for its hassle free 39 minute commute into London St Pancras via Thameslink, with a choice of 7 trains per hour (peak time). Direct services will even get you to St Pancras in just over twenty minutes. There’s the added convenience of trains running through the night until 4:15am (quite often a feature that some popular commuter towns lack).

One of the allures of an out-of-city home base is the rural escape it gives commuters. Harpenden provides its resident with a rich history as well as a picturesque setting. The main village is thought to have materialised when the forests surrounding London were cleared for settlements during the construction of Westminster Abbey. Much of this woodland still remains, making this a particularly green escape from London.

Country Life’s evaluation is positively glowing, describing the area as “a sylvan oasis”, highlighting the Elizabethan and Jacobean houses as a particular draw for those looking to dwell in a property with a back-story. Special mention is given to Mackerye End, the Grade I listed manor house famous for its vast gardens and for being the birthplace of John of Wheathampstead, renowned abbot of St Albans Abbey from 1420 to 1440.

History aside, Harpenden has plenty of contemporary allure for the modern-day commuter. The area is rich with restaurants (particularly popular if you’re a fan of Italian), great local and high street shopping, an array of recreational activity for all ages, sports societies and am-dram for anyone with a flair for theatrics.

Harpenden’s draw is evident to those that want to leave the hustle and bustle of London behind them in the evenings and at weekends. Country Life also names the likes of Whitwell and Redbourne as similar alternatives and included similar accounts of other Hertfordshire locations such as Ashwell, Barley and Aldbury.