Area Guide: The upmarket Hertfordshire town of Rickmansworth

High Street, Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

High Street, Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Renowned for its expensive homes, Rickmansworth’s average property prices are well in excess of St Albans’. We found out more about this town, which even has its own Tube station...

Cycylists and walkers will find a lot to enjoy here. Picture: DANNY LOO

Cycylists and walkers will find a lot to enjoy here. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The bustling town of Rickmansworth lies just inside the M25, about five miles west of Watford. 

Arranged mostly to the north of the Grand Union canal and the River Colne, it regularly crops up on 'most expensive places to live' lists. 

Naturally, living in such a high end enclave doesn't come cheap: according to Rightmove, the overall average price of a property in Rickmansworth over the last year was £732,074. 

The majority of sales were of detached properties, which sold for an average of £1,216,191, while flats typically changed hands for £358,690.

Some of the period housing on offer in Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

Some of the period housing on offer in Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Homes currently for sale locally include a six-bed pad with pool, and cinema room in Loudwater for offers in excess of £3m and a studio apartment on Homestead Road for £235,000.

History 

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A town steeped in history, there has been a settlement here since the Stone Age.

In the 8th century, King Offa granted Rickmansworth to the Abbot of St Albans.

The Manor of the More – a palace that stood on the grounds of what is now Moor Park – was held by notorious Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, between 1520 and 1530. Henry VIII was a regular visitor.

Rickmansworth is well known for its three rivers: Colne, Chess and Gade. These helped establish an economy in the town with a thriving watercress trade.

A scenic spot in Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

A scenic spot in Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

One of Rickmansworth’s claims to fame is its role in the building of the original Wembley Stadium, as gravel from local quarries was used in its construction.

Rickmansworth was also a place of residence for famous explorer and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. The Three Rivers Museum is housed at his former home, Basing House, on High Street.

Leisure and sport

One of the biggest attractions in the area is the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. This is a public park and local nature reserve with two lakes, woodland walks, kids’ play areas, a restaurant and open green spaces that are perfect for picnics. Water-skiing, canoeing and sailing are also on offer on the surrounding lakes.

The William Penn Leisure Centre on Shepherds Lane is a great place for keeping fit with its gym, swimming pools, fitness studios and floodlit artificial football pitch.

The Grand Union Canal runs close to Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Grand Union Canal runs close to Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The canalside offers plenty of scenic routes for walkers and joggers to enjoy. 

Transport links

London is easily accessible, as the M25 is just minutes away. There are strong rail links, with trains on the London to Aylesbury line and Metropolitan line tubes from London to Amersham.

Tube and train links connect Rickmansworth to London. Picture: DANNY LOO

Tube and train links connect Rickmansworth to London. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The town also has many bus services connecting it to surrounding areas, such a Hemel Hempstead and Garston, as well as Heathrow Airport.

Schools

Rickmansworth has strong school options. Local primaries include Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School and St Mary’s Church of England School (both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted).

St Clement Danes in neighbouring Chorleywood is an ‘outstanding’ secondary, while St Joan of Arc Catholic School and Rickmansworth School are ‘good’. Rickmansworth is just a short drive from Watford, which is home to the ‘outstanding’ semi-selective Watford Grammar School for Boys and its girls’ equivalent, both of which are over-subscribed.

Food and drink

The Feathers is a traditional pub on Church Street, Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Feathers is a traditional pub on Church Street, Rickmansworth. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The town centre presents a selection of cuisines, from Thai at Tamarind or Chinese at the deceptively named Mexica Buffet, both on Station Road.

Go to Church Street and you will find a 400 year old building which is home to the highly popular (and multi-award winning) Cinnamon Square bakery. For drinks, there is a multitude of pubs and bars; The Fox & Hounds and The Feathers are just two of the locals’ favourites.

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden...

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (www.frosts.co.uk/branches) - Credit: Archant