Area Guide: The Hertfordshire town of Rickmansworth
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A town steeped in history, there has been a settlement in Rickmansworth since the Stone Age. We found out more about this Herts hotspot.
Rickmansworth is part of Hertfordshire's Three Rivers District, named after the Chess, Colne and Gade. Just five miles west of Watford and a convenient commute into the capital, it's popular with city workers seeking more space - and excellent schools.
The Grand Union Canal runs alongside the town which, despite its size, contains many shops, including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco. There are several banks, plus a Post Office and a petrol station, as well as a number of independent shops and cafés.
In the 8th century, King Offa granted Rickmansworth to the Abbot of St Albans.
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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, which helped establish an economy in the town with a thriving watercress trade.
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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.
According to Rightmove, the average selling price for a property in Rickmansworth over the least year was £601,543.
Homes currently on the market locally range from a huge five-bed, five en suite detached house on London Road for £2,750,000 to a studio on Park Road for £195,000.
Leisure and sport
One of the area's major attractions is Rickmansworth Aquadrome, a 41-hectare public park and local nature reserve with two lakes, woodland walks, kids' play areas and a café.
The Rickmansworth Festival takes place at the local nature reserve each May - an opportunity for local people to celebrate their community and its beautiful surroundings.
The Aquadrome is also home to family favourite Nomad Kayak Club, which provides kayaking and canoeing on the surrounding lakes.
The 18-hole Rickmansworth Golf Club is on Moor Park Estate, just outside the town. It has its own bar and restaurant.
The William Penn Leisure Centre on Shepherds Lane is a great place for keeping fit with its gym, award-winning swimming pools, group exercise studio and floodlit artificial football pitch.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy taking advantage of the picturesque canal, and the Batchworth Lock Canal Centre offers boat trips and a shop selling ice cream and gifts.
London is easily accessible: the M25 is just minutes away, there are strong rail links, with trains from Rickmansworth to Marylebone taking less than half an hour, plus Metropolitan Line tubes.
The town also has many bus services connecting it to surrounding areas, such a Hemel Hempstead and Garston, as well as Heathrow Airport.
Local primaries include Harvey Road Primary School (rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted) and Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School ('good').
St Clement Danes in neighbouring Chorleywood is an 'outstanding' secondary, while St Joan of Arc Catholic School and Rickmansworth School are 'good'. The 'outstanding' semi-selective Watford Grammar School for Boys and its girls' equivalent - both of which are heavily over-subscribed - are a short drive away.
Food and drink
The town centre presents a selection of cuisines, from Italian at Maurizio's or Buon Cibo to Thai at Tamarind or Chinese at the deceptively-named Mexica Buffet.
Go to Church Street and you'll find a 400-year-old building which is home to the highly popular Cinnamon Square bakery. The Feathers is a traditional pub on the same street, while The Rose & Crown on Harefield Road is another popular option.