Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Kings Langley
- Credit: Archant
Best known as the birthplace of Ovaltine, there’s more to Kings Langley than a comforting malt drink. We found out more about the Herts village.
Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans are all within seven miles of Kings Langley, which lies south of the Chiltern Hills, about 20 miles north-west of central London.
A popular carnival is held in the village each June (with this year being an exception) and the Warner Bros. Studios is a major tourist attraction in neighbouring Leavesden.
Another of Kings Langley’s claims to fame is that Ovaltine was once manufactured here. The factory has now been converted into a housing development but its art deco façade remains.
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The village was once home to a royal palace of the Plantagenet kings of England.
In 1276 the manor of Chilterne Langley was purchased by Queen Eleanor, wife of King Edward I. She built a hunting palace complete with its own deer park on a hill above the village, which was renamed Langley Regina in her honour before eventually becoming Kings Langley.
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A Dominican friary was established too, although it fell into disrepair after King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries and little remains of it now. Sadly, the same goes for the palace and the church that accompanied the priory, although elements were reused in the village’s Church of All Saints.
All Saints is the tomb site of Edmund of Langley (1341-1402), the first Duke of York. The Langley part of the name means ‘long wood or clearing’.
Amenities include Three Villages Children’s Centre, Kings Langley Library and the Premier Inn hotel. There’s also a beauty salon, a physiotherapy centre and a range of shops including a pet store, a branch of Boots and a Spar.
The M25 passes just south of the village on a viaduct across the River Gade valley. North of junction 20 with the A41, a dual-carriageway bypasses Kings Langley and goes to Tring. The old route through the village is now classified as the A4251.
There is a train station in Kings Langley, which runs services to Tring and London Euston, Birmingham, Crewe and Milton Keynes Central. Apsley and Garston train stations are close by.
With pretty period homes at its centre and more modern properties around the village fringes, Kings Langley offers a range of accommodation options.
According to Rightmove, the average sale price for a home in the village over the last year was £493,265.
Properties currently on the market include a five-bed detached house on Love Lane (£1,940,000), a three-bed semi on Rucklers Lane (£525,000) and a three-bed flat in Ovaltine Court, the former Ovaltine factory (£425,000).
Kings Langley Primary School takes 60 children each year and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection. It has a full-time nursery and breakfast and after school clubs.
Kings Langley School (‘good’) serves girls and boys aged 11-18 and prides itself on its Christian values.
Sport and leisure
Kings Langley has a football club, a cricket club and a sports complex in the form of Sportspace, which offers golf and swimming facilities and timetabled classes including yoga.
Phasels Wood Scout Camp and Activity Centre on Rucklers Lane, is popular with youth groups and opened in 1937.
Food and drink
Popular places to eat in the village include Fred & Ginger Coffee, Oscar’s Pizza, Inspired Café Bar and Dalling & Co, a European café serving Spanish and British food with a wine bar and gluten-free options.
Pubs longing for lockdown to end include The Rose & Crown and The Saracens Head, which serves Tring beers and has a traditional British pub atmosphere.