Area Guide: The Bedfordshire village of Slip End
- Credit: Archant
Between Luton, Markyate and Harpenden, just over the border into Bedfordshire, is the village of Slip End. We found out more about it...
Slip End’s name is an historic reference to the building works in the area; Slip is an old word for clay and End is used commonly in Bedfordshire in place names, especially for small settlements outside bigger villages.
Slip End parish includes the hamlets of Lower Woodside, Woodside and Pepperstock, and has a population of almost 2,000.
An area of ‘newer’ brickwork suggests it might have been named in the 19th century, as it was developed more recently than older Woodside and Pepperstock, which are either side of Slip End. Neighbouring Markyate has a ‘Slype End’, which may or may not be connected.
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The village offers a mix of period homes and more modern properties.
According to Rightmove, the average price of property in Slip End over the last year was £342,000.
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Homes currently on the market in the village include a four-bed detached house on Prebendal Drive for £500,000 and a two-bed terrace on Summer Street for £300,000.
Slip End Village School currently has around 170 pupils on roll, aged from three to 11. It was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in 2019. The report said that pupils are “happy, safe and well cared for in this small primary school”, adding that “leaders provide exceptionally well for pupils’ personal development”.
Secondary options close to the village include The Stockwood Park Academy (‘requires improvement’) and Manshead CE Academy, formerly Manshead School, which hasn’t yet been visited by Ofsted in its current incarnation
There was originally a boarding school in the village, providing education to all, at the Pepperstock end of Front Street and Summer Street - now flats and houses named Old School Walk. It was established in 1870 after the Education Act. It moved 100 years after it was established to its current site on Ross Way, which was formerly clay pits for local brick production.
The M1 runs adjacent to the village, while Luton and Luton Airport Parkway train stations are under four miles away, as is the airport itself.
The village church, St Andrews, is relatively new, having been built in 1889. Weekly services have recently resumed at 10.30am on Sundays, followed by a Zoom service at 11.30am.
The village hall, built around 1901, is a popular children’s party venue. It has parking for up to 40 cars and an entertainment licence for 100 guests (dancing) or 200 (meeting).
The friendly Slip End Superstore is a licensed grocery shop on Markyate Road. It stocks a fine selection of wine, among other goods, and is open daily.
Woodside Animal Farm on Woodside Road is a popular attraction for families of young children. Kids can cuddle anything from bunnies to boa constrictors, tour the farm on a tractor and enjoy fairground rides, crazy golf and indoor soft play. There’s also a café on site.
The Harpers food hall and tearooms in nearby Pepperstock is a short walk from Slip End. It stocks a range of food, including meat, fish, jams and chutneys, plus tasty home prepared meals. The licensed coffee shop has indoor and outdoor seating, and is currently offering a simplified post-lockdown menu following a period of closure.
Stockwood Park is located just outside the village, accessed by a tunnel under the M1. It is home to the Stockwood Discovery Centre, a free attraction with gardens, café, playground and ever-changing exhibitions. The venue is also available for hire.
Food and drink
There are two pubs in Slip End. The Rising Sun on Front Street is owned by Wheathampstead-based brewery, Farr Brew. Not surprisingly, real ale features heavily here, as well as locally sourced gins, Doggie Beer and a wide food menu featuring meaty offerings as well as gluten-free and vegan options.
The smart and modern Frog & Rhubarb on Church Road offers an inviting, family friendly dining experience, with a wide menu including garlic and herb frogs legs.
Sport and leisure
The Peter Edwards Recreation Hall and playing fields at the Luton end of the village, next to the church, has facilities, such as tennis courts and a football pitch.
There is also a lively gardening club, a Good Neighbour Scheme, and Slip End Photography Club, which always welcomes new members.