Area Guide: All about Welwyn Garden City

The Coronation Fountain, Parkway. Picture: Andrew Brookes

The Coronation Fountain, Parkway. Picture: Andrew Brookes - Credit: Archant

Shredded Wheat, John Lewis and Alesha Dixon are just three of the things that may spring to mind when you think of WGC. We found out more about England’s second garden city.  

Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo

Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn Garden City was founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard, the father of the garden city movement. Only the second garden city in England, it was designed to offer the best of both worlds - a thriving industrial community combined with peaceful surrounding countryside. 

The pavements and roads are wide and the central street, Parkway, is almost a mile long. It's marked by a tree-lined boulevard and the large Coronation Fountain in the centre. 

Welwyn was once the home of Shredded Wheat; the factory ceased production in 2008 after 73 years in the town, and is in the process of being turned into 208 new homes. 

Shopping 

The Howard Centre, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo

The Howard Centre, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO


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The Howard Centre is the main shopping hub, offering up a mix of high street stores such as New Look, H&M, Fat Face and Next. There are also banks, travel agents and plenty of coffee shops in the town centre.  

Supermarkets include Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and Aldi. Welwyn Garden City also boasts a large John Lewis department store, complete with café, which attracts visitors from across Herts. 

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Schools 

There are a number of primary and nursery schools in Welwyn Garden that have been ranked 'good' by Ofsted, including Commonswood, Swallow Dell and Peartree, while Templewood Primary School was rated 'outstanding'. 

Monk's Walk ('good') is a notable secondary school in the area. 

The independent co-educational Sherrardswood School, admitting students from Reception to Sixth Form, is located just over two miles away near Welwyn North train station. 

Restaurants 

Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo

Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn Garden City boasts a lively restaurant scene, with chains including Pizza Express, Bill's and Cote all within walking distance of each other. 

Popular independents in the town centre include Turkish/Mediterranean favourite Misya Meze & Grill and Red Indian Restaurant, while The Waggoners is a highly regarded pub in the nearby hamlet of Ayot Green. 

Entertainment 

The 126-acre Stanborough Park has two large lakes and a water sports activity centre with sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Fishing is another popular pursuit at Stanborough.

Stanborough Lakes. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Stanborough Lakes. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Campus West is home to the Roller City roller skating rink and The Cinema, which shows a selection of the latest releases every day, COVID restrictions permitting. 

The Gosling Sports Park has a dry ski slope, driving range, trampoline park and tennis courts, plus a large gym and athletics track. 

The town's golf club offers beautifully-kept greens and fairways on its 18-hole course and its welcoming clubhouse has fantastic facilities. 

Transport 

Welwyn Garden City is a popular area for commuters due to its excellent transport links. 

The train station, located behind The Howard Centre, provides direct services into King's Cross (in less than half an hour) and Moorgate, as well as destinations further north, such as Cambridge. 

The town is also close to many motorways including the A1 (M), M25 and M1 

Property 

Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City

Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City - Credit: Archant

Some of the most attractive properties in Welwyn Garden City are known to be found on the West Side, an area lined with neo-Georgian detached and semi-detached cottages. 

For something different, the Panshanger housing development is home to a range of properties including the modern ‘Span’-style homes, popular in the 1960s. 

According to Rightmove, the average price for a home in Welwyn Garden City over the last 12 months was £405,592 – a 5 per cent increase on the year before.    

Homes currently on the market in WGC range from a four-bed semi on Handside Close in the sought-after West Side for £800,000 to a one-bed flat on Hollybush Lane for offers in excess of £160,000.  

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

Pop culture 

Several familiar faces have called WGC home, including former England goalkeeper David James, social media stars Woody and Kleiny, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, and DJ Jaguar Skills - the latter two both attended Monk’s Walk School. 

The town was also used as a location for the 2013 film The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman. 


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