Situated about two miles south-east of St Albans city centre, the sought-after neighbourhood of Highfield is liked by residents for its strong community spirit and village-like vibe.

We found out more about this family-friendly part of Hertfordshire.

Herts Advertiser: An area of rural walksAn area of rural walks (Image: Archant)


The Highfield area of St Albans developed rapidly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, following the closure of Cell Barnes and Hill End hospitals.

The three remaining ward blocks were turned into social housing and homes sprang up on brand new streets such as Princess Diana Drive and Starlight Way.

Herts Advertiser: Princess Diana Drive, St Albans.Princess Diana Drive, St Albans. (Image: Google Street View.)

Some roads in the new housing developments were named after former hospital wards and doctors that worked there, while Puddingstone Drive is believed to have been inspired by the puddingstone that now sits near the Highfield Park Trust office.

The stone used to be located in the grounds of Cell Barnes Hospital, around the Church Croft area.

Highfield Park

Herts Advertiser: Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Krishan BhungarHighfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Krishan Bhungar (Image: Archant)

This lovely green space is popular with dog walkers and cyclists from all over St Albans.

It was created following the closure of the psychiatric hospitals, and some of their vast grounds were transformed into what is now the park.

Hill End Hospital was located in the northern area of the site, and Cell Barnes Hospital was located in the southern area.

Herts Advertiser: Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Krishan BhungarHighfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Krishan Bhungar (Image: Archant)

Highfield Park is 82 acres in size and has lots of interesting places to explore.

Its key features include both new and ancient woodland, meadows, a couple of ponds, a maze, and traditional Hertfordshire orchards.

The Hixberry Orchard is located in the top east corner of the park, next to Hixberry Lane. This orchard was once part of the Hill End Hospital.

There's also the Cell Barnes Orchard in the far west corner of the park.

You can discover more on the Tree Trail around Highfield Park, a circular 3.25km (2 miles) long route.

Highfield Park Trust manages the site, which also includes a large area dedicated to allotments.

There are more than 80 allotments on two sites, and they even featured in Mackenzie Crook's remake of Worzel Gummidge on BBC.


The surrounding green space and quiet suburban feel make Highfield a popular spot for families.

Properties in Highfield Lane had an overall average price of £452,500 over the last year, according to Rightmove.

A two-bed apartment in Highfield Hall, Highfield Lane, sold for £545,000 in February, while another one-bed flat went for £360,000, according to house price data produced by Land Registry.

Going up in size, a five-bed detached property on the same road sold for £1,965,000 in 2021.

A one-bed flat is currently for sale in Highfield Hall for a guide price of £335,000, with a two-bed on the market for £400k.

You can currently snap up a two-bed ground floor apartment in Ashbourne Court, Hill End Lane, for £325,000.

Houses in Princess Diana Drive had an overall average price of £677,500 over the last year.

The majority of sales during this period were detached properties, selling for an average price of £810,000. Terraced properties went for an average of £545,000.

Homes currently on the market in the area include a two-bedroom semi-detached house with a guide price of £525,000.

A three bed semi in Puddingstone Drive will set you back £700k, with a modern four-bed detached family home in the same street has a guide price of £900,000.

Events and amenities

Herts Advertiser: Trestle Arts Base in St Albans.Trestle Arts Base in St Albans. (Image: Trestle Arts Base)

There's a number of shops on Russet Drive for Highfield residents, including a Spar convenience store along with a doctors’ surgery and a pharmacy.

The One YMCA St Albans Community Gym in Russet Drive offers affordable sports and exercise classes, with all inclusive membership starting at £28 per month, or £18.99 for concessions.

Nuffield Health's St Albans Fitness & Wellbeing Gym, with its swimming pool and spa, is a more luxurious alternative on Highfield Park Drive.

It also offers squash courts, personal training, nutritional therapy, physiotherapy, and more.

Seasonal events that take place locally in Highfield Park include the annual Apple Day celebration of the park’s own apples, on October 2, and the outdoor Luna Cinema movie screenings.

Hill End Hospital's converted former chapel on Russet Drive is now home to Trestle Arts Base and Trestle Theatre Company.

Trestle hosts regular dance classes, drama workshops, and productions. The performing arts centre also has a café on site, which is set to reopen on September 5 after the summer break.

The Earthworks charity in Hixberry Lane supports people with learning disabilities, alongside volunteers, through the practice of social and therapeutic horticulture.

Established in 1995, Earthworkers have transformed waste land into 3.5 acres of beautiful and flourishing eco-gardens.


There are a number of popular schools local to Highfield, including Windermere and Camp primaries (both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted), and Cunningham Hill infant and junior schools (‘outstanding’).

Then there’s Samuel Ryder Academy, a mixed all-through school in Drakes Drive, with primary and secondary departments for children aged four to 19.

Named after seed entrepreneur Samuel Ryder, the St Albans businessman who created the Ryder Cup, SRA replaced the failing Francis Bacon School in 2012, and has gone on to achieve a ‘good’ Ofsted ranking.

Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School in Colney Heath Lane was also rated ‘good’ at its last Ofsted inspection.

There are also two ‘outstanding’ children’s nurseries, Ladybirds, which is located in the tranquil surroundings of Highfield Park, and Highfield Lane Nursery, on Puddingstone Drive.


A short drive from the A1(M), A414 North Orbital Road and the M25, and under two miles from St Albans City station and its fast services to London St Pancras, Highfield benefits from great transport links.