Hitchin is one of Hertfordshire's most desirable towns, thanks to its historic centre packed with beautifully preserved Tudor and Georgian buildings, and convenient rail and road links. We found out more...


The town is a well connected commuter hotspot - due to its position three miles from the A1(M), 10 miles from the M1 and half an hour from London King's Cross by train.

During the 17th century the wool trade gave the area prominence, when it became a popular place for travellers to break up their journeys on their way to and from London.

Nowadays the cobbled Market Place - which is flanked by shops and restaurants - is a favoured spot for special events in the town.

Herts Advertiser: An Eat Alfresco event in Hitchin's town centreAn Eat Alfresco event in Hitchin's town centre (Image: Tom Hardy - Hitchin BID)

Amenities and attractions  

The town centre offers up a broad range of the usual chain stores alongside a mix of independent shops, restaurants and cafés.

Hitchin's busy market trades four days a week, with a general market on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays - as well as antiques and collectibles on Fridays and a car boot sale on Sundays.

A craft and farmers' market is held on the last Saturday of each month.

The town is also rich in history, boasting St Mary's - the largest parish church in Hertfordshire. The church dates back to 1190, but many believe King Offa founded a church on its site in the 8th century.

Herts Advertiser:

Hitchin is also home to the British Schools Museum, which is based in original Victorian and Edwardian school buildings on Queen Street. The museum gives visitors an insight into what education used to be like, and also has a tearoom and a shop.

The North Hertfordshire Museum offers four galleries of exhibits with a local theme - and also has a shop and on-site café.  

Herts Advertiser:

The town also has a thriving cultural scene with the Hitchin Festival - a month-long celebration of the arts every July, featuring a range of events including poetry, concerts and children's entertainment.

In the summer months visitors flock to Hitchin Lavender, with visitors flocking to enjoy 25 miles of lavender fields and the stunning photo opportunities they present.

Owned and operated by a local family, there is also a restaurant, gift shop and a play area - making for an ideal day trip. 

Hitchin Swimming Centre has two indoor pools, as well as a heated outdoor pool which is open in the summer.

Herts Advertiser: Hitchin Lavender is a popular tourist attractionHitchin Lavender is a popular tourist attraction (Image: Adam Davy/PA Archive)

Green space 

Windmill Hill is an ideal place for a summer picnic, offering fine views of the town centre. Meanwhile Bancroft Gardens has a splash park, basketball court, bandstand, children's play area, two bowling greens and a private tennis club.

Butts Close is just outside the town centre - an 11-acre park which is believed to have been used as an archery ground during medieval times.

Claims to fame  

Hitchin has its fair share of celebrity connections, including England and Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, singer James Bay and TV journalist Jennie Bond, who are all from here.

Popular TV drama Doctor Foster, starring Suranne Jones and Jodie Comer, was also filmed in the town.

Herts Advertiser:


A significant factor in Hitchin’s appeal to families is its many excellent state schools.   

Popular primaries include Samuel Lucas JMI, St Andrew's and William Ransom, all of which are rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.  

Hitchin Boys' School – where singer James Bay went – and Hitchin Girls' School, are also rated 'outstanding'.  

Food and drink  

There are many places to eat in Hitchin, offering food from a variety of cultures.

Popular independents include Los Reyes tapas restaurant, Bar Azita Mediterranean grill and Japanese eaterie Kazoku.  

Hermitage Rd, which sits on the street of the same name, is a popular restaurant/theatre hybrid inside a former ballroom, with private dining and live music on offer.

Chilli B's, housed in a Victorian building on pretty Bucklersbury, is a great place for breakfast or lunch, while The Victoria is a live music pub with a buzzing beer garden.  


According to Rightmove, the average sale price for a property in Hitchin over the last year was £496,409. 

Homes currently on the market in the town include a detached five-bedroom property on The Avenue for £1.9m, a four-bedroom Grade II listed town house on Tilehouse Street for £875,000 and a three-bedroom semi detached house at Radcliffe Road.  

Herts Advertiser: This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and HarpendenThis area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (Image: Frost's)