There's more to Stevenage than visitors might expect. The town, which is currently undergoing a £1bn regeneration project, has excellent rail and road links, relatively affordable housing and cycleways.

Stevenage - which celebrated its 75th anniversary of becoming a new town in 2021 - has undergone enormous change in that time. 

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After the Second World War the UK experienced a housing crisis, and the new Labour government passed the 1946 New Towns Act. What had previously been a small farming community of around 6,000 people became Britain's first ever new town.

Today, Stevenage is split into the 'old town' and 'new town'. 

The smaller older town - prettier than its more modern counterpart - features more prestigious period homes, with an attractive high street lined with small shops and historic pubs. 

Beyond High Street is the Grade I listed St Nicholas Church, the ancient parish church of Stevenage.

Herts Advertiser: Shops in Stevenage's old town.

In contrast, the New Town - with its modern shops - looks and feels more like an urban jungle.

Built between 1946 and 1980, the new town features the UK's first completely pedestrianised town centre and has an expansive high street, with a range of more affordable housing options.

A project is currently under way to regenerate central Stevenage, creating 7,300 new homes by 2028, revamping the railway station and building new bars, restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

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Property is another tale of two towns - with property in the older part of town likely to be more expensive.

Homes currently on the market include a three-bed semi-detached house at Grasmere, Great Ashby for £390,000 and a two-bedroom character semi-detached house at Hellards Road, Stevenage Old Town for £325,000. 

Overall, sold prices in Stevenage over the last year were four per cent up on the previous year and 13 per cent up on the 2020 peak of £313,324. 


Stevenage's roads are dominated by roundabouts and 45km of cycleways. The cycle network of underpasses and overpasses was implemented in the 60s and 70s, while the town was in its earlier development stages.

The town has excellent transport links. The station has connections to major locations including Cambridge, Leeds and London, with King's Cross just a 25 minute train journey away.

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Stevenage is connected by road to London and the north by the A1(M), which runs to the west of the town.


The majority of schools in Stevenage were built in the 1960s to accommodate the influx of children coming from London.

Primary schools in the area include Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School and Letchmore Infants' and Nursery School, both of which were rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted at their most recent inspections. 

Secondary schools include The Thomas Alleyne Academy, Marriotts School and The John Henry Newman Catholic School, all of which are rated 'good'.

The town also has a further and higher education college, North Hertfordshire College (rated 'good'). 

Sport and leisure 

Stevenage is home to a wide range of leisure facilities and sports clubs.

Stevenage FC compete in league two, the fourth tier of English football. The town also boasts a successful women's football club and a rugby club. 

Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre is home to The Gordon Craig Theatre, which hosts regular plays and dance productions, as well as the annual Christmas panto. The centre also serves as an events hub.

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A variety of fitness-related options are provided at Stevenage Lifestyles - including golf, swimming, badminton and gym activities, while Fairlands Valley Park offers kayaking, climbing and windsurfing.

Regular community events and sports are held at King Geroge V Playing Fields, while Town Centre Gardens has a pond and a play area.

Stevenage's main retail area is the Westgate shopping centre, which houses popular shops such as H&M and River Island.

Meanwhile the Old Town's High Street is home to more than 50 businesses, including many independent shops.

Pop culture 

Several famous faces have called Stevenage home, including England footballer Ashley Young, golfer Ian Poulter, F1 motor racing driver Lewis Hamilton, novelist E. M. Forster - for whom the Forster Country area is named - and performance poet John Cooper Clarke.

The city also acted as the set for Channel 4 comedy series Lee and Dean, which is about a pair of Stevenage builders. The show’s writers and stars, Miles Chapman and Mark O’Sullivan, are from the town. 

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)