Welwyn Garden City - England's second garden city after Letchworth - was designed to offer residents the best of both urban and rural living, while avoiding the downsides of each. We found out what the town has to offer...

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From Shredded Wheat to Alesha Dixon, Welwyn Garden City has been the home of several household names over the years.

The town is arguably most well-known for being one of England's first garden cities, as well as one of its earliest new towns.

WGC was founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard - the father of the garden city movement. The second garden city in England after Letchworth, the town was designed as a thriving industrial community surrounded by countryside, offering the best of both worlds.

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

Claims to fame 

WGC 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 a major housing development.

Several famous faces have also called the town home, including former England goalkeeper David James, social media stars Woody and Kleiny, golf legend Nick Faldo, Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and DJ Jaguar Skills - with the latter two both attending 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. 

Herts Advertiser: John Lewis in Welwyn Garden CityJohn Lewis in Welwyn Garden City (Image: Danny Loo)


The town's main shopping hub is the Howard Centre, which offers up a mix of high street stores including Fat Face, WH Smith and H&M. 

There are also banks, travel agents and plenty of coffee shops in the town centre.

Supermarkets include Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Aldi - but perhaps the biggest draw for shoppers is the large John Lewis department store, complete with café, which attracts visitors from across the county.

Tesco is also based in WGC, with its head office in Shire Park.


Welwyn Garden City has a lively restaurant scene, with popular chains including Cote and the new Thai restaurant Giggling Squid within easy walking distance of each other.

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Popular independent restaurants in the town centre include Turkish/Mediterranean favourite Misya Meze & Grill and Indian eatery Red. The Waggoners is also a highly regarded pub and restaurant in the nearby hamlet of Ayot Green.


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

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Campus West - in the centre of town - is home to a cinema, which shows a selection of the latest releases, and the Roller City roller skating rink.

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

Welwyn Garden City Golf Club offers beautifully-kept greens and fairways on its 18-hole course, and its welcoming clubhouse has fantastic facilities.


WGC is popular with commuters due to its excellent transport links. The train station, which is accessed from within 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.

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


Some of Welwyn Garden City's most attractive properties are found on the west side, which is lined with neo-Georgian detached and semi-detached cottages.

Elsewhere, the Panshanger housing development is home to a range of properties, including the modern 'Span'-style homes which were popular in the 1960s. 

According to Rightmove, the average price for a home in Welwyn Garden City over the last 12 months was £451,069. 

Homes currently on the market locally range from a five-bed detached house on Barleycroft Road for £1.35m, to a three-bed detached house on Lytton Gardens, for £800,000 and a two-bed apartment in Duchess Court for £315,000. 

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)