Ware's a good place to live in Hertfordshire? With its peaceful riverside setting and rich history, it's easy to see why Ware's 18,000 residents choose to call the Hertfordshire town home.

Just three miles from Hertford, Ware benefits from a mix of excellent amenities, and has the River Lea at its heart.

Herts Advertiser: The River Lea

Ware is built on Ermine Street, which was the Roman road between London and Lincoln.

With signs of occupation dating back to 4000 BC, the town is notable for being one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in Europe.

Ware's modern name dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when a series of weirs were constructed to thwart the escape of Viking invaders fleeing after the defeat of Alfred the Great.

The Lea, therefore, is responsible for helping give Ware its name, as well as its industry.

For many years, Ware was a water travel and brewing town. Its bargemen were allowed to travel to the River Thames free of charge, and some of Ware's maltings are still standing today.

The town's riverside location makes Ware a popular spot for water-based activities, including boating, fishing and kayaking. Walkers and cyclists are also able to make the most of the towpath.

Ware's best-known building is arguably the Grade I* listed Ware Priory, with its whitewashed walls and seven acres of garden.

It was founded in 1338 as a friary, and is now a popular conference and wedding venue, as well as serving as the town council headquarters. 

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Ware's parish church, is situated across the road from the Priory and dates back to the 14th century.

Ware Museum is adjacent to The Priory, and aims to bring the town's history to life.


According to Rightmove, the majority of sales in Ware during last year were flats, selling for an average price of £258,386. 

Homes currently on the market in Ware include a two-bed apartment in Cozens Road for £280,000 and a five-bedroom detached house for £1,250,000 at Hanbury Close. 

Herts Advertiser: Park Road, Ware


Ware is next to the A10, and is about 10 miles north of the M25. 

The station provides commuters with easy access to the capital. Connections to London Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale take between 30 and 45 minutes.

Leisure and sport 

Visitors and residents can enjoy regular boat tours which run between Hertford and Ware along the River Lea. You can also simply wander along the riverside for a picnic at one of the many 18th century gazebos. 

Herts Advertiser: River Lea, Ware

The Southern Maltings is home to the arts centre - which offers a variety of workshops for arts, dance and music, plus film screenings and four hireable rooms.

One of Ware's popular attractions for families is Van Hage garden centre, which houses East Herts Miniature Railway.

The town also has a wide array of sporting activities available. The Wodson Park Sports and Leisure Centre has a range of facilities, including an athletics track, indoor gym and tennis courts.

Ware also has two swimming pools, one of which is the Priory Lido - an outdoor pool which is open during the summer months.

Herts Advertiser: High Street, Ware


Ware has several primary schools which are ranked 'good' by Ofsted, and Middleton School was rated 'outstanding' at its latest inspections.

The town also boasts a pair of 'outstanding' rated state secondaries. These are the co-ed Chauncy School and Presdales girls' school. The latter was formerly Ware Grammar School, and lists Kim Wilde as a famous former pupil.

Food and drink 

Ware has a bustling high street, which is home to a large collection of restaurants and bars.

Herts Advertiser: East Street, Ware

Popular options include The Village Taverna - a Greek eatery renowned for its warm welcome - and hugely popular fish and chip restaurant The Sea Tree Ware.

There are a few popular pubs that also offer food - including The White Horse and the Saracen's Head, which has a prime location on the banks of the River Lea.

Herts Advertiser: 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 (Image: Frost's)