Bishop's Stortford is an appealing market town with lots to offer residents, although it is perhaps best known for its proximity to Stansted Airport and controversial imperialist connection. We found out more...

An affluent Hertfordshire town on the border with Essex, Bishop's Stortford has a surprisingly rural feel despite its proximity to London.

This attracts those who want both the convenience of commuting to the capital and a quieter country lifestyle.

Herts Advertiser: Bishop's Stortford town centre

The town is also something of a hub for nature lovers, as the River Stort runs through the middle of the town - providing a pleasant spot for a stroll.


A small settlement was established in the area by the Romans, and what is now the centre was home to an Anglo Saxon town - from which the name Stortford was derived.

The prefix 'Bishop' was added in 1060, when the town was sold to the Bishop of London.

The oldest standing structure in the town is the Grade I listed Church of St Michael, whose baptismal font dates back to the Norman invasion of Britain.

Bishop's Stortford is also home to the Grade I listed ruins of Waytemore Castle, as well as a number of Tudor houses.

Herts Advertiser: St Michael's Church, Bishop's Stortford

During the medieval and early modern period, Bishop's Stortford was a significant market town, which made it an important stop on the road from London to Cambridge. The town's market continues to run to this day.


Bishop's Stortford is conveniently located by the M11, between Cambridge and London. It is also the nearest large town to Stansted Airport, which is about five miles away.

Trains take just under 45 minutes to get from the town to London Liverpool Street, making it a popular commuter town.


According to Rightmove, properties in Bishop's Stortford had an overall average sale price of £516,061 over the last year. The majority of sales were detached properties, changing hands for an average of £766,602. 

Herts Advertiser: Bishop's Stortford

Homes currently on the market in the town include a five-bedroom detached house in Grange Park for £1,350,000, a four-bed detached house for £1,250,000 and a two-bed semi-detached house at Grange Road for £649,000.  


Bishop's Stortford has high quality schools, which is a major draw for parents considering a move to the town.

Popular options include Windhill21 primary and The Bishop's Stortford High School, both of which were rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted at their latest inspections.

Food and Drink 

There are a number of independent cafés, bars and restaurants in the town - from the highly rated Shadhona curry house to Skew, a restaurant and oyster bar offering the taste of the Mediterranean coast from a prime spot overlooking the River Stort.

The Horn at The Half Moon Inn is a great spot for live music, and is the sister pub of St Albans' own The Horn.


Bishop's Stortford town centre offers plenty of shopping opportunities, including two weekly markets and a monthly farmers' and craft market.

Jackson Square also offers a mix of big-name brands and independent cafés and boutiques.

The town is home to South Mill Arts, which houses a theatre, art gallery and a museum. The centre was formerly known as the Rhodes Art Complex after imperialist Cecil Rhodes, who was born in the town. You can learn more about him, among others, in the museum.

Herts Advertiser: Waytemore Castle, Bishop's Stortford

A popular leisure area is Sworder's Field and Castle Gardens, which provide two skate parks, tennis courts and a paddling pool among other amenities. Meanwhile Southern Country Park is a 23 hectare green space with a play area, a fishing pond and plenty of spots for a picnic.

Another popular attraction is the Cammas Hall Farm, where visitors and their families can pick their own fruit during the summer months, go on a walking trail or explore a maize maze.

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)