Southdown is a part of upmarket Harpenden, as well as a popular and vibrant community in its own right. We found out more...

Residents rave about how Southdown feels like a bustling village, which centres on the wide range of shops on and around Southdown Road, as well as spilling out into the family-friendly Cravells and Coleswood roads.

Herts Advertiser: Manor Pharmacy, Southdown Road

The area boasts a thriving selection of independent local businesses, including the immensely useful Southdown Hardware, plus a launderette, a pharmacy, a fireplace shop, a Co-op supermarket and lots more.

Southdown also has a strong community spirit, with events specific to the area such as a Christmas lights switch on, as well as a general sense of pride among the locals about where they live.


Southdown is conveniently located for travel, sitting between the M1 and the A1(M), while the M25 is immediately south of neighbouring St Albans.

For rail links, Harpenden station - which has a fast train into London St Pancras - is a 15-minute walk away.

There are also regular buses from Southdown to St Albans and Luton - both of which are about 15 minutes away by car.

Food and drink  

For foodies there is no shortage of places to eat and drink in Southdown, including Indian street food favourite, Sarakh.

The pubs on offer include the friendly Carpenters Arms, The Engineer - which has outdoor pods and fine food - and the Plough & Harrow, which has a great selection of children's play equipment in the back garden.

Visitors and residents can also walk or cycle to The Elephant & Castle pub on the outskirts of Wheathampstead, which has a lovely beer garden offering the perfect setting for a weekend lunch.

Herts Advertiser: The Engineer Pub in Harpenden


Southdown is home to The Grove Infant and Nursery School, a popular three-form entry school which accommodates around 340 children.

The school is rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted, and shares its grounds with the 'good'-rated The Grove Junior School.

St Dominic's, a Catholic primary school on Southdown Road, is also rated 'outstanding'.

In recent years some Southdown children have had difficulty securing a place at a local state secondary school, as Harpenden's three 'outstanding' options - Roundwood Park, Sir John Lawes and St George's - are all oversubscribed.

Herts Advertiser: Katherine Warington SchoolKatherine Warington School (Image: Google Street View)

This has changed thanks to the founding of Katherine Warington School, which opened on Lower Luton Road in September 2019.

The purpose-built school is part of the Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust along with the three other local secondaries, the University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research.


Potential buyers can get ever so slightly more for their money in Southdown that they would in central Harpenden. 

Homes which are currently on the market include a three-bed semi-detached house on Piggottshill Lane for £850,000 and a four-bed semi-detached house on Coleswood Road for £795,000. 

Herts Advertiser: Southdown Road, Harpenden

Green space  

Southdown has a whole host of recreational activities available for visitors and residents to enjoy.

These include feeding the ducks on the Common at Southdown Ponds, having a picnic in Hay Field and exploring the old clay mines at Brickle Dells, known locally as 'the Ups and Downs'.

Brickle Dells, which is an area of woodland off Walkers Road, is thought to be named after the brick kilns once present on the site. The undulating land makes it a popular place for kids to play.

Another well-used green space is Greenway Spinney Local Nature Reserve, better known as 'the Spinney'.

Located between Aldwick Road and Grove Avenue, the nature reserve is maintained by a group of dedicated local residents.

You can also take a walk across the fields to Nomansland Common, or go further still to Heartwood Forest. 

Meanwhile strolling down The Grove, past the Grade II listed former B&B of the same name, may lead to an alpaca sighting.

Allotments are available for hire from South Harpenden Allotments and Gardens Society - colloquially known as SHAGS. 

Southdown also has a couple of children's playgrounds.

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)