Highfield is a suburban neighbourhood situated about two miles to the south east of St Albans city centre.

We found out more about this family-friendly corner of Hertfordshire - which is beloved by residents for its strong community spirit and village-like feel.

Herts Advertiser: One of the old hospital buildings in Highfield Park that's been converted to housing


The Highfield area underwent rapid development in the late 1990s and early 2000s, after the closure of Cell Barnes and Hill End psychiatric hospitals.

The three remaining ward blocks were turned into social housing, while homes were built on brand new streets - including Princess Diana Drive and Starlight Way.

Some of the new roads were named after former hospital wards and the doctors that worked there, while Puddingstone Drive is believed to have been inspired by the puddingstone that now sits outside West Lodge in Highfield Park.

The stone was previously located in the garden of Cell Barnes Hospital.

Highfield Park 

The area is home to Highfield Park - a lovely green space which is popular with dog walkers and cyclists alike from all over St Albans.

It was created following the closure of the psychiatric hospitals, and some of their vast grounds were transformed into what is now the park.

Herts Advertiser: Highfield Park offers acres of green space to explore

The park has many features, including playing fields, a couple of ponds, a tree trail, two orchards and a maze.

St Albans City Youth FC play at Highfield Park, and joggers are regularly seen circuiting the pitches when they're not being used for matches.

The area is managed by Highfield Park Trust, which also includes two allotment sites.


Highfield is a popular spot for young families - probably due to the quiet suburban feel and surrounding green space.

Homes currently on the market in the area include a four-bedroom detached house on Princess Diana Drive for £1,200,000 and a two-bedroom apartment at Russet Drive for £365,000. 

Herts Advertiser: Princess Diana Drive, St Albans


Highfield benefits from great transport links - as it is only a short drive away from the A1(M) and M25, and under two miles from St Albans City station, which offers fast services to London St Pancras.

Leisure and amenities 

Residents in Highfield are well-served by the shops on Russet Drive. 

Along with a busy Spar convenience store, there is also a doctor's surgery, a barbers and a fish and chip shop.

Herts Advertiser: The St Albans community gym on Russet Drive

There are multiple gym options, including YMCA St Albans community gym, which offers affordable sports and exercise classes with membership starting at £28 per month, or £18.99 for concessions.

YMCA St Albans community gym in Russet Drive offers affordable sports and exercise classes with membership starting at £28 per month, or £18.99 for concessions. 

For a more luxurious alternative, Nuffield Health on Highfield Park Drive has a pool and a spa. 

A number of seasonal events take place locally, including bug and Easter Bunny hunts for children, the annual Apple Day celebration  - which features Highfield Park's own apples, apple juice and cider - and the outdoor Luna Cinema.

Trestle performing arts centre is based in a converted chapel on Russet Drive. The venue has a café on site, and also hosts regular classes such as kids' ballet lessons and bounce fitness for adults.

The Earthworks charity is based on Hixberry Lane and offers local people with learning disabilities training and work experience in conservation and horticulture.

The centre was established as the psychiatric hospitals closed, and gives former residents who have been rehomed within the community an opportunity to find meaningful employment.


There are many popular schools local to Highfield, including Windermere and Camp primaries (both of which were awarded a ‘good’ rating at their latest Ofsted inspection) and Cunningham Hill infant and junior schools (rated ‘outstanding’). 

Herts Advertiser: Samuel Ryder Academy, St Albans

There is also the all-through school Samul Ryder Academy, which takes children from age four to 19.

Samuel Ryder Academy replaced the failing Francis Bacon School in 2012, and has gone on to achieve a ‘good’ Ofsted ranking.

The area is also home to Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School - likewise rated 'good'.

Meanwhile Ladybirds nursery, which is rated outstanding, is located within the park. 

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)