Bricket Wood is a well-connected and idyllic Hertfordshire village, known for its naturist resorts.

Located between St Albans and Watford, Bricket Wood forms part of the parish of St Stephen within St Albans District Council.

We found out more about the area...

Herts Advertiser: One of Bricket Wood's historic homes


Until the train station was built in the late 1850s, the area now known as Bricket Wood was a scattered rural farming community.

In 1889, brothers Henry and William Gray bought up land in the area and built Woodside Retreat Fairground, which attracted droves of visitors from London and nearby towns and led to a small settlement developing around the station.

In 1923, R. B. Christmas built a rival fairground - Joyland - nearby. Though both fairgrounds were closed in 1929, Christmas used his leftover land to build up bungalows with their own water supplies.

During the 1950s, housing estates were built for the employees of aviation company Handley Page, which had a plant nearby at the Radlett Aerodrome.

Housing was provided in Hunters Road, Juniper Avenue, Black Boy Wood and Claremont in Bricket Wood, according to St Albans Museums, and the area became popular with commuters.

One of Bricket Wood's claims to fame is its ties to Gerald Gardner, who is often regard as the "father of modern witchcraft".

In 1945, Gardner purchased a plot land near Bricket Wood, now known as Five Acres. 

He dismantled a 16th century Wiccan witch cottage in Ledbury, Herefordshire, and reconstructed it at Five Acres as a convening point for his brand of pagan witchcraft. 

Bricket Wood was also home to a secret Cold War rail centre, now given listed building status.

The disused Air-Raid Precaution Railway Control Centre was built in Station Road in 1954 as a defence against Soviet aggression. 

In the event of war, key rail workers from London Euston were to be transferred to the single-storey, reinforced-concrete building to keep the trains running. 

It is the only surviving example in England of an air-raid precaution railway control centre constructed from the Cold War period.


Hanstead House is one of the village’s best known buildings and has a rich and varied history. 

Herts Advertiser: The Hanstead Park development in Bricket Wood

It was once owned by the Scottish entrepreneur Sir David Yule, who did business with India during the time of the British Empire.

Hanstead House was subsequently used as an Arabian horse stud farm, the UK college campus for American evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong's Radio Church of God movement, and a corporate training facility. 

More recently, it’s been transformed into 11 luxury apartments as part of the wider Hanstead Park development of new build homes.

Another notable building is the Grade II-listed Bricket Picture House on School Lane, which was built by architect Frederick Wallen for himself around 1890.

The upper floor of the front part of the house has a remarkable set of plaster reliefs featuring pictures of popular sporting pursuits of the time, including wrestling, rowing, and hunting. 

Homes currently on the market in the village include a new build five-bedroom detached property on Linden Homes’ Hanstead Park development for £1,379,995 and a four-bedroom detached bungalow on Mount Pleasant Lane for £950,000.  


Amenities are concentrated primarily in Oakwood Road and the Bricket Wood Parade in Old Watford Road.

The village is also home to two pubs – The Black Boy, in Old Watford Road, and The Gate, in Station Road. 

The Black Boy, first opened in 1754, prides itself on its range of real ales and boasts Cask Marque accreditation. 

Herts Advertiser: The Black Boy pub, Bricket Wood

In the 1770s, The Black Boy became a stopping off point when the route from St Albans to Watford was incorporated within a toll road, and a turnpike opened nearby.

The Gate, a country pub on the outskirts of Bricket Wood, has a huge garden to the rear, along with a cosy indoor space for you to enjoy your food and drinks. 

It was winner of the 'Best Marketed Pub' and 'Rising Star' respectively, by its parent company, Wells & Co, in their Pub Partner Awards 2022. 


Bricket Wood Common is situated between School Lane, Mount Pleasant Lane and Bucknalls Drive. 

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it consists of an area of around 78.5 hectares with diverse habitats including semi-natural woodland, hornbeam coppice woodland, wet lowland heath and acid grassland, and ponds and seasonal streams. 


Bizarrely, the area around Bricket Wood is a hotspot for naturists.

Naturist resort Spielplatz – German for ‘playground’ – is located off Lye Lane. 

Herts Advertiser: Lye Lane, Bricket Wood

There's also the nearby British Naturism's Sunfolk facility, a five acre woodland naturist site in How Wood, that also provides ample opportunities to strip off among like-minded nudists.


Mount Pleasant Lane Primary, formerly known as Mount Pleasant Lane Junior Mixed and Infant School and Nursery, takes children aged three to 11 and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection. 

The village is served by a number of excellent senior schools, including Parmiter’s in Garston, and St Michael’s Catholic High School, both rated ‘outstanding’. 


Bricket Wood has excellent road links - flanked by the M1 and M25 and just a 15-minute drive from the centre of St Albans to the north and Watford to the south.

The village also has a station with rail links to St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction.

Herts Advertiser: Bricket Wood train station