Hemel Hempstead has plenty to see and do, from the historic Old Town High Street to the modern Magic Roundabout and Jarman Park. We found out more...

The settlement of Hemel has been around since the eighth century, and was granted a town charter in 1539 by King Henry VIII.

In 1947 Hemel Hempstead was declared a New Town, with plans put in place to expand to accommodate Londoners moving out of either slum housing or homes that had been bombed during the war.

The first of the town's new residents moved into their new homes in Adeyfield in 1950.

The Old Town High Street remains a pretty and vibrant place to visit and features Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings, which house shops selling everything from antiques to angling supplies.

There are also many popular pubs, cafés and restaurants in the town, with a wide range of cuisine on offer including Indian, Italian and Thai.


According to Rightmove, properties in Hemel Hempstead had an overall average price of £428,059 over the last year. 

Homes currently on the market in Hemel include a four-bedroom detached house at Beechwood Park for £1,085,000 and a three-double bedroom duplex penthouse apartment at Stephenson Wharf for £400,000. 

Herts Advertiser:


The Marlowes is a modern shopping centre at the heart of Hemel, and features a wide variety of shops.

The shopping centre has a range of popular chain stores including New Look, Greggs and M&S.

An alternative option for high street shopping is the pleasant Riverside complex, with chains including Pizza Express, Next and Waterstones as well as a Premier Inn.

For more independent shops, the Old Town High Street is the best place to go, and is also well served for pubs and restaurants.

Popular spots for a bite to eat include the Turkish restaurant Opuz Kitchen, as well as Mazza Indian restaurant.

Herts Advertiser: Riverside shopping centre

There are also many supermarkets in the vicinity of Hemel - including Asda, Sainsbury's, Aldi and Tesco. 


One of Hemel's most famous transport features is the Plough Roundabout - better known as the Magic Roundabout - an interchange at the end of the town centre where traffic meets from six different routes.

Vehicles circulate in both directions around the central 'roundabout', which was the first system of its kind in Britain.

Hemel Hempstead has easy access to both the M1 and the M25 motorways, as well as fast rail links to London Euston, with journeys taking less than half an hour.


Hemel Hempstead is home to numerous primary schools, including George Street Primary, Lime Walk and The Reddings - all three of which received a 'good' rating at their most recent Ofsted inspection.

Secondary school options include John F Kennedy Catholic School, The Hemel Hempstead School and Longdean School, all of which are rated 'good'.

Private schools in the area include Abbot's Hill, an independent school which takes girls aged four to 16, and Lockers Park, a boys' prep school with a boarding option which takes girls up to Year Two.

Sport and leisure  

There are a range of sports and leisure facilities in the town. Near the centre is Jarman Park, which boasts an ice rink, a soft play centre and a variety of chain restaurants.

Jarman Park is also home to XC - an activity centre offering climbing walls, skateboarding and indoor caving.

Hemel is home to The Snow Centre on St Albans Hill, which has the largest learner slope in the UK - a 160m indoor real-snow slope for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

Herts Advertiser: XC, Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead. Picture: Danny Loo

There is a gym and a swimming pool at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre, as well as squash and basketball courts.

Sapphire Gymnastics, which offers recreational classes for all ages, has two popular sites in the town.

As for the great outdoors, Hemel is home to several substantial green spaces.

These include Jellicoe Water Gardens, which were designed as an integral part of the New Town, and are now considered to be one of Dacorum's most important post-war heritage sites.

Hemel also boasts pretty Gadebridge Park, which has a splash park, skate park and play area as well as entertainment and ample green space - making it perfect for any family outing.