The Watford suburb of Garston has a lot to offer residents. The area is home to a cinema, a handful of shops and restaurants and one of Hertfordshire's most over-subscribed secondary schools. We found out more...

Garston is within the Stanborough, Woodside and Meriden wards of the borough of Watford, although a small number of its streets are in Hertsmere.

The suburb is home to the Building Research Establishment, a former government laboratory which provides research, advice, training, testing, certification and standards for both public and private sector organisations in the UK and abroad. 


The streets of Garston are lined predominantly with a mix of 1930s semis, terraced houses and flats.

Currently on the market is a three-bedroom semi-detached property in Garston Drive for £550,000.  

According to Rightmove, overall sold prices in Garston over the last year were five down on the previous year and similar to the 2021 peak of £430, 017. 

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Garston is renowned for its outstanding secondary schools. Parmiter's in High Elms Lane is one of the most oversubscribed schools in Hertfordshire.

Parmiter's is a partially selective state comprehensive, which has a sixth form. It was originally based in East London before moving to Herts in 1977, and was rated 'outstanding' in its latest Ofsted inspection.

St Michael's Catholic High School, which is also in High Elms Lane, is also rated 'outstanding', and is a comprehensive for pupils aged between 11 and 18.

Future Academies Watford - previously known as Francis Combe Academy - opened on Horseshoe Lane in 2009, replacing Francis Combe School and Community College.

The school was given a 'requires improvement' rating at its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2022.

Primary school options in Garston include The Grove Academy, which was also given a 'requires improvement' rating at its latest Ofsted inspection, and Coates Way JMI, which has a 'good' Ofsted rating.

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Garston is well linked for roads, as it is within easy reach of the M1 and M25 motorways and the A41.

The suburb also has its own railway station, which is the third stop on the Abbey Line after Watford Junction and Watford North.

Mainline train services from London Euston also go through Watford. 

Food and drink   

Garston has plenty of chain restaurants for people to choose from, with branches of McDonald's, TGI Friday's and Papa John's all close by.

There is also a Harvester on North Orbital Road, as well as a few independent outlets on Garston Park Parade. These include takeaway pizza, Chinese and fish and chips. 

Sport and leisure   

One of the area's main attractions is Garston Park - half of which is a nature reserve.

The park itself covers 6.4 hectares of land and includes woodland, grassland and wetland.

Visitors can observe a wide variety of wildlife, such as red foxes, woodpeckers and butterflies.

There is also a playground for children, as well as areas of mown grass which are ideal for running and other spots for exercise.

Meanwhile, Watford Leisure Centre - Woodside on Horseshoe Lane has plenty of sports facilities on offer - with two pools, a gym, an exercise studio, a squash court and a hall offering table tennis, badminton and five-a-side football.  

Herts Advertiser: Watford Leisure Centre - WoodsideWatford Leisure Centre - Woodside (Image: Google Street View)

For other activities there is Woodside Leisure Park, which has a Vue cinema and Hollywood Bowl with 10-pin bowling - plus a bar, a café and an arcade. 

For more family fun there's Ninja Warrior - which has replaced Gambado soft play as a popular venue for kids' parties. 

As part of Watford, Garston is close to all the town has to offer - such as the Watford Palace Theatre, Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden and Atria Watford shopping centre - previously known as the Harlequin Centre or Intu Watford. 

Herts Advertiser: This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, who have offices in St Albans, Marshalswick, Wheathampstead and Harpenden (Image: Frost's)