Letchworth is the first garden city, and is a perfect blend of town and country living. We found out more about this Herts hotspot...

Letchworth Garden City was founded in 1903 by Ebenezer Howard, and was designed to bring together the best of both worlds while providing improved housing for the poor.

The town was formed following the publication of Howard's influential book: To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform.

Many of the Exhibition Cottages - built between 1905 and 1907 - remain from that era, as well as the Grade II* listed Spirella Building.

In another claim to fame, the first garden city is also home to Britain's first ever roundabout, which was built in 1909.

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After more than a century, many of Letchworth's attractive suburban streets have retrained their original appeal.

Homes currently on the market in the town include a four-bedroom detached bungalow on Wilbury Road for £825,000 and a three-bedroom semi-detached on Glebe Road for £650,000.   

The overall average selling price for a property in Letchworth during the last year was £446,879.   

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Letchworth is well-connected, with good transport links to other areas. Fast trains reach London King's Cross in half an hour, while the A1(M) runs right alongside the town.

There are also regular bus services providing transport to rural and residential areas, as well as the neighbouring towns of Hitchin and Baldock.


There are several popular schools in the town, including Pixmore Junior School, Hillshott Infant School and Nursery and The Highfield School - all of which were rated 'good' at their most recent Ofsted inspections.

St Christopher School, known as St Chris, was founded in 1915 and is a boarding school for children aged three to 18. Pupils at the school wear their own clothes and call teachers by their first names.

Shops and restaurants 

Letchworth's popular eateries include the garden centre café The Potting Shed, Turkish restaurant The Grapevine and the much-loved Italian L'Artista.

The Wynd and The Arcade are home to a range of independent shops, and the Garden City Brewery serves a mix of its own brews alongside guest ales, local ciders, wines and spirits.

The area is perfect for people looking to support local indies and escape commercial, high street shops, with a great selection of traditional gift ships and stores selling vintage items and one-off pieces.

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Sport and leisure   

Norton Common is a peaceful park, just a short walk away from the town centre. The common has a nature reserve, two play areas, a skateboarding area, a multi-use games area and a couple of bowling greens.

The 63-acre park is popular with dog walkers and is a rich source of wildlife, providing a home to one of the UK's largest colonies of black squirrels and a growing population of Muntjac deer.

Another option is Howard Park - which offers a refreshments kiosk and a paddling pool. 

Meanwhile Broadway Gardens, which was designed in 2003, is a beautifully landscaped open space in the town centre, complete with an eye-catching fountain.

Letchworth's 50m heated outdoor pool is situated on the edge of Norton Common, and is well worth a visit in the summer months.

The venue includes a toddlers' pool, refreshments and free parking, and is also available for private hire.

Other facilities are available at North Herts Leisure Centre, which has a 34m swimming pool, flume, gym, squash courts, sauna and café,

The town also has plenty of entertainment options, including the four-screen Art Deco Broadway Cinema, which was built in 1936.

Art lovers can visit the Broadway Studio and Gallery art exhibition space, along with a handful of other independent galleries, and the town also has regular farmers' markets and vintage fairs.

Herts Advertiser: The Spirella buildingThe Spirella building (Image: Danny Loo)

Famous faces   

The 2013 film The World's End - starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - was filmed in the town. 

Other notable names associated with Letchworth are film director Michael Winner and celebrated actor Laurence Olivier, whose father was rector of Letchworth Parish between 1918 and 1924. 

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