Bishop's Stortford is an affluent market town with a lot of appeal for residents - although it is perhaps best known for its proximity to Stansted Airport and its controversial imperialist connection. We found out more...

Situated on Hertfordshire's border with Essex, Bishop's Stortford has a surprisingly rural feel despite its proximity to London.

It therefore serves as an ideal home for those who want both a convenient commute to the capital and a quiet country lifestyle.

Bishop's Stortford is also something of a hub for nature lovers, as the River Stort runs through the middle of the town and is a pleasant spot for a stroll.


A small settlement was established in the area by the Romans, and the current centre of Bishop's Stortford was home to an Anglo Saxon town - from which the name Stortford was derived.

The prefix 'Bishop' was added in 1060, when the town was sold to the Bishop of London. 

The town's oldest standing structure is the Grade I listed Church of St Michael, which has a baptismal font dating back to the Norman invasion of Britain

Bishop's Stortford is also home to the Grade I listed ruins of Waytemore Castle, along with a number of Tudor houses.

During the medieval and early modern period, Bishop's Stortford was a significant market town - and therefore an important stop on the road from London to Cambridge. The town's market continues to run to this day.

(Image: Karyn Haddon)


The town is conveniently located by the M11, between Cambridge and London, and is also the nearest large town to Stansted Airport, which is about five miles away.

Trains go from Bishop's Stortford to London Liverpool Street in just under 45 minutes, making it a popular town for commuters.


Properties in Bishop's Stortford had an overall average price of £497,379 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Bishop's Stortford during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £761,763. 

Homes currently on the market in the town include a four-bedroom detached property on Grange Road for £1,150,000 and a three-bedroom detached bungalow on Elm Road for £750,000.   

(Image: Karyn Haddon)


A major draw for parents considering a move to Bishop's Stortford is the town's high quality schools.

Popular options include Windhill21 primary and The Bishop's Stortford High School, both of which were rated 'outstanding' at their most recent Ofsted inspections.

Food and Drink  

Bishop's Stortford is home to a number of independent cafés, bars and restaurants - from the highly rated Shadhona curry house to Skew, which is a restaurant and sushi bar offering the taste of the Mediterranean coast from a spot overlooking the River Stort.


There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Bishop's Stortford town centre, including two weekly markets and a monthly farmers' and craft market.

Jackson Square also offers a combination of big-name brands alongside independent cafés and boutiques.

For arts and culture, the town is home to South Mill Arts - which houses a theatre, a museum and an art gallery.

The centre was formerly known as the Rhodes Art Complex after imperialist Cecil Rhodes, who was born in the town.

Cecil Rhodes served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896, and you can find out more about him in the museum.

Bishop's Stortford also has a popular leisure area - Sworder's Field and Castle Gardens - which has two skate parks, tennis courts and a paddling pool among other amenities.

There is also Southern Country Park - a 23 hectare green space with a play area, a fishing pond and plenty of spots for a picnic.

(Image: Danny Loo)  

Another popular attraction in the area is Cammas Hall Farm, where visitors and their families can pick their own fruit during the summer, go on a walking trail or explore a maize maze.

This area guide is sponsored by Frost's, which has offices in St Albans, Harpenden, Redbourn and MarshalswickThis area guide is sponsored by Frost's, which has offices in St Albans, Harpenden, Redbourn and Marshalswick (Image: Frost's)