Sunday Times article tells us what we already know - that Harpenden is one of the best places to live in region

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 March 2015

Harpenden high street

Harpenden high street


“Upper-crust” fish and chips sold with a bottle of prosecco has helped earn Harpenden a commendation as one of Britain’s top 50 towns in which to live by The Sunday Times.

The popular location joins Berkhamsted and Bury St Edmonds in being named one of the best seven towns in East Anglia in the newspaper’s guide, published last Sunday.

Harpenden and other places were selected for offering the best quality of life to the widest number of people and combining desirable features such as a positive community spirit, good local shops, services and attractive outdoor spaces.

The decision is based on data and statistics such as crime rates, house prices and school performances.

In its explanation for the accolade, the paper said part of Harpenden’s attraction was its three outstanding state secondary schools.

Another big plus was being able to reach St Pancras in 25 minutes by train.

The Times praised the “good supply of watering holes and restaurants, a wide high street and tennis and cricket clubs”.

It adds: “Why we love it: Godfrey’s serves upper-crust fish and chips with a bottle of prosecco. Very Harpenden.”

Such high praise comes as no surprise to locals.

Chris Marsden, chairman of the Harpenden Society, said: “It is a great place to live for young families and older folk.”

Associate at Strutt & Parker, Martin Gibbins, speaking from the agent’s Harpenden branch, said: “The Common is a drawcard, and there is a strong community feeling here so I’m not overly surprised at it being named as one of the best towns.

“We have a good number of independent businesses which are thriving and a good range of supermarkets, all within walking distance of the high street.”

Harpenden Cricket Club spokesman David Josephs added that people enjoyed both watching and playing cricket on the common, with the club’s membership and social calendar “thriving”.

County and district councillor Teresa Heritage said: “Harpenden has a real community spirit, and there is something for everybody here.”

Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr Mary Maynard paid tribute to the contribution of its many local volunteers.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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