Area Guide: The upmarket Hertfordshire village of Radlett
PUBLISHED: 08:45 01 February 2019
An affluent village with a strong Jewish community and multi-million pound homes aplenty, there's nowhere in Hertfordshire quite like Radlett. We found out more about it.
Of its population of approximately 8,000, around 2,200 Radlett residents identify as Jewish; the religious needs of the population are well catered for, with two synagogues and four churches.
Located within the council district of Hertsmere, the village is home to a mix of properties, many of which are extremely expensive.
Homes currently on the market include a seven-bed mansion on Newlands Avenue for £4.5million and a two-bed flat on Darnhills for £775,000.
According to Rightmove, the overall average price of property in Radlett over the past year was £1,025,371, down 7 per cent on the previous year.
Famous former residents include Simon Cowell, who grew up in the village, and ex-Girls Aloud star Cheryl, who left her luxury home on Cobden Hill for a new life in Surrey with One Direction’s Liam Payne (and look how well that turned out...).
She’s since struggled to shift her six-bed home, which went on the market for £5million back in March 2017 and could now be yours for just £3,999,999.
There are four popular state schools in Radlett – Newberries Primary and Fair Field Junior School were both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at their last inspections, while Hertsmere Jewish Primary and St John’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School were rated ‘outstanding’.
Fee-paying options include Edge Grove, an independent day and boarding school for pupils aged three to 13, and Radlett Preparatory, a day school for children aged four to 11. Radlett Prep old boys include Simon Cowell and Vinnie Jones (the latter of whom was expelled).
The area has excellent transport links, with close access to the M25 and M1 motorways and the A1 trunk road, while the commuter rail service from Radlett to St Pancras takes less than half an hour.
Bus services connect Radlett to many nearby towns and villages, including Watford, St Albans, Hatfield and Borehamwood.
Landmarks and history
There has been a settlement known as Radlett since 1453, however the area as it stands has been created almost entirely since the end of the 19th century. During this time, the village was a rural community dominated by the estates of the Kendals, who owned the majority of the land to the west of Watling Street, in addition to Newberries Avenue and Aldenham Lodge. The only buildings at the time were located at the crossroads at the bottom of Shenley Hill, which included a pub and an inn.
In 1860, the Midland Railway service was extended from Bedford into London and a station was built in Radlett, connecting it with London. 1948 was a momentous year in sport for the village, with the Olympic Marathon running through the area. An out-and-back course from the Empire Stadium in Wembley was laid out through the main high street.
The introduction of the Metropolitan Green Belt in the 1950s set a legal framework limiting further growth of the area beyond the existing limits of the village, restricting Radlett to infilling within the built-up area rather than expanding outward. Despite this, the popularity of the area has meant that new houses continue to be built in former large estate gardens.
Shopping and culture
Watling Street, the main road running through Radlett, has a wide selection of local shops, in addition to some national chain stores. The needs of the Jewish community are well taken care of, with a kosher butcher and a couple of kosher-style delis.
Entertainment venue The Radlett Centre’s 300-seat auditorium shows a wide range of performances throughout the year.
On the outskirts of the village is Battlers Green Farm Rural Shopping Village & Tearooms, which has grown substantially since it was set up in 1960. Starting as a single farm shop, it now houses 20 stores including a salon and spa, an indoor cycling and pilates studio and shops selling everything from fruit to furniture.
Sports and leisure
There’s no shortage of sports teams in the village, including Radlett Cricket Club which is part of Saracens Hertfordshire League. The club is based at Brunton Memorial Ground, which is also used by Middlesex County Cricket Club.
Based at the Medburn Ground, Belstone FC compete in the Herts Senior County League Premier Division and Harrow Sunday Challenge League.
Tabard RFC play in London 2 North West. The training facility offers two full size pitches, in addition to subsidiary pitches for their growing junior and mini rugby section.
Radlett Bowls Club play on a six-rink green, owned and maintained by Aldenham Parish Council, during the season (mid-April to the end of September).
Eating and drinking
Radlett has a variety of restaurants and bars to suit all taste preferences, ranging from popular chains such as Pizza Express to unique independently owned venues.
The Broadwick is Radlett’s number one restaurant according to Trip Advisor, with recent visitors praising its “excellent” service, as well as its fine food and fabulous cocktails.
Isot is a Turkish restaurant with an authentic Mediterranean menu and a friendly atmosphere with themed entertainment evenings. Second on Trip Advisor’s list, its marinated meat and traditional kebabs can be enjoyed as a filling main or shared as part of a group mezze menu.