Area Guide: The much-loved Camp area of St Albans
PUBLISHED: 09:03 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 03 July 2019
Forget about the cathedral – it’s the Camp fish and chip shop that’s really put St Albans on the map in recent years. We found out more about this popular part of the cathedral city.
The Camp area of St Albans is a multi-cultural, mostly residential neighbourhood within a short walk of St Albans City station.
Running alongside Fleetville with Camp Road at its heart, it is unpretentious and relatively affordable.
Rows of period terraces and semis make up the bulk of the housing stock, alongside council (and ex-council) homes, many of which have been extended.
While the Camp is a long way from being St Albans' most expensive area, buying property here certainly isn't cheap.
Homes currently on the market include a three-bed terrace on Cambridge Road for £575,000, a two-bed terrace on Wellington Road for £475,000 and a studio flat on Dane Court, College Road for £190,000.
The area is also home to an ever-increasing selection of new build flats. The newest addition is Apex House, a former office building on Camp Road which has recently been converted into 48 one and two-bed apartments.
Camp Road has a mix of amenities, including a convenience store, a hair and beauty salon, a car repair garage and an organ museum
The parade of shops on Cell Barnes Lane includes a Co-op supermarket, a newsagent and the popular Smoke House Deli, while nearby Fleetville has a large Morrisons supermarket, a Tesco Express, a launderette, Post Office, bakery, florist, funeral director, cafes and an active community centre. The town centre is about a 20-minute walk away.
Much to residents' dismay and sadness, The Camp - a popular community pub, which the area is named after - was sold to property developers in 2015. A block of apartments has since been built on the site.
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The closest pubs now are both on Hatfield Road: The Crown, a five-minute walk from City station, hosts regular music, quiz and comedy nights and has a menu including burgers and Sunday roasts. The Rats Castle in Fleetville has big screen sport, live music and a bit more of a 'local' vibe on account of its position further from the centre of town.
The legendary Camp fish and chip shop on Sutton Road is not only considered the best chippie in town, but it's also got the best celeb connection: former One Direction star Harry Styles filmed a Gucci ad there in March 2018.
There's also a great mix of restaurants on offer in Fleetville from Greek (Souvlaki City) to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern (The Oasis) to Italian (Nonno's).
Camp Primary and Nursery School is a one-form entry school with a 60-strong nursery class and a 'good' Ofsted ranking. The oversubscribed school, which has been in existence since the late 1800s, has large grounds and on-site allotments. It caters for a diverse mix of pupils, with white British being the largest ethnic group, followed by Bangladeshi and Pakistani.
Windermere Primary ('good'), Fleetville Infant and Junior Schools and Cunningham Hill Infant and Junior Schools (all 'outstanding') are also nearby.
Samuel Ryder Academy ('good') is an 'all-through' school, accommodating children from age 4-19, while Verulam ('good') is a boys' academy, which admits a small number of girls in the sixth form.
Sport and leisure
Nearby gyms include Nuffield Health, which has squash and tennis courts, swimming pools and many classes, as well as physiotherapists and personal trainers and the more affordable Highfield Park Centre, with its gym and tennis courts, among other facilities.
The Royston Club in College Road is a popular social club with live music and regular quiz nights.
The well-loved Alban Way cycle and walking track spans the area, running parallel to Dellfield and Campfield Road.
And it would be wrong not to mention the Organ Museum on Camp Road, where you can see and hear about historic theatre organs and music boxes that have been lovingly restored by enthusiasts.
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