Area Guide: The Camp area of St Albans
PUBLISHED: 08:08 30 October 2020
A residential area within walking distance of St Albans city centre, The Camp has its own unique identity. We found out more about this popular place.
The Camp area 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.
The area is built on what was once the Beastney estate - land that is believed to have belonged to a butcher called William Beastney in the late 1600s. Camp Road, which runs through the middle of the area, was named in 1940.
What is now Brick Knoll Park industrial estate – home of the Royal Mail sorting office – was once Owen Brickworks.
Rows of period terraces and semis make up the bulk of the housing stock, alongside council (and ex-council) homes and new build flats, plus some recent office conversions.
The Camp is far from St Albans’ priciest area, but buying property here certainly isn’t cheap; homes currently on the market include a three-bed end terrace on Royston Road for £600,000 and a two-bed flat on Beresford Road for £355,000.
The most expensive property currently for sale in the area is a newly-renovated four-bed detached house on Camp Road, which has a guide price of £1m.
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Camp Road has a mix of amenities, including a convenience store, a hair and beauty salon and a car repair garage.
The parade of shops on Cell Barnes Lane includes a Co-op supermarket, a newsagent and the popular Smoke House Deli. The town centre is about a 20-minute walk away.
Much to residents’ dismay, 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.
The closest pubs now are both on Hatfield Road: The Crown, a five-minute walk from City station, 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. A fire at the shop last summer resulted in its closure, but it is expected to be open again soon.
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 nursery class and a ‘good’ Ofsted rating. 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, plus Ss Alban and Stephen Catholic Primary School, a recent amalgamation of the infant and junior schools of the same name.
Samuel Ryder Academy (‘good’) is an ‘all-through’ school, accommodating children from age 4 to 19, while Verulam (‘good’) is a boys’ academy, which admits 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 venue, with live music and 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 St Albans Organ Theatre 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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