Area Guide: The Hertfordshire town of Rickmansworth
PUBLISHED: 08:33 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 31 August 2018
A small town with its own tube station, Rickmansworth offers residents the best of both worlds.
About five miles west of Watford, just inside the M25, lies Rickmansworth - a little town with a lot going on.
The Grand Union Canal runs through the town which, despite its size, contains many shops, including Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Tesco. There are several banks, plus a Post Office and a petrol station, as well as a number of independent shops and cafes.
According to Rightmove, the overall average price of a property in Rickmansworth last year was £627,203. Homes currently for sale in the town include a two-bedroom duplex apartment on Uxbridge Road for £400,000 and a brand new five-bedroom detached house on Chorleywood Road for £1.85m.
A town steeped in history, there has been a settlement here since the Stone Age.
In the 8th century, King Offa granted Rickmansworth to the Abbot of St Albans.
The Manor of the More - a palace that stood on the grounds of what is now Moor Park - was held by notorious Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, between 1520 and 1530. Henry VIII was a regular visitor.
Rickmansworth is well known for its three rivers: Colne, Chess and Gade. These helped establish an economy in the town with a thriving watercress trade.
One of Rickmansworth’s claims to fame is its role in the building of the original Wembley Stadium, as gravel from local quarries was used in its construction.
Rickmansworth was also a place of residence for famous explorer and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. The Three Rivers Museum is housed at his former home, Basing House, on High Street.
Leisure and sport
One of the big attractions in the area is the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. This is a public park and local nature reserve with two lakes, woodland walks, kids’ play areas, a restaurant and open green spaces that are perfect for picnics.
The Aquadrome is also home to family favourite Nomad Kayak Club, which provides kayaking and canoeing on the surrounding lakes.
The William Penn Leisure Centre on Shepherds Lane is a great place for keeping fit with its gym, award-winning swimming pools, group exercise studio and floodlit artificial football pitch. Locals and visitors alike enjoy taking advantage of the picturesque canal, and the Batchworth Lock Canal Centre offers boat trips and a shop selling ice cream and gifts.
London is easily accessible as the M25 is just minutes away. There are strong rail links, with trains on the London to Aylesbury line and Metropolitan line tubes from London to Amersham.
The town also has many bus services connecting it to surrounding areas, such a Hemel Hempstead and Garston, as well as Heathrow Airport.
Rickmansworth has strong school options. Local primaries include Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School and St Mary’s Church of England School (both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted).
St Clement Danes in neighbouring Chorleywood is an ‘outstanding’ secondary, while St Joan of Arc Catholic School and Rickmansworth School are ‘good’. Rickmansworth is just a short drive from Watford, which is home to the ‘outstanding’ semi-selective Watford Grammar School for Boys and its girls’ equivalent, both of which are over-subscribed.
Food and drink
The town centre presents a selection of cuisines, from Italian at the classy Buon Cibo to Thai at Tamarind or Chinese at the deceivingly named Mexica Buffet, all on Station Road.
Go to Church Street and you will find a 400 year old building which is home to the highly popular Cinnamon Square bakery. For drinks, there is a multitude of pubs and bars; The Fox & Hounds and The Pennsylvanian, both on High Street, are just two of the locals’ favourites.