Area Guide: The popular Hertfordshire town of Hemel Hempstead

PUBLISHED: 09:41 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 02 August 2019

Hemel's Riverside shopping centre has branches of Debenhams and TK Maxx, among other amenities. Picture: Danny Loo

Hemel's Riverside shopping centre has branches of Debenhams and TK Maxx, among other amenities. Picture: Danny Loo

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The large and happening town of Hemel Hempstead is a great option for prospective buyers, particularly as it is within easy reach of London. Elisha Mans found out more.

The Plough Roundabout, aka 'the Magic Roundabout' in Hemel Hempstead, as seen from the A4146. Picture: Google Street ViewThe Plough Roundabout, aka 'the Magic Roundabout' in Hemel Hempstead, as seen from the A4146. Picture: Google Street View

Hemel Hempstead, located in the district of Dacorum, is a fantastically situated town lying north of Watford and just next to the M1. The town is part of the London commuter belt, but is cheaper than some of the other nearby areas, such as St Albans to its east.

As a settlement, Hemel Hempstead has existed since the 8th century, and for many hundreds of years it was an agricultural town.

However, it was then developed as a 'new town' by the government after World War Two, to house displaced Londoners.

The Marlowes shopping centre. Picture: Danny LooThe Marlowes shopping centre. Picture: Danny Loo

Property

In terms of the property market in Hemel Hempstead, Rightmove reports that the current average sale price is £358,660. The majority of sales made over the last year were of terraced houses for an average of £330,423.

There are a range of properties currently on the market in Hemel, suiting a variety of needs and budgets.

At the high end of the market is a four bedroom, contemporary detached house with almost 1.5 acres of land located on Cherry Tree Lane, currently going for £1,650,000.

XC is one of the attractions at Jarman Park. Picture: Danny LooXC is one of the attractions at Jarman Park. Picture: Danny Loo

For families, a three bedroom end of terrace home on Turners Hill would make a perfect choice for £400,000.

There is also an excellent two bedroom flat with parking spot on the central road of Seldon Hill, for £260,000.

Amenities

The Riverside shopping centre is also home to a Premier Inn. Picture: Danny LooThe Riverside shopping centre is also home to a Premier Inn. Picture: Danny Loo

The Marlowes is a well-equipped, modern shopping centre in the heart of Hemel. With a range of popular fashion stores, such as New Look and River Island, as well as the likes of M&S and Wilkinsons, The Marlowes provides for a wide variety of shopping needs.

The other main area for high street shopping is Hemel Hempstead's 'Riverside' complex, which has a pleasant atmosphere. Riverside also has a Premier Inn.

Hemel Hempstead's Old Town high street has more independent shops and is well served for pubs and restaurants. Popular eateries include the Turkish restaurant, Opuz Kitchen, and Mazza Indian restaurant.

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There are many supermarkets including an ASDA, a Sainsbury's, two ALDIs and several Tescos.

Transport

Hemel Hempstead is extremely well connected due to its proximity to both the M1 and the M25. It also has easy rail links to London Euston; a fast journey takes only 26 minutes.

Arriva buses connect Hemel to neighbouring towns including Welwyn Garden City, St Albans, Watford and Stevenage, as well as being useful for getting across Hemel.

Schools

Hemel Hempstead has numerous primary schools, including George Street Primary, Lime Walk and The Reddings, which all received a 'good' Ofsted ranking at their last inspections.

Secondary options include John F Kennedy Catholic School, The Hemel Hempstead School, and Longdean School, all of which are rated 'good'.

Private schools include Abbot's Hill, an independent girls' school for ages four to 16, and Lockers Park, a boys' prep school with a boarding option which takes girls up to Year Two.

Sport and leisure

Jarman Park, near the centre of the town, boasts an ice rink, a large and recently renovated Cineworld, a gym, a soft play centre, and a variety of chain restaurants.

Also in Jarman Park is XC, an activity centre offering climbing walls, skateboarding and indoor caving.

The Snow Centre has a 160m indoor real-snow slope for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding - the biggest learner slope in the UK.

Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre has a gym and swimming pool, as well as squash and basketball courts.

Sapphire Gymnastics has two popular sites in the town, offering recreational classes for all ages.

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