Your guide to Cottonmill

PUBLISHED: 21:15 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 21:15 11 August 2016

Sopwell Nunnery, on Cottonmill Lane

Sopwell Nunnery, on Cottonmill Lane


Cottonmill estate is a slightly more affordable area of St Albans at the bottom end of town, with a thriving community atmosphere.

Old Sopwell Gardens, Cottonmill LaneOld Sopwell Gardens, Cottonmill Lane

It comprises Cottonmill Lane and surrounding streets, such as Abbots Avenue and Berners Drive and has a mix of flats and houses.

It is near to Sopwell House, and in the Sopwell ward/electoral division of the city.


St Albans Sub-Aqua Club, Cottonmill LaneSt Albans Sub-Aqua Club, Cottonmill Lane

Cottonmill Lane is named after a cotton mill at the bottom of the hill, on the River Ver. The cotton mill was previously a water mill, built in the 18th century and used to polish diamonds. In the early 19th century production changed to spinning and weaving cotton and manufacturing candlewicks. After 1883, the site was used for open air baths.


There is a Sainsbury’s supermarket, Matalan, Homebase, Argos, petrol station and Halfords on the retail park in Griffiths Way, to the entrance of Cottonmill.

The Abbey seen from Old London Road, close to CottonmillThe Abbey seen from Old London Road, close to Cottonmill

There is a row of smaller shops in Abbots Avenue, including a convenience store and hairdresser, while St Albans town centre is within walking distance.

Transport links

As with all areas of St Albans, Cottonmill is very handy for driving north and south, because of the M25, M1 and A1(M). There are fast train services from St Albans City Station, which get you into the centre of London in around 20 minutes. The Abbey Flyer runs regularly on a single-track from the Abbey Station to Watford Junction.

Marlborough Science Academy on Watling StreetMarlborough Science Academy on Watling Street

Food and drink

The King Offa pub in Wallingford Walk closed last year to be turned into housing. It was built in the 1960s and had little character but was loved by a small number of committed regulars.

The White Lion and The Goat pubs, both in Sopwell Lane, are respected, lovely places serving a wide range of beer and great home-cooked food.

Sopwell House Hotel is close to CottonmillSopwell House Hotel is close to Cottonmill

Sopwell House in Cottonmill Lane, has notoriously been host to several celebrities, including David Beckham and the England football team. It serves delicious cream tea, a selection of brasserie meals and snacks and a full dinner menu.

There is a McDonald’s restaurant with drive-thru on Griffiths Way, while Cheong’s Chinese and Tasty’s Chicken and Pizza in Vesta Avenue are popular local takeaways.

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