Hertford – a local’s free range guide

I moved to Hertford from London over 15 years ago and quite honestly, I now wouldn’t consider living anywhere else. Long gone are the bad old days of the sardine tube commute, the dirt, the inordinately dreary, sometimes intimidating late night journeys involved in visiting friends because none of us lived anywhere near each other…

On the plus side, I’m still close enough to London if I have meetings or get the urge to visit. Hertford has not one but two railway stations to choose from, or I could jump in the car and drive down the A10 or the nearby A1.

Most of my friends live in neighbouring towns, but they’re only a short drive away (even the ones in North London are now quicker and easier to get to than they were when I lived in Chiswick).

An additional bonus that that Hertford is the place to go out for a meal, thanks to an incredible range of restaurants (Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, French, Turkish…), pubs and bars, so a lot of people from outside the town come here in the evenings. Meaning it’s an easy walk home, or a short cab ride if I’m feeling lazy.

What I like best about living in the town is that I’ve got the countryside on my doorstep – lots of horses, sheep, cows, trees, green stuff and everything, it’s great! It’s only a hop, skip and a jump (on a good day) to the recently opened Panshanger Park  which has been restored from a gravel quarry into a country park and nature conservation area.

They often put on events which are popular with kids (especially their Forest School) and adults alike, and as I like walking, I’m there a lot – sometimes I’ll be the only one for miles around who doesn’t have a dog in tow…

On a hot day in town, I find lazing on Hartham Common watching the runners and tennis players work up a sweat a very peaceful experience. There’s also a popular skateboard park, so there’s usually a few lads trying to impress everyone with their moves (or amuse us with their pratfalls).

Alternatively, I can watch what’s going on from inside the gym which overlooks the park (in the winter I do like being inside on the cross trainer whilst smirking at the freezing, sodden football club members battle with the wind outside).

Finally, one of my favourite past-times is sitting in one of Hertford’s many cafés with friends, doing a bit of work or watching the world go by. In this respect, Hertford’s a perfect place to live for people like me.”

Sarah, Hertford

 

Useful links for Hertford ‘chickens’

Things to do

Hertford is a charming market town with plenty of character, history and things to do. In the past few years, a lively café culture has developed, and there’s a great choice of bars and restaurants which are always busy on any night of the week.

Recently, there’s been a lot more activity in terms of entertainment and community events, and there are two gyms already established, and planning permission has just been granted for a 24-hour gym in the town centre.

Theatre, cinema and comedy

Comedy and bands

Where to eat

Events at the Castle

Read all about it!

 

Things to do with the kids

There are plenty of things to do with kids in this part of Hertfordshire, such as farms, adventure playgrounds, exploring the woods, and indoor play areas.

In Hertford itself, large groups of mothers can often be found in the café at the theatre drinking coffee whilst their toddlers play – though all of the cafés are child-friendly, including Leaf which is a children’s bookshop as well as a café. And on the edge of town, Foxholes Farm Shop café is also a popular place for mums and toddlers as it has a secure outdoor play area (as well as farm animals to look at).

Kid’s stuff in Hertfordshire

All things historical

Ssssh!

 

Education

Hertford is well known for its high-quality schools which is one of the main reasons many people are attracted to the town.

There are a number of independent schools within easy travelling distance of Hertford, including Haileybury and St Edmunds both of which offer the International Baccalaureate as well as A-levels in the sixth form. Whatever the age of your children, Hertford offers a great choice of local schools, nurseries and playgroups.

Schools and nurseries

 

Shopping

Hertford has managed to retain the character of a market town with a mix of independent shops, cafés and restaurants interspersed with small branches of the bigger outlets; and St Andrew Street is a charming, historic road full of small independent shops and businesses.

Town centre

St Andrew Street

We hope that you have found this guide useful. If you have any questions about living in Hertford then our local staff will be happy to answer them.