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Focus on Welwyn Garden City

Being based in our Welwyn Garden City office and a resident for the past 45 years, I thought it would be useful to provide some information on the heritage and many of the benefits of the town for anyone looking to move into the area.

Founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard, Welwyn Garden City was the second of Howard’s experimental Garden Cities (Letchworth being the first).  Designed to be the perfect town with the benefits of both town and country, and with the aim to avoid the disadvantages of them both it was originally called ‘Digswell’ taking the name from the small village it was to surround. Six days later they changed their mind and opted instead for Welwyn Garden City!

Designed by Louis de Soissons, the town is laid out along tree-lined boulevards with the central spine of the town being Parkway, which is almost a mile long.  Older houses are on the West side of Parkway and newer ones on the East side. The original planners intended that all residents of the Garden City would shop in one shop and created Welwyn Stores.  Commercial pressures have since ensured much more competition and variety and Welwyn stores were taken over by John Lewis in 1984.

The town has a shopping centre with many high street and independent shops. There are also many popular restaurant chains including Cote, Giggling Squid, Megans and several independent cafés, public houses, coffee shops, bakeries, fast food, and convenience stores. If fitness is your thing, Rise Gym is based in the town, has a friendly atmosphere and a wide range of equipment, classes and facilities. The Gosling Sport Park is just a 15 minute walk from the town where there are tennis and squash courts, football pitches, trampoline park, children’s soft play, golf driving range and even a dry ski slope!

Not many will remember ‘West One’ (the nightclub of my youth and where I met my wife!) however over the years Campus West has developed into a fantastic facility for the residents with a roller skating rink, children’s soft play, a café lounge and a three screen cinema showing all the latest and classic movies. A little tip is to sign up for a free Zebra card as it will give you up to 50% off some of the facilities there!  There are also cricket and bowls clubs along with three golf courses in and around the town, Panshanger, Mill Green and Welwyn Garden City Golf Club, of which Nick Faldo was once a member! There is also a football club and a very successful Rugby club of which I am very proud to say we are the main sponsors. You’ll often see me here on a Saturday afternoon so feel free to come and say hello…I’ll be the one at the bar or cheering on the home team at the side of the pitch!  Woodland and Countryside walks are on the doorstep through Sherrardspark Wood and Stanborough Park where there are fishing and boating lakes and a recently installed Childrens Splash Park and High Ropes Adventure Centre.

If you’re visiting, there are two hotels in the town including Travelodge and Premier Inn at Stanborough which has a Beefeater restaurant attached which do a fantastic ‘all you can eat’ buffet breakfast – Children eat free!

The town is very well connected with the A1(M) and A414 being nearby for road users and a railway station situated in the town with fast and frequent service into central London (Kings Cross 28 minutes) along with regular services North to Stevenage, Hitchin and Cambridge.

Education in Welwyn Garden City is well covered with five secondary schools, a college and around sixteen primary schools. Situated in the heart of the ‘West Side’ of The Garden City, for many years we have been proud sponsors of Templewood Primary School, attending their various events and fetes throughout the year and donating £200 to the PTA for every parent who sells their property through us.

In summary, I love this town and feel very proud to call it my home!

Having been in the Garden City for 30 years this year, Ashtons are market leaders of the 71 estate agents that operate in the area - selling 25% of the properties listed in the AL6, AL7 and AL8 postcodes in 2023 (source Rightmove).  If you’re looking to move into the area and would like some advice feel free to pop into our office for a coffee or just give me a call.

Whether you’re looking to
  • buy
  • sell
  • rent
  • let
  • buy
we would love to help.