Ten reasons to love Hitchin

Story posted: 13.04.22

As you may know, Hitchin was recently named the best place to live in Hertfordshire by popular lifestyle site Muddy Stilettos.

Here’s what Muddy Stilettos had to say: ‘Historic buildings, cobbled streets, tonnes of indies, from vintage treasure troves to quirky boutiques, plus a café culture to rival even the capital’s coffee scene... it's got to be Hitchin.’

We decided to take a look at what it is about this historic market town that makes it just so fabulous, and here are the results: Our top ten reasons to love Hitchin…

1. Hitchin Lavender

It’s no surprise to see the famous Hitchin Lavender Farm at the top of our list, as it is no doubt one of Hitchin’s most well-known landmarks. In fact, people come from far and wide just to visit the breath-taking rolling fields of lavender in bloom, and rightly so. Cut and keep as much lavender as you can carry in your given paper bag, and don’t forget to pick yourself up some luxury lavender goodies on site as well. The farm also has a lovely café, which is well worth a visit!

2. Summer in Hitchin

Not only does Hitchin boast its own Lido complete with sun terrace, but Hitchin Beach will be returning to the Market Place this summer (2nd-29th August), transforming the square into a sandy paradise for children of all ages. Don’t forget to pack your buckets and spades and head on down this August!

3. British Schools Museum

Hitchin holds a unique place in the history of education as it boasts the world’s last remaining purpose-built Monitorial schoolroom. The Grade II* listed building opened in 1837 but the school was founded in 1810, a full 80 years before the government finally provided free elementary education for all. Visit the fascinating British Schools Museum to experience an authentic Victorian school lesson and a plethora of assorted exhibitions and collections to enjoy. 

4. Vintage Shopping

Whether your penchant is for great value retro shops or boutique treasures, you’re truly in the right place in Hitchin. Raid the rails at the fabulously retro Riot Lounge, stop by the chic Jolly Brown, for a range of vintage garments for both men and women, and be sure to check out the offerings at both H-Town Rags and The Fleetville Emporium. You won’t be sorry!

5. Marvellous Markets

Hitchin is home to one of the region’s largest outdoor markets, set by the river at the heart of the beautiful town. Featuring over 150 stalls, the market is open every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are also specialist market days throughout the year, including a weekly Antiques Market every Friday and monthly Craft and Farmers markets.

6. Café Culture

Hitchin has more than its fair share of bustling independent cafes and coffee shops to choose from. Hermitage Road Coffee is just one of our favourites. It’s coffee and bagel bar prides itself on the quality of its coffee and serves a small selection of filled hand-rolled bagels, quiches and cakes. Chia Naturally Healthy is not only beautifully designed but markets itself as a ‘café with a conscience’, serving a variety of tasty plant-based offerings. Hitchin Coffee Lab also deserves a nod, serving hand-roasted, speciality coffee from all over the world. Finally, for a vintage and intrinsically British experience (complete with hand-knitted teapot cosies!), head over to Molly’s Tea Room.

7. The Arts

The Factory Playhouse Theatre first opened its doors in May 2015, transforming what was previously a disused factory into one of the most exciting and innovative places to see theatre in Hertfordshire. Meanwhile, The Market Theatre is a small-scale professional theatre promoting a variety of shows including murder mysteries, comedies, musicals and children’s theatre. A visit to the Arkley Fine Art Gallery on Hermitage Road is also highly recommended. The Hitchin Festival runs every July and promises a programme packed full of culture and entertainment.

8. The Great Outdoors

Hitchin Lavender is not the only option for those looking to venture out of town and enjoy some outside space. Stotfold Watermill and Nature Reserve offers a lovely family day out and is usually open to the public on Sundays throughout the summer, while Oughtonhead Common Nature Reserve is a willow woodland running adjacent to the River Oughton and offers a haven for local wildlife.

9. Pubs and Bars

Whilst certainly not a clubbers paradise, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed with Hitchin’s varied night-time and pub offerings. The Victoria has cemented its place as a local favourite through its programme of themed food evenings, live music events and quiz nights, whilst The Wee Vinoteca, squirrelled away in the Arcade, is a fantastic family-run wine bar and shop. For proper pub grub, head on over to Kite at The Red Hart, a modern gastropub with a fantastic beer garden.

10. Beautiful Homes

When it comes to property, Hitchin has much to offer, from charming period properties to modern homes built with growing families in mind. And whilst high in demand, we are pleased to report that house prices in Hitchin still come in considerably less than some of the pricier pockets of Hertfordshire. In fact, the overall average price for the last year currently sits at £434,539.

You can view a selection of stunning properties currently on the market in Hitchin on our website here.


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