Ah, St Albans, where you can live in glorious English countryside and pop into London in just 20 minutes. Here, you get the best of both urban and country living. Sounds brilliant! But is St Albans a nice place to live?
Last year, The Sunday Times listed St Albans as the best place to live in the South East. It has become a popular commuter hotspot due to its ideal location in Hertfordshire, within commuting distance of London. With a rich history oozing from the area and loads to do nearby, it seems too good to be true! But is St Albans a nice place to live?
We look at the pros and cons of living in St Albans
There are, of course, pros and cons to consider in any location before deciding where to live. While we believe St Albans is a great place. But choosing to live there is a huge decision and depends on your preferences and needs. Here are some things to think about when considering a move to St Albans.
- It was tough for high-street shops even before the pandemic hit. And now, businesses are working hard to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Sadly, like many cities, great businesses come and go here.
- When train issues arise, getting stuck in London can be pretty frustrating! This can be incredibly stressful and inconvenient if you travel with kids or rely on the train for daily commuting. But don’t worry too much; St Albans is just a short distance from Central London, so you can always take an Uber, taxi, or bus if you’re stuck.
- Compared to other places to live, St Albans can be a bit expensive, but it’s cheaper than living in London if you are based there to work.
These are a few cons to consider, but now let’s look at the pros of living in St Albans.
5 Reasons St Alban’s is a nice place to live
The location is fantastic
Hertfordshire is located in the heart of the Home Counties, north of Greater London. It borders Bedfordshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west and the south-west. The county is known for its greenery and boasts the beautiful Chiltern Hills.
Weekends can be easily spent exploring local towns like Hemel Hempstead, Rickmansworth, and Harpenden, all of which offer great coffee and brunch spots. If you’re interested in furthering your education or learning something new, The University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield is just a few miles west of St Albans. The university offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and short courses.
There are lots of school options
St Albans is fortunate to have several highly-rated schools within its boundaries. These include St Albans Girls School, Loreto College (for girls) and Beaumont School (for boys and girls), all of which have been rated outstanding. In addition, the wider county of Hertfordshire has several excellent secondary schools, such as Roundwood Park School in Harpenden, which was featured in the Sunday Times School Guide for 2021. For parents of younger children, there are plenty of outstanding primary schools in St Albans, including Cunningham Hill Junior School and Fleetville Junior School.
You won’t be stuck for things to do!
St Albans has a rich history; it was one of the most significant Roman towns in the country and remnants of that fascinating past. For example, The Roman Theatre of Verulamium can still be visited today. St Alban’s Cathedral is the oldest place of continuous Christian worship in the country and a shrine to Britain’s first saint.
For those who love nature, Heartwood Forest and the Wheathampstead Heritage trail are easy to access. They offer some of the best in the region’s natural beauty, historical architecture, and fascinating stories. The city also provides excellent historical pubs, trendy bars, fine dining, a bustling cafe culture, food and street festivals. For families, the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter is nearby in Watford.
And plenty of places to indulge in some shopping
St Albans is a shopper’s paradise, boasting an array of shops to suit all tastes. A traditional street market, considered one of the best in the country, runs twice a week, while the city centre is home to popular high street names and independent boutiques. The Maltings shopping centre, open seven days a week, features some of the country’s biggest brands, while the cobbled streets are a great place to find unique and bespoke jewellery, fashion, and art.
The property market in St Albans
St Albans is an attractive location. Many people are drawn to its easy commute, excellent schools, friendly community, and beautiful countryside surroundings. While property prices in the area are higher, it’s considered a safe investment. If it is within your budget, it’s worth considering investing. Property prices have been consistently rising since the financial crash of 2008.
St Albans is an excellent place to relocate, start a family, find more space for an existing one, or enjoy the sparkle of London without the noise and cost. So, we think that St Albans is a great place to live!