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Living in Berkhamsted: The Local Area Guide

With an aesthetically pleasing blend of exquisitely preserved Medieval, Victorian, and Georgian architecture, the majority of Berkhamsted qualifies for conservation area status. This small town is located a mere 30 minute train ride from central London, in the heart of scenic Hertfordshire. Residents experience the best of both worlds, being able to take advantage not only of a thriving cultural scene but also of a relaxing natural setting. Visitors flock to The Rex, a 1930s art deco cinema, and also can take in performances from the local Berkhamsted Theatre Company.

Walking alongside the charming canal and lengthy high street is a pleasant way to pass the time in Berkhamsted, which is fully pedestrian-friendly. The Ashridge Estate is another top draw, offering woodland walks throughout its 5,000 acres of land. Further leisure facilities for residents include the immaculately tended Berkhamsted Golf Club and the swimming pool at the Sportspace in Douglas Gardens, making this a premier location for relaxation.

Demographics

New residents of Berkhamsted tend to stay once they've arrived, drawn to the high quality of life and close proximity to London. The town's population stands at just over 18,000, according to a 2013 estimate. It's particularly popular with young professionals making the move out of London, who desire to move up the property ladder from a city flat to country home. Yet the demographics are more diverse than this, as young families also move here as well as older couples downsizing from stately manors in the countryside. The shifting demographic has changed the primary local occupations from farming, service, and industry in 1986 to retail and education today. Local businesses are varied, but one of the most important local employers is the British Film Institute.

Education

Many know of Berkhamsted due to its independent public school, Berkhamsted School. This highly regarded bastion of education was where author Graham Greene studied, and is also notable for its Old Building dating back to 1544. Another independent school in the area is Egerton Rothesay, catering for 150 students from the ages of 5-19.

There are also several state schools to choose from in Berkhamsted, including Ashlyns Secondary School. This is a specialist language college, which originated in London, but was moved to Berkhamsted in 1935. It's worth a visit for its ornate stained glass work and library. Primary schools include Greenway, Swing Gate, and Westfield First, which all have garnered a 'good' rating from Ofsted. Further options for primary students include the 'outstanding' St Thomas More RC Primary and Victoria CofE First.

Transport

Berkhamsted's location is one of its foremost strengths. It's a quick ride by motorway or rail into London, which is located only 30 miles away to the south. Located between Tring and Hemel Hempstead off of the A41, Berkhamsted benefits from a recently opened bypass which has helped to keep the historic centre free from congestion. To get into London, it's only 45 minutes by motorway or 30 minutes on the train. Trains run frequently as well, with at least three per hour. Hertfordshire County Council's Intalink service operates local bus routes, which provide convenient access to nearby destinations such as Luton, Whipsnade Zoo, and Hemel Hempstead.

Amenities & Shopping

Berkhamsted's High Street has received copious praise for its layout and café culture, taking top marks from The Academy of Urbanism Awards. It's a particularly long high street, with outdoor cafes and canal views combining with narrow pedestrian routes to uncover hidden gems. The shops themselves are an appealing mix of independent retailers and major high street brand names, which means you'll be able to pop into Waterstone's or independent Red Star Books depending on your mood.

Foodies are well catered for at shops like the Fennel Delicatessen, Waitrose, and Eastwoods, a popular organic butcher shop. Antiquing is a top pastime in Berkhamsted, and you'll find 40 retailers all under one roof at the Home & Colonial emporium, which is spread out over four floors of treasures.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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