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Living in Hatfield: The local area guide

Home to the University of Hertfordshire and once a major centre for aircraft manufacturing, Hatfield is a town that’s always evolving. Its location just 20 miles outside of London makes it popular with commuters, while its university gives it a youthful edge. British Aerospace was a main employer in the area, until it shut down in the 1990s. Hatfield still retains much of its modernist architecture from the aerospace boom period, particularly in the New Town part of the city.

There’s more than modernist architecture, however, and you’ll find no shortage of green spaces from Stream Woods to Ellenbrook Nature Park. Residents can take advantage of these for leisure activities in the great outdoors, whether it’s cricket or fishing. Hatfield enjoys a lively cultural scene, hosting venues such as the Weston Auditorium and the Forum. Art galleries and libraries are also available, as well as the Mill Green Museum and Hatfield House.

Demographics

Part of the Welwyn Hatfield borough, Hatfield is located within Hertfordshire County. It qualifies as a civil parish, with its own Hatfield town council. At the time of the 2001 Census, the parish population of Hatfield was just under 30,000. The University of Hertfordshire plays a major role in the demographics of the town. Just over 10% of the total population in Welwyn Hatfield borough is aged between 20 and 24. Many students live in Hatfield’s town centre.

There’s also a high percentage of professionals due to Hatfield’s proximity to central London. Many residents enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of Hatfield combined with the economic opportunities of the big city just 20 minutes away. Life expectancy is higher than the national average.

Education

Although the town is known for its university, there are also great educational opportunities for younger students. The Queenswood School is one notable institution in town. It was rated as ‘Excellent’ in a 2010 ISI report and offers day and boarding facilities for girls. New facilities include a theatre and high-tech cookery suite. Another secondary school is Onslow St Audrey’s School. It was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in a 2013 inspection, and is known for its business and enterprise concentration.

At primary school level, there are multiple options for families in Hatfield. These include the Ryde School, St Philip Catholic Primary, Countess Anne C of E Primary, and Birchwood Avenue Primary.

Transport

Whether you’re travelling by motorway or public transport, Hatfield is extremely well-connected. London is located 20 miles to the south, and Hatfield offers close proximity to both Stansted and Luton airports. The A1 runs directly through town, with the town centre accessible by Junction 4.

Those wishing to travel by rail will find the East Coast railway stopping in the town’s station. A high-speed commuter service connects Hatfield with London King’s Cross in 20 minutes. Further destinations include Moorgate, Peterborough, and Cambridge. Buses stop both at the train station and town centre, and are operated by Arriva, Uno, and Sullivan Buses.

Amenities and shopping

There’s no shortage of shopping opportunities in Hatfield, both in the modern New Town as well as in the more traditional town centre. Tesco and ASDA both have large branches in town, but residents can also benefit from a diverse range of specialist groceries. This includes Indian, Chinese, Polish and Afro-Caribbean markets.

Visit the Galleria for a modern retail experience, with its Odeon cinema and outlet stores. There’s a Waterstone’s, TK Maxx, and other brand names available. Alternately, residents can stroll through the town centre to find hardware stores, shoe shops, homewares shops, and a family jewellery purveyor. A farmers’ market is held every month in White Lion Square, offering pastries, homemade crafts, pickled vegetables, and seasonal produce. There’s a general market held once a week. Additional amenities include several libraries. Residents can visit the Hatfield Public Library and Central Resources Library. The University of Hertfordshire offers limited access to its collections as well.

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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