Why live in Baldock? A guide to Hertfordshire’s charming market town
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Sitting 33 miles north of London, the town of Baldock has a bustling High Street with historic architecture, independent shops and restaurants.
Just a 30-minute train ride to London’s King’s Cross, Baldock is a popular commuter town with an interesting history.
Despite its small size, the town has surprisingly varied architecture, including Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings. One of the most impressive buildings is the Art Deco-fronted Tesco, which used to be a hosiery factory.
In 2008, the town enjoyed a £2.8m investment as part of a district council scheme to create more open space and improve town centre parking. This has contributed to Baldock’s increasing popularity, with average house pricing costing around a third of a million pounds.
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Baldock has a wonderful mix of services, retail outlets and places to eat, drink, socialise and experience art, history and culture. There is a great selection of independent retailers, chain stores and supermarkets, meaning a good range of products are readily available.
Biggleswade retail park is only 16.2 miles away and Letchworth Town is only 4.4 miles, both offering a good selection of high street stores and speciality shops.
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The Knights Templar School is a government-funded academy for secondary school children and sixth form with a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.
Hartsfield Junior Mixed and Infant School is described as a ‘happy and caring’ school and was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted at its latest inspection.
St Mary’s School on St Mary’s Way delivers a Christian ethos and has a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.
Weston Way Nursery School was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Baldock is beside the A1 and is one of the county’s oldest settlements, marking the intersection of two ancient roads: Icknield Way and the Great North Road. The prehistoric Icknield Way is thought to be the oldest road in Britain, extending from Buckinghamshire to Norfolk.
Baldock railway station is on the Cambridge line and is located on the outskirts of Baldock on Station Road. It runs two trains an hour to London King’s Cross and two an hour to Cambridge.
There is a comprehensive bus service from Baldock and taxis are available.
Baldock is 15 miles from Bedford and 14 miles from Hertford.
The closest airport is London Luton Airport, which is about 11 miles away.
Food and drink
The town has a long tradition of brewing which continues today—the only difference is that the malt for ale that made Baldock wealthy has now been replaced with apples.
Handpicked cider apples from local orchards are free from synthetic chemicals. This is a hallmark of Apple Cottage Cider—a family-run business that has been producing cider in the town for more than 15 years. The cider is sold at The Orange Tree—a 330-year old pub which won North Herts Campaign for Real Ale Pub of the Year. The traditional inn also stocks ales from local business Buntingford Brewery.
If you want award-winning meat, look no further than Chapmans butcher on the High Street. This popular establishment was given the accolade of East of England Butcher of the Year and came runner up in the Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars’ national finals.
Independent food outlets also include the popular bakery Days of Ashwell next to the butcher and a well-loved deli/café called Delizia on Whitehorse Street, which serves Italian treats and specialises in cheese, paninis and gelati.
After undergoing extensive renovation, The George boasts a boutique hotel, café area and a modern restaurant serving locally-sourced cuisine.
Sport and leisure
Facilities for sporting activity include a football pitch with a pavilion and clubhouse on Bakers Close, a BMX bike run and play area in Bush Spring, and a basketball court in Nightingale Way. Play areas are also situated on Chiltern Road, Ivel Way and Pryor Road.
Knights Templar Sports Centre is a modern dual-use facility with an air-conditioned 42-station fitness room. There is also a dance studio, a range of fitness classes, a spacious sports hall for five-a-side football, basketball, badminton, netball, indoor cricket and gymnastics.
An all-weather outdoor pitch is available for hire too.
The average cost of property in Baldock is up to £300,000 for a two-bedroom house and up to £450,000 for a three-bedroom house.
For more information about the area’s property market, contact Country Properties in Baldock on 01462 895061 or visit country-properties.co.uk.