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Things to do in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire


Welwyn Garden City is one of England’s new towns, developed in 1920. The town plan was laid out by Sir Ebenezer Howard, who also designed Letchworth in 1903, another “garden city” which was intended to be a harmonious blend of city and nature.

Despite its name, Welwyn Garden City is actually a town and is referred to locally as WGC. The town is on the banks of the River Lee, conveniently close to the A1M motorway.

There are frequent trains to London King’s Cross station, just 24 miles south, making WGC popular as a dormitory town for city commuters. It is also connected by train with Cambridge, Peterborough, Hatfield and Stevenage.

The small town of Welwyn, a couple of miles away, is very different from its namesake. Settled by the Romans, it has the remains of a fine villa complete with elaborate bath house.

One of the local attractions is the Welwyn railway viaduct which has 40 arches and stretches for 475 metres (1,560 feet). It is 30 metres (100 feet) high and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1850. It is said that she was so frightened by its height that she refused to venture across it!

Present Day Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Garden City has a neo-Georgian town centre with residential and industrial estates laid out along tree-lined avenues, in keeping with its name. Older homes are on the west side of the main boulevard, with newer houses to the east.

The town boasts enviable indoor shopping facilities at the modern Howard Centre. Relaxation and recreation are provided by several local golf courses, where Nick Faldo famously practiced his early golfing game. The Gosling Sports Centre has extensive facilities including a dry ski run, tennis and squash courts, athletics track and a fitness centre. The town also has a cinema and theatre at Campus West.

Close to London for commuters, there is also plenty of local employment as the town is home to Tesco, Roche and Xerox. If a visit leaves you with a sharpened appetite, it may be thanks to the occasional wafts of aromas from the local Nestle factory!

The most attractive part of the town is the coronation fountain at the intersection of Parkway and Howardsgate which are both worth exploring and enjoying the range of cafés.

Famous residents include golfer Nick Faldo, artist Damian Hirst, footballer David James and Rolling Stones band member, Mick Taylor.

Things to Do in Welwyn Garden City

Stanborough Lakes are close to Welwyn Garden City and offer pleasant country walks and watersports. Fishing, boating and dog walking are popular activities in this recreational park.

One historic site of interest is the Welwyn Roman Baths which are preserved beneath junction 6 of the A1 (M) motorway. Once part of a roman villa, the rooms and hypocaust can still clearly be seen. The attraction is open most weekends from 2-5 pm.

Knebworth House and Gardens are just 8 miles away in Stevenage, or head southwest to St Albans and explore the beautiful St Albans Cathedral, Clock Tower, Roman Theatre and Old Gorhambury House.

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 27 Miles
 
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