Quality of Life
Heritage and Culture – Historic Old Town
Stevenage boasts a location steeped in history and one that continues to celebrate its cultural heritage
Stevenage’s origins date back to the 7th Century. The town was formerly a Saxon village and known as Stith ac, meaning strong oak. Trees were often used as meeting places giving rise to Stevenage’s name today.
The original Roman Way, which is now the Great North Road, passes through the town and alongside the Six Hills Roman Barrows, an impressive earthwork feature from the largest surviving group of burial mounds, dating to the Roman period and a scheduled monument.
Stevenage Old Town, can date its historic origins back to the medieval period with a number of old coaching inns from this era and a number of Victorian buildings featuring on the High Street, bringing much richness to the local character. The Old town is also home to world famous Vincent Motorcycles, who built the world’s first superbike and fastest motorcycle. In 1948 the Vincent Black Shadow broke the 150mph speed barrier. Vincent Motorbikes were built in Old Town Stevenage between 1928 and 1955. The factory is now part of the Thomas Alleyne Academy in the High Street and dates back to 1558, where Thomas Alleyne founded the grammar school in Stevenage.
Hotel Cromwell Stevenage a 16th Century farmhouse was previously owned by John Thurloe, Secretary to Oliver Cromwell and today supports a stunning independent boutique hotel, with its own British Brasserie, Rump and Wade, in the heart of Stevenage’s Historic High Street.
Arts & Sculpture
Stevenage boasts a rich heritage of public art (primarily sculpture) commissioned and installed in the late 1950’s as part of the New Town development. This includes artwork work from Henry Moore’s first commission after WW2, located inside Barclay School. Other pieces include Franta Belsky’s Joy Ride in Town Square, in the town centre and Michael Faraday, by John Henry Foley, which is located within the courtyard entrance to the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Award winning green open spaces
Now more than ever, green spaces with access to outdoor and sporting facilities are becoming even more of an important feature to support health and well-being and a must for any investment location.
In SWoodland Trust
The town provides:
- 40KM segregated cycle paths
- 4 Green Flag Award winning parks
- 7 golf courses within 5 miles
Stevenage Golf and Conference Centre
Stevenage Golf and Conference Centre is located within the beautiful countryside of Aston, a rural part of Stevenage. It offers a wide range of facilities, including a superb Par 72 18-hole course designed by John Jacobs; one of the finest designed courses in Hertfordshire.
Stevenage has over 70 areas of natural and semi-natural open spaces. It is features countryside heritage sites, one regionally important geological site and over 30 designated wildlife sites.
Fairlands Valley Park
Fairlands Valley Park, a nine-time winner of the sought-after Green Flag Award, the national benchmark for public parks across the UK, is a must for anyone who loves the outdoors. The park provides over 120 acres of green open spaces and woodland and extensive leisure facilities for all including:
- play areas catering for excitable toddlers to energetic teens; with zip wire lines, rock climbing walls and water play facilities
- water sports facilities; with sailing, windsurfing, angling, kayaking and dragon boating taking place on the 11 acre Main Lake.
40KM segregated cycle paths
Stevenage benefits from 40km of Dutch inspired segregated, uninterrupted cycle network providing safe and sustainable travel around the town and surrounding areas.
Stevenage boasts 10 parks across the town, supporting a wide array of facilities including play areas, football, rugby pitches, tennis courts, BMX tracks, along with over 50 Play areas and four pavilions.
Knebworth House provides Stevenage with a stunning Victorian decorated stately home, steeped in over 500 years of history and charm. It continues to provide a historical backdrop to a number of costume dramas and performances, as well as a superb live music venue, attracting a number of star studded performers over the years. It also serves well as a location for open air cinemas and a wide array of festivals and events throughout the year. Its extensive gardens provide over 28 acres of green space, including a dinosaur trail for children and a maze for all would be adventurers. Knebworth Barns provide much sought after attractive space for an array of commercial and life events.
Shopping in Stevenage
Stevenage’s bustling town centre, Indoor Market, Community neighbourhoods, quintessential High Street in the Old Town and many of the town’s retail parks provide a diverse range of retailers, both nationals and independent. It offers the discerning customer with a unique shopping experience to support fashion, home and beauty products. The town centre is also home to Westgate Shopping Centre and Queensway.
- 50 national retail chains
- 100+ unique independents
Stevenage Old Town
Stevenage Historic High Street offers a unique shopping experience, with an array of independent boutique shops, leisure and cultural pursuits, a superb food and drink offer; through its many cafes, pubs, bars and independent restaurants, supporting fine dining and international cuisine, as well as excellent boutique accommodation.
In celebration of Stevenage’s cycling culture and heritage, the Stevenage Cycling Festival is held annually in the heart of Stevenage, with family fun and activities for all budding cyclists, both beginners and for those more advanced.
Heritage Cycling Trail
Cycling UK Stevenage organises more than 200 local rides every year. Rides range from beginner, intermediate and social and cater for all abilities.
22 of Stevenage’s Primary schools are Good, with 5 as Outstanding by Ofsted. 7 of Stevenage’s secondary schools are Ofsted rated as good.
Affordable Housing in Hertfordshire
As one of the top 10 most affordable commuter towns in the UK, Stevenage offers superb accommodation close to London and for a significantly lower cost in comparison to neighbouring areas, including St Albans where average house prices range from £608,992.
In Stevenage the average cost of homes currently stands at £324,049. Rightmove 2021
The town centre regeneration programme will bring over 7,000 residential development opportunities in the heart of the town centre.