Cycling route, Farmers' Market, News, Parks/Gardens, Places, South East England, Theatre

Harpenden the bustling town with a traditional English village feel.

Lower High Street Harpenden showing trees coming into leaf in spring with red tulips and spring flowers on the ground © Harpenden Town Council
Lower High Street © Harpenden Town Council

Harpenden has 30,000 residents and a growing number of businesses, but still has a village feel. It has an unspoiled  tree-lined High Street, town greens, and period cottages. The Common with 96.39 hectares of open space that supports cricket, football and Golf clubs is a County Wildlife Site.

Harpenden Shopping Centre

The Town Centre offers cafes and restaurants catering for all tastes, bespoke shops and three supermarkets. There are two further shopping areas in Southdown and Batford. Three of  the town’s green spaces hold the prestigious Green Flag Award; Lydekker Park, Rothamsted Park and Harpenden Common. Local events such as the Summer Carnival and Classics on the Common. The town is proud of the Batford Springs Nature Reserve and the Town Council is currently making improvements there.

Farmers Market © Harpenden Town Council

Farmers Market © Harpenden Town Council

Harpenden in Bloom actively works to enhance the town with its floral displays. In the spring, volunteers are out in force on planting up floral displays in the town centre. The Mayor, Cllr Rosemary Farmer said in 2017, “It’s lovely to see people of all ages getting involved in making the town centre such an attractive and vibrant place. The floral displays are praised by residents who value the colourful impact they make on our town centre.”

The town has the benefit of a Choral Society with a large choir of about 90 members. The choir performs four concerts a season. The Society also runs an annual workshop. It performs with professional orchestras and soloists to bring the highest standards of performance to the town and the surrounding area.

Harpenden Town Council :

Nickey Line Family Cycling June 2014 in Harpenden © Sue Stevens

Nickey Line Family Cycling June 2014 © Sue Stevens

Local history

The Local History Society web site tells the stories of the settlements and farms that have grown up into the modern. Including many maps, plans, photographs and prints, the site includes much that is of interest to residents and visitors to the area.

From the 1960s Harpenden was home to one of the country’s greatest national treasures, Eric Morecambe. More than once, he referred to the town in his sketches, calling himself Lord Eric, the Forth Duke of Harpenden. Today, the main hall of in the Public Halls  bears his name.

Southdown Ponds © Harpenden Town Council

Southdown Ponds © Harpenden Town Council

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