Stevenage Area Guide
Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England. It is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1(M), and is between Letchworth Garden City to the north, and Welwyn Garden City to the south. Stevenage is roughly 30 miles (50 km) north of central London. Stevenage was the first post-war New Town in 1946.
In keeping with the sociological outlook of the day, the town was planned with six self-contained neighbourhoods. The first two of these to be occupied were the Stoney Hall and Monks Wood "Estates" in 1951. Next to be built and occupied by the London 'overspill' was Bedwell in 1952 – The Twin Foxes pub was Stevenage's first "new" public house and is still situated in the Bedwell estate. The public house was named after local notorious identical twin poachers (Albert Ebenezer and Ebenezer Albert Fox). Next came Broadwater and Shephall (1953), then Chells in the 1960s and later Pin Green and Symonds Green. Another area to the north of the town is modern development of Great Ashby – this is still under construction as of 2012.
The Old Town area provides a multitude of choice for pubs, restaurants & take-aways in a relaxing setting. The merger of old and new has worked marvellously and created a fantastic environment.
There is a wealth of green, open spaces, the biggest of which is Fairlands Valley Park. Grass, lakes and woodland cover 120 acres. It is ideal for carp, bream and roach fishing, has an abundance of wildlife, a sailing school, the Millenium Avenue and hosts many events, even balloon flights leave from here. Stevenage Leisure Park is large, with restaurants, nightclubs, 10-pin bowling, a multi screen cinema and gym. The separate swimming centre has a 33metre pool and in rural Aston there are 2 golf courses.
Transport links are wonderful, with the A1M being next to Stevenage. and a centrally located mainline train station. Stevenage railway station serves the town of Stevenage. The station is 27 ¼ miles (43km) north of London Kings Cross on the East Coast Main Line. Stevenage is managed and served by First Capital Connect. It is also served by the Eeast Coast Main Line Company, as well as First Full Trains.The centre of London is just 50 minutes travel! And so this is an enviable location that houses many large employers, such as GlaxoSmithkline.
Across the road from the station is the Gordon Craig theatre and beyond that is the town centre, home to the Westgate Centre, a large indoor market and other shops. If more retail therapy is required then there are 4 retail parks to choose from! Culturally there are churches of all ages and denominations.
The pedestrianised town centre was the first purpose built traffic-free shopping zone in Britain, and was officially opened in 1959 by the Queen. By the clock tower and ornamental pool is Joyride, a mother and child sculpture by Franta Belsky. There is a town museum, with free entry and open everyday except bank holidays, with an extensive collection of photos and memorabilia. There is a 2-week festival each year, incorporating everything from guided walks to live local bands in the park.