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Hemel Hempstead

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Hertfordshire : Hemel Hempstead
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Hemel Hempstead is a town in Hertfordshire. It has population of around 80,000. Developed after World War II as a new town, it has existed as a settlement since the 8th century.

Get in[edit]

The town is served by the M1 and M41 motorways.

By train, it is 35 minutes away from London (Euston Station). Trains go about every 20 minutes to and from Hemel on Monday to Friday, and about every 30 minutes on weekends. Check the National Rail [1] website or the Silverlink [2] website before you go, as sometimes (especially on weekends) there is engineering work and trains are replaced by busses. Travelling is cheaper on weekdays after 9:30am. Cheapest ticket for a single person is a Day Travelcard, which is around £14.- and gets you into London and is valid for all Underground lines all day.

By Coach: there are coaches to and from London and other towns as well as various airports. National Express [3] coaches go direct to Luton, Heathrow and Stansted airports. To go to/from Gatwick airport, best go by train; you will have to change once, in Watford. For London City airport, you will have to go to London by train, then take the Underground.

Get around[edit]

There are local busses from the station to town centre; apart from that, everything in town is in walking distance.

It is worth noting all Hertfordshire buses offer an 'Explorer' ticket which permits a maximum of 2 adults, 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult with 3 children to unlimited travel for £12.50, or £8 for one person.


Old town has few nice houses, including the Old Town Hall. Hemel is famous (or perhaps notorious) for its "Magic Roundabout", an interchange where traffic from six routes meet. Railway fans can see the occasional small landmark that hints at where The Nicky Line used to run, connecting Hemel to Harpenden.


Wander up the Grand Union Canal, pass a few locks, and after about 15 minutes you will come to a pub called "The three horseshoes". It dates back to the 16th century, and in summer you can enjoy your beer sitting outside by the canal.

Hemel has a leisure centre, known as "Jarman Park". It has a large Empire cinema, Ice Skating, Tenpin Bowling/American Pool, a fun swimming pool and slides, Pubs & Clubs, and a huge Tesco's.

In the pedestrian zone ("The Marlowes") you will find "Quasar", a laser gaming area.

Hemel is also home to The Snow Centre[4], the UK's largest indoor ski slope.


The new town centre consists largely of a pedestrian shopping zone, called The Marlowes. Most shops are open until 5pm, many also on Sundays.


Hemel has a good choice of restaurants, pubs that serve food and take-aways.


One pub to mention apart from the above "The Three Horseshoes" is the "Full House" in the town centre (on the corner of the Marlowes and Combe Street). Belonging to the Weatherspoon chain of pubs, it is situated in the building of the old cinema, and the decor is something to see!

There are many other pubs, too, of course.


There are many guest houses, a few B&B's (usually £25.- upwards), and a few hotels. Here's a list of the hotels closest to town centre:

  • Travelodge in town centre, Wolsey Road, Tel: 0870 191 1536.
  • Ramada, Hemel Hempstead Road, Tel: 01582 792 105
  • Express by Holiday Inn, Stationers Place, Tel: 870-4585485(from £53.-)
  • Premier Travel Inn, Stoney Lane, (from £37.-)

Get out[edit]

Whipsnade Wild Animal Park is only 10 miles from here.

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