Is Watford a Nice Place to Live?

April 13, 2024

Is Watford a Nice Place to Live?

Watford is a town and borough in Hertfordshire and it is located just 15 miles north-west of Central London. Its proximity to London makes it a place in which you can have the best of both worlds – city life and a quieter town life. It is also a great place if you need to commute into London but is Watford a nice place to live?

Is Watford a nice place to live? Image shows a narrow boat moored at the river Gade, Grand Union Canal. The Grove Bridge aka Grove Ornamental Bridge No 164 is in the background. Cassiobury Park, Watford, England.

Within this article we will be answering the question – Is Watford a nice place to live?- by looking at some important factors such as quality of life, housing and employment.

But, before we begin, we are going to talk about the history of Watford. 

Watford 101

Watford began life as a market town in the 12th Century when the Abbot of St Albans was given permission to hold a weekly market. He chose Watford because it was on a slight rise above the ford over the River Colne and because it was a route already used by travellers. A market continued to be held in this spot right up until 1928. 

Although no one settled in the area until the 12th Century, there is evidence that people passed through the area, with a few Celtic and Roman artefacts being found. This will be due to the geographical position of Watford as it is the natural route from London to the West Midlands. Its geographical location has continued to be a plus for Watford as is such a short commute to Central London, whilst being on a good route for other areas of the UK. 

Initially a market town, industries such as paper-making mills, print works and breweries entered the town after the construction of the Grand Canal Junction. The industry has now declined but many businesses still have their headquarters within the town as it is so close to London and has excellent transport links. 

We have delved into some of the history of Watford but, what is the town like today? And is Watford a nice place to live? Within the next sections we will answer these questions. 

Quality of Life in Watford

The 2024 UK Vitality Index found that Watford is one of the top places to live and work in the UK. It is the highest ranked of the UK’s 100 largest urban areas so it is safe to say that the quality of life is good within Watford. 

The town offers a good quality of life due to it offering access to healthcare providers such as Watford Health Centre and Watford General Hospital. 

It also has a number of excellent schools such as Parmiter’s School, Watford Grammar School for Girls and Watford Grammar School for Boys.

Housing and Real Estate

We must admit, Watford is not the cheapest place to live. With its close proximity to the capital, its housing prices are not far from London prices. 

The average house price in Watford is £521,979. Last year terraced properties in Watford sold  for an average price of £450,284. Flats sold for an average of £277,444, with semi-detached properties fetching £582,359.

The rental prices for properties for properties are also on the higher end. Flats rent for an average of £1,859 pcm and houses rent for an average of £2,492 pcm. 

Employment and Economy

In terms of employment, Watford has a diverse job market across a number of sectors and the employment rate is higher in Watford compared to the East of England as a whole. With its close proximity to London, many residents choose to commute into London for work, but there are also ample job opportunities within Watford itself.

The town centre has ample amounts of retail and service jobs available. Watford also has industrial areas and business parks which are home to many large companies. These provide excellent office-based employment, particularly in the fields of print, publishing and software development with technology firms like Samsung having their headquarters in Watford.

Transport and Connectivity

Transport links and Watford’s connectivity to other parts of the UK is good, no matter how you choose to travel. 

By car is simple as Watford is surrounded by the M1 and M25, with direct links to London and other larger cities.

Train and underground services connect Watford to London quickly and easily. The Metropolitan line of the underground services allows you to get from Watford to London in only 20 minutes, with tube trains running to Baker Street and Liverpool Street every 10 minutes. Watford Junction Railway Station will also get you to places up and along the UK such as Birmingham and Edinburgh. 

Watford is also only a 40 minute train ride away from Luton Airport so it is a great place to live if you enjoy travelling. 

Leisure and Amenities

Watford has a lot to do within the town itself, that will cater to many different interests. For sports fans, Watford FC plays in the Championship League and has had Elton John as a chairman since the 1970s. The town is home to sports complexes like Watford Leisure Centre. 

Nature lovers will enjoy the plentiful parks and open spaces like Cassiobury Park and The Grove gardens.

For lovers of the art, Watford has a lot of theatres and museums such as Watford Palace Theatre, Pump House Theatre and Watford Museum.

Community and Lifestyle

Watford is a town with a high level of community, with many events on throughout the year to bring the community together.

These include things such as Market Lates and Speciality Markets. The market, that has continued to run since the 12th Century, still happens every Tuesday and Saturday but there are also Sunday markets five times a year, all specialise in something different such as vegan food and local makers.  

There is also Watford Fringe where you can see a variety of performances across different venues throughout Watford. 

Is Watford A Nice Place To Live?

There are so many factors that go into deciding whether somewhere is a nice place to live but, having researched Watford, we think Watford is a nice place to live.

It offers its residents a good quality of life, with good job opportunities and excellent transport links. There are also many community events on throughout the year, which are designed to bring local people together. We have already admitted that it is not the cheapest of places to live but it does have a great deal on offer for the price you pay to live within it.

So, yes, we do think Watford is a nice place to live.

If you are planning on moving to Watford and think self storage could be of help, please give our team a call on: 01923 981 239 or click here for more information.

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