Top Things to Do in Letchworth Garden City: Your Ultimate Guide

March 20, 2024

Top Things to Do in Letchworth Garden City: Your Ultimate Guide

Letchworth Garden City, commonly known as Letchworth, is a beautiful town situated in North Hertfordshire. It has a rich history and a claim to fame as the world’s first garden city. Garden cities were the result of the Garden City Movement which was a 20th century urban planning movement promoting satellite communities surrounding the central city and separated with greenbelts. Letchworth became the first one in 1903. 

Top things to do in Letchworth Garden City. Your ultimate Guide. Image shows the first roundabout built in Britain, circa 1909, in Letchworth Garden City.

Modern-day Letchworth has a brilliant blend of historical charm and modern conveniences and attractions. Within this article we are going to discuss the top things to do in Letchworth, giving both locals and tourists a guide to all there is to do in this charming town. 

Discover Letchworth’s Rich Heritage

If you want to discover more about Letchworth’s rich heritage as the first garden city then the International Garden Cities Exhibition should be top of your list of things to do in Letchworth. 

Within this exhibition you can learn all about Ebenezer Howard who was the founder of the Garden City Movement. Howard was born in London in 1850 and, in his early twenties, he spent a number of years in Chicago. Here he saw that the solution to rapid growth and housing shortages was to have a blend of town and country. He returned to London and formalised his ideas into the 1898 book ‘To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’. By 1903, Letchworth Garden City had begun to be created. At this exhibition, you will learn all about Ebenezer Howard and the architects who created the designs for Letchworth, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. If you enjoy history, you will most definitely love learning about how Letchworth Garden City came to be. 

Another great thing to do in Letchworth, if you love history, is to visit the Spirella Building. The Spirella Building used to be a corset factory. It was left unused for many years and became derelict until it was tastefully restored in 1996. It is now a vibrant business centre and the home to twenty thriving local businesses. Although it is now used in a very modern way, the restoration was done in a way that has allowed it to keep all of its historical charm. 

Enjoy Letchworth’s Green Spaces

Norton Common is ideal if you enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic in a beautiful green space. Located in Icknield Way, there is a great deal to do within Norton Common for all the family. There is a 45 minute walk that will take you around the nature reserve, along with play areas, skateboard facility, outdoor swimming pool, a cafe and picnic area, two bowling greens, a multi use games area and tennis courts. 

If you do love the outdoors, there is also Letchworth Garden City Greenway. The Greenway is a 13.6 mile circular route that surrounds the Garden City estate. It is perfect for a leisurely stroll or for a bike ride. 

Experience Local Arts and Culture

Broadway Cinema and Theatre is an independent cinema and theatre run by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation. The building itself is a beautiful art deco design. It opened its doors on 26th August 1936 to a packed crowd who had come to see Ginger Rogers and Fred Astarie in ‘Follow the Fleet’. The cinema also has a claim to fame itself as it appeared as The Mermaid club  in the film ‘The World’s End’ which starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It has many films and theatre productions on each week and is definitely one of the top things to do in Letchworth

If you enjoy looking at art, the Broadway Gallery should be on your list of things to do in Letchworth. It has many exhibitions on throughout the year, along with classes, family events and social events. The Broadway Gallery is much more than a gallery, it is a community hub for people to come together, to hone their creative skills and enjoy some socialising.  

Indulge in Letchworth’s Dining and Shopping Scene

There are many places to shop within Letchworth, both well-known high-street stores and independent, local shops. Garden Square Shopping Centre is a great thing to do in Letchworth if you want to have a day of shopping, with a spot of lunch in between. It has many well-known stores within it, including Boots, New Look and WH Smith. Also, it has places, such as Costa, where you can go and grab some food and a cup of tea. It is open every day, Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 6pm and Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm. 

If you are more inclined to smaller, more local shops, Letchworth has many of these too, from cafes to beer shops, charity shops and gift shops. 

There are also many markets close to Letchworth, where you can buy food and artisan crafts. 

Family-Friendly Activities in Letchworth

Many of the green spaces in Letchworth offer activities that will be fun for all the family but if you want a proper day out, Standalone Farm will be the perfect place to go. The farm has been welcoming families for more that forty years and there is so much to do within it. You can meet the animals, enjoy the outdoor play area and walk along the Greenway, as the farm is located on it. They also have events on throughout the year so it is a good idea to check the website regularly. It also has a cafe so you can really make a day of it and enjoy some delicious food. Open daily, this will be a great day out for all the family. 

Letchworth’s Annual Events Not to Miss

Letchworth Festival is one of the top things to do in Letchworth. An annual event, it includes music, food and drink, films, art and heritage. In 2023, it ran for nearly the entirety of June so it is a festival in which you have plenty of chances to enjoy. Keep a lookout on the website for an announcement about the next Letchworth Festival. You will not want to miss it. 

Later in the year, you and your family will be able to enjoy Letchworth’s annual fireworks night. Held in November, you will be able to enjoy an evening of amazing fires, set to music, plus food and drink to keep you warm. 

Top Things To Do In Letchworth

There are so many things to do in Letchworth and we hope our list has sparked some ideas. Letchworth is a town with such a rich history but it also has so many modern activities from a trip to the cinema to a day out to the shopping centre. There are also many family-friendly activities so everyone will enjoy a visit. 

If you are local, we hope we have inspired you to go exploring your beautiful home town. We hope we have inspired everyone to explore this unique town for themselves!

If you are local and ever find yourself in need of self-storage in Letchworth, please give us a call on: 01462 674 666 or click here to find out more about the storage we have on offer.

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