Berkhamsted

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Berkhamsted is a town in Hertfordshire in England, UK. It is located about 30 miles north of London.

St. Peter's Church, Berkhamsted High Street

Get in[edit]

Trains from London Euston station to Milton Keynes stop at Berkhamsted, and run every 15 minutes. Journey time from London is usually 30–40 minutes. Less frequent trains run directly to Northampton, Birmingham and Croydon via Shepherd's Bush.

Arriva run a frequent bus (the 500) between Watford and Aylesbury via Berkhamsted. There are also other buses going to local towns around the area.

By car it is north west of the M25/M1 junction, on the A41 between Hemel Hempstead and Aylesbury. The main pay & display car parks are situated behind Tesco and next to Waitrose.

Berkhamsted is a popular stopping-off point on the Chilterns Cycleway and is about 30 minutes' ride from the Hemel Hempstead end of the National Cycle Route 57 (the Nickey Line).

The Grand Junction Canal runs through the centre of the town and there are a number of moorings for narrowboats close to all the local amenities.

Get around[edit]

Most sights in the town are within walking distance. Local bus service and rail information is available from the Hertfordshire Intalink transport information service - tel, 0300 123 4050.

Choice Cars taxi office is located next to the railway station - tel. +44 1442 875100.

See[edit]

Berkhamsted Castle
The Rex Cinema
  • 1 Berkhamsted Castle (located next to the railway station). open daily, shuts at dusk. The stone motte-and-bailey ruins seen today date from around 1155, although the castle itself was established as a stronghold by William the Conqueror in 1066. The castle has been home to Thomas Becket, Edward, the Black Prince and Geoffrey Chaucer. The castle today is managed by English Heritage. entry is free.
  • 2 The Grand Junction Canal. (1805) offers pleasant walks along the tow-path with canal-side pubs, wildfowl and many interesting barges, many of which are boat houses. Orientation plaques along the canal tow-path provide historical information and describe points of interest along the way.
  • 3 St Peter's Great Berkhamsted (located on the high street in the town centre). open daily. The 13th-Century parish church. The interior, which has undergone restoration in the 19th century, contains many historical features and decorations such as tombs and memorials spanning 700 years, some 14th-century stained glass, and a number of 16-century brass memorials.
  • 4 Rex Cinema (at the southern end of the High Street). Matinee & evening screenings. a fine Art Deco picture house. It was designed by the architect David Evelyn Nye and opened in 1938, and features a luxurious, decorated interior. It has been recently restored and re-opened and now offers a wide programme of movie shows. The entrance is at the side of the building, the former foyer and dining room having been converted into a bar and restaurant.

Do[edit]

Berkhamsted Town Council offer information about historical walks around the town and a historical guide leaflet can be downloaded from the Council website. The Berkhamsted Local History and Museum Society have a regular programme of visits to places of historical significance in and around the town.

Many properties in Berkhamsted participate in the annual Heritage Open Days in mid-September, operated by English Heritage, which allow visitors to enter historical buildings not normally open to the public.

Berkhamsted has an active arts scene and there are many musical concerts and theatrical performances around the town. Posters and leaflets are displayed on the noticeboard on theHigh Street and in the parish church. The Berkhamsted Trust also provides a regular Arts Diary [dead link] for up-to-date listings.

The Chilterns Cycleway is a circular cycle route which runs through parts of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedforshire. It passes through Berkhamsted along the Grand Junction canal and is popular for cycle touring. An official map and guide book can be ordered from the Chiltern Society.

  • Graham Greene International FestivalHeld at various locations around the town. annual event. The writer Graham Greene, author of books such as Brighton Rock and The Third Man, was born in Berkhamsted in 1904. The Graham Greene Birthplace Trust organises a four-day Graham Greene International Festival in Berkhamsted every year. It consists of a series of lectures, films, discussions and social events centred on the life and works of the author.

Buy[edit]

Berkhamsted High Street

Shopping in Berkhamsted is predominantly ladies' fashions, although there are a couple of small gift shops and popular antique shops. Other than these, the High Street is mostly given over to nail bars, hairdressers, beauty salons and estate agents. A market is held every Wednesday and Saturday on the High Street which offers local food produce.

  • 1 The Complete OutdoorsBourne End Ln, Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP1 2RS (5 minutes' drive south along the A4251 towards Hemel; 5 minutes' walk from canal/Winkwell locks),  +44 1442 873133. Extensive range of outdoor equipment, clothing & maps, including hiking, camping & mountaineering.
  • 2 Heritage Antiques24 Castle St, Berkhamsted HP4 2DW. 09:00-17:00. A large range of reasonably priced antiques, bric-a-brac and garden statues in a rambling set of intriguing rooms and outhouses
  • 3 Home & Colonial Antiques134 High St, Berkhamsted HP4 3AT +44 1442 877007. 09:30-17:00. A large, popular antiques centre on four floors with a large range of furniture, vintage clothing, homewares and home decorations. Higher prices ranges in general; specialises in antique clocks and designer furnishings. Café on top floor, antiquarian books in basement.
  • 4 Lovelo Cycle WorksUnit 7 Dwight's Yard, 167 High Street, Berkhamsted HP4 3HB (in a yard behind the High Street, enter via the passageway next to Bill's restaurant),  +44 1442 873000. Independent cycle shop, sells a large range of cycling accessories & clothing and offers a bike repair service.
  • 5 Number Twenty20 Lower Kings Rd, Berkhamsted HP4 2AB. 09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri, 11:00-16:00 Sunday. Attractive boutique gift shop selling greetings cards, candles, ornaments and designer homewares
  • 6 Oxfam Books & Music232 High St, Berkhamsted HP4 1AG +44 1442 874279. Extensive range of antiquarian books, old maps and vinyl records, good for local history books, and classical & vintage rock records.
  • 7 Waterstones168 High Street, Berkhamsted. Book shop holding a range of local guides & maps as well as fiction and non-fiction titles.
  • 8 Frithsden VineyardFrithsden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP1 3DD (from Berkhamsted High St, turn up Ravens Lane and continue straight up the hill on Nettleden Road; watch out for the sign to Frithsden on a bend in the road; turn left and then turn right after the pub up a small lane),  +44 1442 878723. Wed-Sun 11:00-17:00. An independent English vineyard and winery. Three artisan wine varieties are grown, pressed and bottled on-site and sold in the small vineyard shop, which also sells gifts & local food produce. Opening hours can vary, but owners are happy to open up the shop if you phone ahead. Special tasting and food events are held throughout the year.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Martins PondThe Green, Potten End, HP4 2QQ +44 1442 864318. 12:00-2:30 then 18:00-21:00. Family Run Freehouse serving Fresh Pub Food.
  • 2 The Old MillLondon Road, HP4 2NB (Located at south-east end of town beyond the Rex on the road to Hemel),  +44 1442 879590. Former Victorian mill building refurbished and converted into comfortable bar-restaurant. Wide ranging gastro-pub menu with many organic items and a large British tapas-style starter menu. The beer garden includes a pleasant seating area next to the waterfall where the old water wheel once turned.
  • 3 Carluccio's96 High Street, HP4 3BA (In the old Town Hall on the High Street),  +44 1442 877807. Monday to Saturday 8AM-11PM; Sunday 9AM-10:30PM. Contemporary Italian cuisine; open for breakfast lunch and dinner; includes Italian delicatessen shop. £30-50 a head.
  • 4 The Highwayman262 High Street, HP4 1AQ (approaching from the railway station, turn right along the High Street),  +44 1442 285480. 08:30-22:00. Popular bar & restaurant serving British pub food & French dishes £40/ppn.
  • 5 Thai Cottage149 High Street, HP4 3HH (On the main High Street opposite Tesco),  +44 1442 870808. Authentic and varied Thai menu, hugely popular with locals
  • 6 Kings Arms147 High Street, HP4 3HL +44 1442 866595. 09:00-midnight (1AM at weekends). Recently refurbished local pub with modern gastro-pub menu in historic 18th Century building. Real Ales, fine wines, wood-fired pizzas. Large log fire in bar area. £40/ppn.
  • 7 The Alford ArmsFrithsden, Hertfordshire HP1 3DD (from Berkhamsted High St, turn up Ravens Lane and continue straight up the hill on Nettleden Road; watch out for the sign to Frithsden on a bend in the road; turn left up the lane, pub car park immediately on right),  +44 1442 86 44 80. Pub temporarily closed due to fire (2016). Poular restaurant & gastro-pub hidden up a country lane. Serves real ales & fine wines, lunch & dinner sittings offer British & European cuisine. Booking essential.

Drink[edit]

One of Berkhamsted's canalside pubs, The Rising Sun
  • 1 The Rising SunNo1, Canalside, George Street, HP4 2EG (30 seconds walk east along the canal towpath from the Ravens Lane bridge),  +44 1442 864913. Mon-Weds 12:00-23:00; Thurs: 15:00-midnight; Fri & Sat: 12:00-midnight; Sund: 12:00-22:30. Quiet canalside pub specialising in large selection of traditional real ales, traditional ciders, malt whiskies, port, Belgian beers etc. Beer garden and seating by canal lock. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.
  • 2 The Gatsby97 High Street, HP4 2DG (South end of the high street under the Rex Cinema),  +44 1442 870403. 10:30AM-11PM Monday to Thursday 10:30AM-12:30PM Friday & Saturday 12PM-10:30PM Sunday. Stylish cocktail bar and restaurant in the former dining rooms of the Rex Cinema. Diners sit in opulent 1938 art deco interiors.

Sleep[edit]

  • Kings Arms Hotel147 High Street, HP4 3HL +44 1442 866595. 09:00-midnight (1AM at weekends). Recently refurbished local pub in historic 18th Century building. Real Ales, fine wines. Large log fire in bar area. Also extensive restaurant. £40/ppn.
  • 1 The Pennyfarthing Hotel296-298 High St +44 1442 872828.
  • 2 Town Farm CampsiteTown Farm, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9EL (on the B489 road near Ivinghoe, on the far side of the Ashridges Estate),  +44 7906 265435 (mobile). Rural camping on a working, family-run farm at the foot of the Chiltern Hills with stunning views over the Vale of Aylesbury and Ivinghoe Beacon. In summer, visitors can pick their own fruit and vegetables. tent £10 per person per night; caravans £20 per night.
  • 3 Norcott Campsite (Camping In The Orchard), Dudswell lane, Berkhamsted HP4 1LE (drive along High Street towards Tring; about 600 metres after Northchurch, bear right onto Dudswell Lane, cross the canal and the camping is 2nd on the left),  +44 7788 151022 (mobile). A small campsite set in an orchard, close to the Grand Junction Canal and a 20-minute walk from Berkhamsted. £5 per person per night.

Connect[edit]

A number of local restaurants and cafés offer free wi-fi to customers; enquire with staff for details. Mobile phone signals are generally good but can vary in quality, depending on network.

Berkhamsted Library on King's Road offers computer internet access.

Go next[edit]

There are a number of country walks outside Berkhamsted. Maps of local walks can be ordered from the Chiltern Society (map #17 - Chesham and Berkhamsted), and Berkhamsted is crossed by the Chilterns Cycleway. Of particular interest is the extensive Ashridge Estate woodland, a National trust property (free entry).

  • 1 Bridgewater Monument, Café & Visitor Centrenear Ringshall, Ashridge Estate. Neoclassical stone monument built in 1832 in memory of the third Duke of Bridgewater who built the Bridgewater Canal and once lived in Ashridge House. Climb 172 steps to the top for stunning views across the landscape. The popular outdoor café offers an excellent range of breakfasts, lunches and home-baked cakes. Dogs & cycles welcome, extensive free parking. National Trust shop sells an excellent range of gifts, books, maps and local produce. Opening hours vary seasonally. £2.50 ( £1.00 child, NT members free).
  • 5 Ashridge House (From Berkhamsted High Street, turn up Ravens Lane and continue up the hill until a 3-way fork in the road; take the left fork and drive 10 minutes through dense woodland). Specific days only. A fine example of early Victorian Gothic Revival by the architect James Wyattville. The stately home is now in use as a management college and is not normally open to the public except on special days, listed on their website.
  • 2 Pitstone WindmillIvinghoe, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9ER. Only open bank holidays in summer. A restored, fully-working 17th century windmill owned by the National Trust. Limited opening days, but offers beautiful landmark on a rural public footpath £2.50; £1.00 children; NT members free.


This city travel guide to Berkhamsted is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
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