Watford

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Watford is one of the larger towns in Hertfordshire, England, and has approximately 80,000 citizens.

Get in[edit]

Road[edit]

Watford, like Hounslow & Waltham Cross, originally rose to prominence as a coaching town (a kind of 18th-century motorway services) because many roads pass through the area.

  • Non-Motorway Road Access: Watford, as a coaching town, has many road passing through it, but the fastest one is the A41, a 'green' (semi-motorway) A-road. Exit at M1J5 (A4008) or Hunton Bridge roundabout (A411).
  • M1: Watford Herts is NOT near the Watford Gap: that is named after Watford Northants. Watford Herts is served by Junction (1|5) Watford, the 1st universal-access junction (unless you count Junction (1|3) Scratchwood, which requires prior arrangement). Leave at (1|5) Watford & take the A4008.
  • M25: Take Junction (25|19) Hunton Bridge or (25|21A) Bricket Wood East.

Rail[edit]

  • Virgin Trains: Virgin Trains run express services on the West Coast Mainline & branches, some of them stopping at Watford Junction. The service has buffet, WiFi & at-seat electricity sockets. They are more expensive than regular trains & do not sell tickets solely between London & Watford Junction, but are useful if travelling from further north.
  • London Midland: This regional rail provider serves Watford Junction with most trains. Most of these go non-stop into London Euston, but the line has dedicated platforms at Bushey, Harrow & Wealdstone, Wembley Central & Queens Park. A non-stop train will generally take 12 minutes. They accept general tickets & oyster cards.
  • London Overground: The Watford DC line of the London Overground runs local services to Watford every 10 minutes. It serves Watford Junction & Watford High St. These trains take a long time, but serve Willesden Junction, which is useful as an interchange, & have interchange with the Bakerloo line. Watford High St. is closer to the town centre than Watford Junction & cheaper, as the boundary of zones 8 & 9A runs between the two stations.
  • Metropolitan Line: The LU Metropolitan line runs from Watford station, actually located 0.8 miles away from the high st. in Cassiobury Park. Direct trains run every 10 minutes to Baker St. An extension is planned to Watford High St.

Other[edit]

Frequent coaches serve Watford town centre from Heathrow Airport (Bus 724, 45 mins) and Luton Airport (Bus 321, 1.5 hours).

Get around[edit]

Most attractions in Watford are within walking distance of each other and do not require buses or trains.

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 £7. It is often worth doing as it can save money even if you are on your own.

See[edit]

Warner Bros. Studio Tour
  • 1 Warner Bros. Studio Tour 08450 840 900 (high cost number). Take a tour around the studios where Harry Potter was filmed
  • 4 Watford Football Club. They are one of the smaller clubs in English football but of late have seen their fortunes improve, returning to the premiership for the first time in 10 years.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • 1 intu Watford (The Harlequin), 201 The Harlequin, Watford, WD17 2UB +44 1923 250292, e-mail: . Mon-Wed 09:00-18:00, Thu 09:00-21:00, Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat 09:00-19:00, Sun 11:00-17:00. This is the main shopping mall with John Lewis, Jane Norman, French Connection Outlet, Monsoon and separate Accesorize in addition to Acessorize in the Monsoon, River Island, Anne Summers, La Senza, Zara, WHSmith (post office at the back), Pineapple, Lush, GAME and many other shops. There are also New Look, Topshop (inc Topman), Computer Exchange, The End and Next to Choice (a Next outlet) on the High Street.

Eat[edit]

There are many choices.

For Restaurants, there is Que Pasa, Flower Drum (Chinese), Flame (Chinese buffet), various Pizza restaurants (Pizza et pizza, Zinco, Ask, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express), Caribbean, Japanese (Hanko)...

Fast food - Two Macdonalds (With an extra 2 in the north of the town), Burger King, two Subways, various pizza takeaway places (Dominos, Pizza hut, Pizza express, various kebab shops... I would highly recommend Roosters Peri Peri chicken. It's halal and serves very inexpensive but absolutely delicious chicken meals, including wraps, burgers, etc. and even apple pies and ice cream in the summer. Try the chickenburger meal. Yum. For a sit down, go to Pepe's, opposite the indoor market (behind Poundland) which serves Greek Cypriot fare as well as burgers, steaks, sandwiches, puddings etc.

Vegetarian - GoKula Vegetarian Cafe, a vegetarian & vegan fast food restaurant with links to the nearby Hari Krishna Temple. A breakfast & brunch restaurant but not evenings . At 65 Market Street.

Halal - Roosters (burgers, chicken wings, chips...), various kebab shops.

Cafés - Presence coffee shop with paninis, muffins, with a spa upstairs and a gift shop out front. TJ Hughes has a restaurant/café. For the more traditional fry up, head to Aroma at the bottom of the high street for relatively healthy and delicious breakfasts, chips, burgers etc. Toast, next to Roosters and almost opposite the Palace Theatre, serves sandwiches, juice etc. Try Go Kula cafe on Market Place for vegetarian food but it is a bit hit and miss. Best to go there for a chat, read a few books and meet the local mums and toddlers. The YMCA serves good food - it is behind Poundland/next to the indoor market.

Coffee Starbucks and Costa in the Harlequin, Caffe Nero by St. Mary's Church on the High Street, Presence in the north end of the High Street, McDonalds on either end of the High Street... Plenty of places with plenty of choice.

Drink[edit]

Watford Town Centre comes alive at night particularly on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The bars and clubs are practically all positioned next to each other up the High Street. As a general rule the music is louder, the drinks are more expensive and the atmosphere is more lively the further up the High Street you go, though there are exceptions.

A flyover divides the strip into the 'High Street' and 'The Parade'. Starting from the High Street and walking up:

  • Chicago Rock CafeThe Parade.
  • O'NeillsThe Parade.
  • Kandi Klub.
  • Bar Me.
  • Oceana. Mon, Thu-Sat 10:00-03:00. Watford's biggest nightclub.
  • Bar Nazdrovya.

Sleep[edit]

Premier Inn, Hilton, Park Inn, Travelstop, The Grove (tres expensive but tres beautiful), Travelodge x2, Holiday Inn Express... Expect to pay around £70-80 to stay in the brand names. For B&B stays, try Berry Grove Lodge (01923 218015), The Orchard House Guest House [1], Ricky Road Guesthouse [2].

  • Park Inn Watford30-40 St. Albans Road +44 1923 429988. Perfectly located for working in London, but being out somewhere quieter - with only a 20 minute journey to London.

Go next[edit]

Trains that take 16 minutes to get to London Euston are regular at Watford Junction station, a ten minute walk from the high street. Oyster cards accepted. Trains that take Longer, with stops in Harrow, Bushey, and various North London stops are also available.

Trains to Tring, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans (a definite must visit for the market, the cathedral, the park and the canal), Aylesbury, Bletchley, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Leighton Buzzard, Brighton etc. etc. etc. are also available.

Take the Metropolitan line from a secluded tube station after a walk through Cassiobury Park to Baker Street, Harrow, Wembley... And change at Baker Street for various other London lines and of course to visit Sherlock Holmes's offices. Change at Moor Park to go to Chesham, Amersham and Rickmansworth, lovely large villages with much to offer.

Get the 6 bus to Rickmansworth - a lovely small town with a church, canal... Get the 8/318 bus to Abbots Langley and enjoy the small cafés and the large park and woods.

Routes through Watford
END  W Metropolitan line flag box.svg E  West LondonBloomsbury-Camden
BirkenheadAbbots Langley  NW UK road A41.svg SE  ElstreeLondon


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