Welwyn Garden City is a town (not as the name implies, a city) in Hertfordshire, England. Welwyn Garden City is also known as WGC or, somewhat incorrectly, Welwyn, although this can cause confusion with the village called Welwyn which lies a few miles to the northwest of WGC.
Welwyn Garden City, as its name suggests, is a "garden city", founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the 1920s following his previous experiments in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Letchworth Garden City. Howard had called for the creation of new towns of limited size, planned in advance, and surrounded by a permanent belt of agricultural land, as a role model for lower-density suburban development. Howard believed that such Garden Cities were the perfect blend of city and nature.
The BBC TV series Superstars was famously filmed in Welwyn Garden City throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Famous Welwyn Garden City former and current residents include S*M*A*S*H (Band), The Subways, David James (footballer), Artist Damien Hirst, Nick Faldo (golfer), Lisa Snowdon (model) and Rolling Stones' Mick Taylor.
Welwyn Garden City is well known by avid readers of the side of breakfast cereal boxes in Britain as the town where Shredded Wheat and Shreddies were made, at the former Nabisco factory (now part of Nestlé).
Trains run roughly every twenty minutes to WGC from London. Taking approximately 30 minutes from London Kings Cross, and 50 minutes from London Moorgate station. Trains also run to and from Hatfield, Stevenage, Cambridge and Peterborough.
WGC is small enough to walk around for any able-bodied person. Taxis are available from the rank at the front of the Howard Centre if required.
- The Shredded Wheat Factory can be seen from the train. No tours. That's about as much as you can do save walk across the (now listed) footbridge. The Factory sadly closed in April 2008.
- Parkway - the attractive avenues of Parkway and Howardsgate are worth a visit, with the coronation fountain at their intersection.
- Mill Green Museum, Mill Green. Open Tu-Fr 10AM-5PM; Sa,Su, Bank Holidays 2PM-5PM.
- Stanborough Lakes. A pleasant recreational area offering fishing, boating, swimming as well as wide open spaces for dog walking and sun bathing. It is 30 minutes walk from the town centre or 5 minutes in a taxi.
- Campus West, ☎ . Cinema and theatre. Shows a range of productions and offers a bar serving alcoholic drinks which is open for the duration of the entertainment.
- John Lewis, ☎ . Bridge Road. Took over Welwyn Department Stores in the 1980s and offers a grand shopping experience without the hussle and bustle of a london store. Now open 7 days a week.
There are several good cafes and restaurants on Howardsgate (the main avenue leading up to the howard's centre). Alternatively picnic food from supermarket Waitrose or pizza from chain Pizza Express.
- The Doctor's Tonic, Church Road. Has a lively and young crowd most days of the week as well as live music upstairs.
- O'Neills, Parkway. An Irish themed pub (although not part of the chain) just off Howardsgate. This is small however on nights when London Derby matches are played, it can get quite raucous.
- The Cork, Howardsgate. Right in the town centre it's the place to go if you want a lively pub.
If you want something a bit more relaxed, go to The Sun or The Long Arm And Short Arm which are right next to each other in Lemsford which is 5 minutes taxi ride or 30 minutes walk from town.
- Premier Travel Inn, ☎ . Stanborough Road. Standard budget business hotel.
- Best Western Homestead Court Hotel Homestead Lane
- Tewin Bury Farm, ☎ . Tewin. Attractive hotel, popular for weddings.
- Welwyn is a couple of miles to the north of Welwyn Garden City. It was settled by the Romans. Many Roman artifacts have been found, and the remains of a Roman bath house, which lie under the A1 motorway, may be visited. The bath house remains are a scheduled ancient monument, ingeniously preserved in a steel vault. Once part of a fine villa, the layout of the cold, warm and hot rooms and the heating system are remarkably well preserved. The bath house is open on weekends and Bank Holidays between 14.00-17.00. Also open during school holidays in the afternoon. £1.50
- Digswell is to the southeast of Welwyn and northeast of Welwyn Garden City. It is an attractive village with several thatched cottages but the main reason most people visit is to look at the Digswell railway viaduct (also known as the Welwyn Viaduct). The viaduct is around 1,560 feet (475 m) long and comprises forty arches of 30 ft (9 m) span, and is 100 ft (30 m) high. It is built of brick and took two years to build. It was originally opened by Queen Victoria on 6 August 1850, but she was so frightened of its height that she refused to travel across it.