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Living in Hatfield, Hertfordshire
The University of Hertfordshire is in Hatfield, just outside the Greater London area. There is easy access to the city centre by train, which takes just twenty minutes on the fast line.
The A1, one of the UK’s busiest motorways, runs through the town but despite this Hatfield is surprisingly quiet and unbothered by the rush of London. Could be a good location if you know you’d be easily distracted by the big city, but don’t want to be too far away from it either.
Hatfield itself contains all the facilities you’d expect; there are the usual high street shops and supermarkets, and also the expansive Galleria Shopping Centre. There’s an Odeon cinema in the town for nights out with your housemates, and a modest nightlife with most of the clubbing being based in the student union itself.
Just five minutes up the road by bus is Welwyn Garden City, where you’ll find a few more facilities. The Gosling Sports Park, with the Stadium beside it is a great place to start. Its impressive list of facilities includes tennis courts, a golf range and football pitches, a velodrome, athletics track and, finally, a dry slope for skiing and snowboarding. To be honest if you had the time and the money you could probably just spend all day there, although you might sleep through your lectures the next morning if you do.
Hatfield House, and the massive grounds of Hatfield Park that belong to it, are within walking distance from the campus. As well as having big open spaces for walking, jogging, and general playing about, the House also opens it’s grounds for public fairs, seasonal events, show and concerts. Milward’s Park and Home Park on either side of Hatfield Park connect up to form a massive green space that opens onto the countryside.
- London: Err, hello, you’re less than half an hour from Kings Cross. What’s wrong with you? Get out there!
- Welwyn: Head over to good old WGC and go to Rollercity. Sure, you may not have worn rollerskates since you were seven years old, but that’s what makes it so entertaining!
- Retail Therapy: Get the bus to St Albans, Stevenage or Watford, and enjoy a change of scenery.
- Car: Don’t bother. You’ve got...
- The Bus!: The University has their own bus company called Uno which serves not only students but the also members of the general public, although students get discounted rates.
- Taxi: Unicabs.
Read Hatfield, Hertfordshire Reviews
The town centre has improved over the last 6 months, more shops open. Nightlife is non-existent unless you want a pub, no wine bar/music venue unless you want to party at university events. Public transport is unreliable and poor in the sense that the buses work on a 30 minute basis in South Hatfield and stop as early as 9pm, as for weekends; not even the the most reliable 614 works on a Sunday. So you are left to walk from the train station or pay for incredibly expensive taxis. The Galleria is a decent place to shop for reduced price clothing and homewares but the town centre has only a New Look and a Peacocks, enough said! The Galleria also provides an adequate service for places to eat, all high street big chains i.e. Nandos, McDonalds,Prezzo,Chiquito etc If you are from African/Caribbean heritage there are few hair salons and product shops, but do not let looks deceive you, the one next to the the school wear shop is better for customer service and pricing.
Cost of living is okay - but then again I am in Uni accommodation The Galleria is good for eating out. Plenty of good restaurants. Unfortunately there are basically no good clothes shops for a good bit of retail therapy. I don't use public transport that much but apparently the Uno buses are not very reliable.
Hatfield is cheap to live in and it is well located being only 15 minutes away from St.Albans and less than 30 minutes to Kings Cross in London. However the only aspect of nightlife is the forum and club Dehav on campus and eating out is severely limited. On the plus side Hatfield does have the Galleria and some fantastic outlet shops. The public transport is the worst that I have seen in England, however, there are plenty of bicycle paths and everything you will need is in a quick walking distance so public transport is not necessary. The only exception are the University shuttle buses which are free in between the campuses.