What is Royston in Hertfordshire like?

(55 Posts)
KateRosevear Sat 01-Feb-14 14:06:12

Hi,
I'm thinking of moving to Hertfordshire and am interested in Royston, as it seems reasonably priced for housing, and has a good train link to London. It sounds like a nice sized small town with some character, but I wondered if there is a catch. What is it like to live there, are there other places more recommended within the same price bracket, and when looking at houses, are there any parts of town that are better than others, and if so, why? Thanks.

The town centre is dying a bit - empty buildings, charity shops etc. You can see that it was once a lovely market town, perhaps a bit like Saffron Walden, but has lost out to Tesco and the ease of getting to other places for shopping. The most recent additions are McDonalds (out of town), Domino's and Wetherspoons. I haven't heard great things about the schools, but I haven't been looking at them as we don't live there. I don't think I would want to live there, but it isn't terrible.

mediawhore Sat 01-Feb-14 14:52:56

I love it here. The primary schools and middle schools are great. Secondary not so good, but not awful.

Very safe town, low crime rate. A great community place - can be a bit too community and you get to know people quickly as is quite small.

I grew up here and hated it as there isn't huge amounts for young people (though there is a community cinema now and a leisure centre/swimming pool) but I love it here now I have kids. Even then'dodgy' areas are tame comparison to other towns 'nice' areas!

Good transport links to Cambridge and London too.

The town centre is a little sad, but it is trying to turn around. Some nice quirky shops.

There is also plans to create a splash park very soon for summer months, which will be ace.

And a fabulous cheesecake delivery company too!

All in all, it does have some negatives, but as a place to bring up a family it is pretty good.

mediawhore Sat 01-Feb-14 14:53:40

Message me with more specific questions. Been here (apart from a 4 year break) for 23 years!

KateRosevear Sat 01-Feb-14 16:01:15

Many thanks. Which would you say we're the 'dodgy' areas, and which the nice ones? Also, do you know which of the first and middle schools are the best ones? Thanks.

mediawhore Sat 01-Feb-14 17:56:39

I'd say the primaries are all on a par pretty much (though tannery was not great a couple of years back). Royston and Greneway are fairly interchangeable too. Thin roysia was marginally better a couple of years ago, but not much difference now.

As for areas. The burns road estate had a bad rep when I was growing up, but new builds and it being an affordable area means it has improved a lot.

The worst area now is the Icknield road, and roads immediately off it (field crescent, Newman ave etc).mis the only area I would not live. However, the school 'Icknield walk' is really good. The roads around poplar drive (the other side of the school) are lovely though. Basically only the roads mentioned are not great.

But, as I said, even the 'rough' areas are nice in comparison to many other places. Best estates of affordableish houses are the ridings (stud lands/valley rise), the grange estate (beldam avenue).

We live in the north part of town,which has had 'bad' rep, but it is so quiet, got a huge house for the money spent and is lovely.

KateRosevear Sat 01-Feb-14 20:36:25

Many thanks for that, that is so helpful! We will have to plan a weekend to come and have a good stroll around the town, to get a feel for it, and look at the areas you mentioned. Kate.

KateRosevear Sun 02-Feb-14 16:16:05

Hi again, just 3 more quick questions!

Being close to Stanstead, do you get much aircraft noise?

Also, the town having a chemical works, does that cause any pollution, or create an area to avoid when looking at housing?

Lastly, we are not familiar with the 3 tier school system; how do people manage if they have a child at first school and another at middle school, with drop offs, pick ups, etc.?

Many thanks!!!

Farrowandbawl Sun 02-Feb-14 16:24:41

I grew up there.

No aircraft noise.

The chemical works though...some people can say that there is a difference on a Friday when they release something, but most wont. It's one of those things where if you want to believe it you can and will find some sort of proof - but if you don't, then it's going to be safe enough. It's a strange one. Think conspiracy and you are more or less on the right track.

Look at the closing times for the schools...some used to be 10-15 mintues later than the other, giving parents enough time to get one child then the other child from another school.

I wouldn't wory about that too much though - they will ave something in place for you to use.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 02-Feb-14 16:30:31

It was an absolute dump when I lived there about 25 years ago, maybe better now though. Bullied badly at school, found it and the surrounding villages to be very insular, they didn't like outsiders.

I am sure it's very different now, berm a long time after all.

Farrowandbawl Sun 02-Feb-14 16:38:25

Sparkly - it's not changed in that respect at all. It was the main reason why I would never go back, even when facing reposession I was determined to never go back..

Letchworth, Royston, Hitchen, Baldock...never again.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 02-Feb-14 16:49:01

No I'd never live there again either Farrow I went to Bassingbourn Village College for a couple of years. I was bullied without mercy for the entire two years. They hated us for not having been born there confused. I hated going shopping in Royston on a Saturday as I knew I would run into people from school. Always used to get the bus to Cambridge if I could.

southeastastra Sun 02-Feb-14 16:50:34

we went there not long ago and i think it was closed.

ihatethecold Sun 02-Feb-14 17:09:54

You think Royston was closed?

RudyMentary Sun 02-Feb-14 17:14:17

SEA grin

docsarah Sun 02-Feb-14 17:53:07

We lived there for 6 years pre DC and now live in one of the nearby villages. We lived there because I worked in London and DH worked in Cambridge and we could afford something nice near the station. A friend once rather unkindy described it as everything you need and nothing you want!

TbH I never found it particularly insulating - there were a lot of people like us with someone in Cambridge and London. There is a good curry house, Thai restaurant, brilliant health centre and I swim in the new leisure centre. There is also a cinema run out of the town hall.

I liked it - you would pay 100k more for a house in Cambridge but live in a worse area IMO.Never any bother from aircraft noise or the Johnson Matthey plant. I happily walked around the town at night, usually back from the station. The MPs from Bassingbourn Barracks used to make sure everyone was well behaved...

KateRosevear Sun 02-Feb-14 18:53:02

Gosh, lots of strong positives and strong negatives, seems Royston might be a bit like Marmite!

Sparkly and Farrow - bit worrying about the problems you experienced at your schools, which ones were they?

Thanks, Kate.

GrendelsMum Sun 02-Feb-14 20:26:02

I quite like it, personally. reminds me of the town where I grew up, and it has easy links into Cambridge and London for shopping. A few nice small shops in the town centre, although its not exactly wealthy like Saffron Walden is. A friend teaches there and says the schools are also perfectly good. A lot of people live there and commute into Cambridge, and I'd certainly consider it myself in future.

KateRosevear Sun 02-Feb-14 20:36:10

Thanks for that Grendelsmum, that's really helpful! Does anyone have any recent experience of the secondary school in Royston, I think the Meridian is the only one, am I right? Also, if it isn't great, are there other options to feed into secondaries in nearby towns that are better?

Farrowandbawl Sun 02-Feb-14 20:41:27

LOL, there's not really any nearby towns that will not be a pain in the backside for travel to school.

culturemulcher Sun 02-Feb-14 20:50:32

It's okay, but Biggleswade's much, much better. And only 35 mins to Kings X.

No, no, I'm not selling a lovely family house in Biggleswade, no not at all

guineapiglet Mon 03-Feb-14 15:22:26

Hi - alot depends on where you need to be for work - London? Cambridge?

We lived 3 miles N of Royston on the same train line, in one of the S Cambridgeshire Villages, schools very good, and 6th form colleges in Cambridge good - excellent etc - it is only 20 mins really from Royston to Cambridge, usually alot more in rush hour, but train connections good. Royston is trying to improve, there are some good amenities, the heath is lovely for walks etc, and it feels pretty safe to walk about it, small market town, some reasonable shops, an hour to Kings X etc - we tended to go to Cambridge more for theatre, outings etc, and Royston for cinema, sports stuff etc.

Good luck chosing, go and have a look round to get the feel of the town and some of the outlying villages - Ashwell is lovely - nice pubs!!! smile

namechange74 Mon 03-Feb-14 15:27:57

Given what you are looking for OP, i would suggest a look at Saffron Walden before you make your mind up grin

ofcoursethisisanamechange Mon 03-Feb-14 16:32:07

another recommendation for villages nearby- lovely, have great access to London via Royston and can avail of Cambridge amenities as well. Love it and wouldn't move for anything-

ihatethecold Mon 03-Feb-14 16:36:29

We live north if Royston in a lovely village.
My dh commutes from Royston to kx everyday.
I wouldn't choose to live in Royston personally.
Saffron walden is much much nicer.

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