Tourist Information Centre
The Tourist Information Centre opened in 2000 and is located on Station Road in the town centre. The centre provides information, leaflets and guides as well as accommodation and travel literature.
Open: 9.30am-4.30pm Mondays to Saturdays.
33-35 Station Road
The Greenway is a 22 km path around the town, that you can join and leave at several places on the way. I've not been around it all, but I can tell you that it can be sometimes difficult to find and follow as there are many pathways crossing it. Watch out for the gigantic golf course south of Letchworth. You're bound to get lost in it and it is forbidden ;-)
Get a good map from the tourist office and you'll be looking for small sticks with the Grennway logo on them and a number. I would recommend good shoes it is a path, not a road, and it can get really muddy.
Designed and crafted by W.H. Cowlishaw in 1905/07 this unique building stood on its own in the fields until the residential housing spread this far in the 1920's. It was designed for and by Miss Annie Jane Lawrence as an open air school, for Theosophical Meditation. It was later used for outdoor concerts until the outbreak of the 2nd World War. After her death in 1953 the Cloisters was managed by a trust, and is presently the North Herts Masonic Lodge.
First Garden City Museum
This lovely thatched building was originally designed as the Letchworth Office for architects and planners Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, by Barry Parker in 1906. Between 1907 and 1937 this building was the scene of much discussion and activity as the Garden City developed and grew. In 1937 Barry Parker added a new wing to form living accommodation for himself and his wife. In 1974 the house and garden were bought by Letchworth Garden City Corporation, and an extension on the South end was built as an exhibition gallery. In 1977 the building was leased to North Herts District Council and opened as the First Garden City Museum. The museum is home to an exhibition of photographs, maps, drawings and plans as well as objects of memorabilia relating to the early development of the Garden City and the Garden City Movement.
Open: 10am-5pm Mondays to Saturdays. Admission: 50p for Letchworth residents, £1 for non-residents.
Letchworth - World's First Garden City
In 1898, Ebenezer Howard, appalled at the very unpleasant living and working conditions in the late 19th Century towns and cities, wrote a book outlining his ideas for a completely new way of living. The book, 'Tomorrow, A Peaceful Path to Real Reform', was later republished as 'Garden Cities of Tomorrow' in 1902. He believed that the very best of both town and country life should be married together in small Garden Cities, each with its own greenbelt. He promoted well-planned towns with careful land zoning and a quality of life. In 1903, First Garden City Ltd commenced the building of an experimental town on 3,818 acres of land at Letchworth in North Hertfordshire, to prove that Howard's ideas were practical. The world's first Garden City became a reality and soon others around the world followed. In 1905, and again in 1907, the company held the Cheap Cottages Exhibitions, contests to build inexpensive housing, which attracted some 60,000 visitors and had a significant effect on planning and urban design in the UK, pioneering and popularising such concepts as pre-fabrication, the use of new building materials, and front and back gardens. Today, Letchworth has a wonderful array of different housing styles and designs from country cottage to mock-Tudor. Even though the town is not a Number 1 tourist destination, it does offer a fascinating insight into early urban planning which can be seen by simply walking around the town centre.
Letchworth is easy to get to by both car and rail. It's located near the A1(M) motorway with speedy links to London and the South-east and the North of England. The town has a train station which links it to London's King's Cross and Cambridge.