Broadway Gardens is a huge open space in the heart of Letchworth, with landscaped views down towards the station and out to the town edges, a rather lovely fountain, brick 'pagodas', neatly-trimmed box trees, a paved area for community events, oodles of space for picnics and for children learning to ride their bikes (or their scooters, or just...more
The famous Spirella corset factory building, built between 1912 and 1920, was way ahead of its time in the facilities if offered its employees: baths, showers, library, free eye tests.even bicycle repairs.It's a listed building and has been well restored, now housing offices, a cafe and a fitness centre. The wonderful ballroom (a ballroom in a...more
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...more
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....more
Innovation in Letchworth was not confined just to the design of buildings. During January 2005 "Sollershott Circus" (to give it its formal name) in Letchworth was recognised as having the first roundabout on a public road in the United Kingdom, dating from circa 1909 (there are two signs on the roundabout saying "UK's First Roundabout Built circa...more
This is Letchworth's most impressive building, located just over the railway line from the town centre. It was built between 1912 and 1920 for two Americans who were attracted to Letchworth by the Garden City Movement. This building was built for the Spirella corset company and offered its employees facilities such as baths and showers, gymnastics...more
Norton Common is located just to the north of the town centre over the railway line and lies to the west of Norton village - one of the three original villages which were absorbed into Letchworth Garden City. The 25 hectare (63 acres) common was designated as a 'People's Park' in the early plans for the town. Keep an eye out for the famous "wild"...more
This building was once Letchworth's famous Skittles Inn which was opened in 1907. It was famous for not actually selling any beer and became known as the 'pub with no beer'. Instead it offered 'fellowship, rest and recreation' for workers but all drink served at the bar was non-alcoholic, in response to the wishes of the majority of Letchworth...more
The church hall for The Free church was built by the congregation in 1905. Before this they met in member’s homes or vacant workmen’s huts. The Hitchin Free Church Council encouraged the new residents of Letchworth to raise money for a hall and a site was found and secured. Many of the new arrivals being in the building trade volunteered their...more
This building was the first public building in Letchworth, built in 1906, and was paid for by public subscription in memory of Ebenezer Howard's first wife Elizabeth, who died in 1904. It was first used for all social events and meetings before being extended to accommodate a girls club in 1907. The building housed the first Letchworth Parish...more
Letchworth has some delightful cottage-style houses which were designed by Bennett and Bidwell - the two principal designers. When the town was initially born, it was home to two experimental housing exhibitions in 1905 with houses on Nevells Road and in 1907 with houses on Pixmore Way being exhibited. Today, many display a commemorative plaque...more
One of the best looking buildings in the town, the Broadway Cinema is a fine example of Art Deco architecture. It was built by Bennett and Bidwell in 1935 and was once one of three cinemas in the town but today this is the only one left. The Palace Cinema used to be located right next door and this was the first cinema to be built outside London in...more
The Letchworth Museum & Art Gallery occupies a building built in 1914 that was later extended in 1920. The museum exhibits wildlife, including the famous Letchworth Black Squirrel, and archaeology of the local area plus a small art gallery upstairs.Open: 10am-5pm, closed Wednesday and Sunday. Admission: Free.more
Located overlooking the Broadway Gardens in the town centre, this impressive building was designed by Bennett and Bidwell in 1935, was called the Council House from 1935 to 1960 when it was renamed The Town Hall. The clock tower, added to the original design, is a memorial to Charles Ball, donated by his widow.more
Broadway is the main central thoroughfare through the town and links the town centre with the A505 Hitchin Road. At the centre is the Town Square which is more a rectangle than a square and I remember this being encircled by tall trees (may have been yew trees) but these have gone and have been replaced with smaller trees. This area was actually...more
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Letchworth Lane, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
There is only one hotel in Letchworth itself, and it's the Broadway. It is situated in the town...more
I have stayed (once) at the Broadway but, as I have family in the town, I rarely eat out.We had a coupon for their Sunday lunch, so we thought we'd try the Broadway carvery. I must admit the food was very pleasant indeed, with a good choice of carved meats and generous servings. As with all UK carveries, someone carves the meat for you and then you...more
You'll find a variety of culinary delights in the town. From a quick bite to eat to a three-course meal, including Italian, Thai, Indian and traditional English cuisine. Here's a list of restaurants:http://www.letchworthgc.com/eatingout/restaurants.htmlHere's a list of cafes and takeaways:http://www.letchworthgc.com/eatingout/cafesandtakeaways.htmlmore
This place is clearly a Sunday family gathering. The atmosphere is English, the food is traditional. I got a Kronembourg and a delicious stuffed mushroom with a piece of chocolate cake.The rest of the table shared a Sunday roast with veggies and gravy.Though nothing special, I would recommend it as the atmosphere was really friendly (everybody...more
The first pub opened in 1907 but, rather famously, sold no beer as the town was run by Quakers. The ban lasted till 1958 with the Broadway Hotel becoming the first public house in the town centre. Several other pubs have opened since 1958, but to this day the town centre has less than half-a-dozen pubs - a remarkably low number of a town of its size. You can find a list of them here:
One of the main reasons why Letchworth was built where it is, is due to the railway line which was built in 1850 and connects Hitchin with Cambridge. As early as 1904 a halt was constructed for Letchworth of some planks. It was a little further down the line than the existing station. A new temporary wooden station was opened in 1905, built by Willmott & Sons of Hitchin near the present site of the Spirella factory. This was replaced by the present station in 1912.
Letchworth is linked to London King's Cross via Stevenage and to Cambridge via regular services operated by First Capital Connect. See their website below for timetables and more information.
Letchworth’s shopping centre is mostly concentrated in three streets namely Eastcheap, Leys Avenue and Station Road. Leys Avenue is, perhaps, the town's central shopping street and has been designed to mimic a traditional English "High Street" which buildings being designed for commercial use.more
The Garden Square Shopping Centre is home to many national retail giants such as Boots, Etam, New Look, Woolworth’s, Dixon’s and Virgin. Three distinct shopping areas, all delightfully refurbished, are well worth a visit: The 1922 Arcade with its 20 speciality shops, The Wynd and The Gallery.more
451 Reviews and Opinions
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.
Equipment: I would recommend good shoes it is a path, not a road, and it can get really muddy.
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