Ever since its development as a New Town, leisure and space have been part of the design DNA of Hemel Hempstead and people are still benefitting from these initiatives today. Apart from the numerous green spaces, people really enjoy the Snow Centre, XC and Hemel Hempstead Sports Centre.
The award-winning Water Gardens are a fabulous and iconic feature of the town centre, creating an enticing environment for locals and visitors to enjoy. However, as you walk down the High Street you may not even know they are there; a great opportunity exists to bring some of this experience right into the centre. The Marlowes, Hemel’s ‘high street’ itself is a wide European style tree-lined boulevard which in itself provides an opportunity for events and animation of the space bringing more colour and vibrancy to town. Hemel Hempstead is also incredibly green from the spaces between housing to the much-used parks such as Gadebridge Park; they can provide different facilities and new event opportunities. Equally, it will change the ‘feel’ of the place if the green is brought more into the centre with smaller urban parks and activity space. Alongside this the Old Town of Hemel Hempstead provides a wonderful contrast to the newer High Street and has the potential for more events, food and drink, culture and experiential activity.
As Hemel Hempstead looks to capitalise on population growth, facilitated by the Garden Communities bringing 11,000 homes to the area and more town centre living, enhancing its cultural and evening economy offer is a priority. The town has the spaces, opportunities and latent talent to deliver a cultural renaissance which will not only benefit residents but help it develop as a visitor hub for the wider area and attractions. The surrounding area has plenty to offer including the beautiful Ashridge Estate – a National Trust property, Harry Potter World, part of the Natural History Museum at Tring, Whipsnade Zoo, Apsley Marina, Champneys Spa Resort as well as glorious villages to explore.