My home town both in terms of where I grew up and where I live now, is Hitchin in Hertfordshire.
Incidentally, Hertfordshire has recently been named the third best place to live in the UK in a Quality of Life Index survey by Uswitch, after Solihull and North Yorkshire, so it certainly has a lot going for it!
As for Hitchin, it will always hold a very special place in my heart for obvious reasons, but we don’t plan on staying here long term. While it still has it’s great points, I feel like I have slowly seen the Hitchin I love fade and unfortunately as it is just half an hour from London by train it is being turned into a clone commuter town. This is also having the effect of inflating property prices, which is one of the reasons we won’t be buying a house here!
However instead of writing a long lament, I am going to tell you a few interesting things about the history of Hitchin.
Hitchin is an historic market town that is in fact over one thousand years old. The town actually appears in two entries of the Domesday Book from 1086 but can apparently be traced back another three hundred years before that! Also, Maydencroft Manor, in the village of Gosmore just outside Hitchin, is understood to be a hunting lodge of Henry VIII. The town is full of buildings dating all the way back to the 15th century and beyond, and there are plenty of ghosts residing in them if you would believe the stories! The Church of St. Mary dates back to the 12th century (at least in part!) and is unrivalled in the county in terms of size and architecture. Something I find equally as interesting is that you can find graffiti on the choir stands dating back hundreds of years!
More modern points of interest include one of the top 50 coffee shops in the UK according to the Independent: Hermitage Rd. And apparently Jonathan Ross’ mum lives here too…
You should come visit!