Welwyn Garden City

Published: 03rd October 2011
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Welwyn Garden City is a town located in Hertfordshire, within the borough of Welwyn Hatfield. It is around 20 miles from Kings Cross and serves as a commuter town to London. The city was founded in 1920 by Sir Ebenezer Howard and is England's second purpose-built garden city.

Welwyn Garden City has a unique appeal in that is a combination of a new town and a garden city. Being a town with novel design, Welwyn Garden City is of historical significance and therefore attracts many tourists from across the globe.

Welwyn Garden City was carefully planned to combine the good points of a city and the countryside while avoiding the negative points of both. The aim of the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association specifically was to create an environment designed for healthy living with green belt surroundings and a level of industry just enough to generate wealth and good living conditions. All of the town's land is protected and kept in public or community trust ownership.

This beautiful town boasts tree-lined streets and a delightful neo-Georgian town centre. Every single road has sweeping grass verges. Parkway, the town's central mile-long spine avenue, presents one of the world's most scenic urban vistas, with a combination of new and old houses on either side. The Howard Centre is the main shopping location, constructed in the 1980s.

There are plenty of attractions in the town for locals and visitors alike. The Gosling Sports Centre accommodates a dry ski slope, tennis courts, a golf driving range, squash courts, an athletics track, a gym, a bowls area and football pitches. The Panshanger airfield is in current use by the North London Flying School. The historic King George V playing field was famously used for training by the England football team. The town has three golf courses including Welwyn Garden City Golf Club, where Nick Faldo once frequented. Stanborough Park and Lakes is the venue for annual water carnivals and numerous firework displays, attracting visitors in great numbers from near and far. There are also some Roman Baths nearby that are preserved in a vault and open to tourists.

Welwyn Garden City was famous for being home to Shredded Wheat, the breakfast cereal. The factory is now in disuse but is a Grade II listed building remains as a landmark with its giant white silos, visible on several rail routes.

A number of television programmes and films have been shot in Welwyn Garden City, including 'Superstars' at Standborough Lakes and Gosling Sports Stadium, 'The Tweenies', 'UFO' at a local gravel pit in Cole Green Lane, parts of 'Holby City' at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and the 'Train Buffet Car' Kellogg's Cornflakes TV commercial at the railway station. Furthermore, the 'Battle of Britain' film includes scenes shot at Panshanger Aerodrome and the 'Brighton Rock' film based on Graham Green's novel was made at Welwyn Garden City studios.

Welwyn Garden City often gets a mention due to its suburban character and unusual name. For example, it crops up in the 'Strange' and 'Porridge' TV series, an 'Alas Smith and Jones' sketch by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones, in the lyrics of the Red Box song 'Billy's Line' and in an Edwyn Collins song.

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