If you’re looking for good shopping, cute cafes and beautiful park walks then visit Bishop’s Stortford this summer; a wonderful market town on the Hertfordshire/Essex border. It’s loved by families, couples and commuters thanks to its speedy transport links to London, and now Hollywood actors – Tom Holland recently shot scenes for the new Spider Man film. New houses are popping up at rapid rate as demand for this town grows. If you’re thinking of making a move to this part of the region or simply want a day out, here are five great reasons to visit:
Bishop’s Stortford was popular long before the good schools, transport links and town facilities arrived. Its history dates back to the early 13th Century where it became the cause of dispute between King John and the Pope. During the Medieval ages the town started to thrive thanks to its location linking London, Cambridge and Newmarket. Following the arrival of the railway in the 19th Century, the town has continued to grow to this day. Visitors can dive into the town’s history at Bishop’s Stortford Museum, which is housed at The Rhodes Centre; a local hub for entertainment. The museum features displays of artefacts and will host a number of events for children during the school holidays, while the Rhodes Theatre has film screenings and live music to keep adults entertained.
If retail therapy is more your style, the town won’t disappoint. The High Street is lined with fashion boutiques such as Ruby Rooms and newbie Apache and convenience shops. Jackson Square, an undercover retail space in the middle of the High Street, is home to brands such as H&M, Next and Sainsbury’s. There’s an impressive selection of interior stores such as Lathams Home, Elements Home & Garden and Coopers of Stortford. A weekly market is held on Thursday and Saturday, 8.30am-4pm, offering everything from clothing, food and flowers. A Farmer’s and Craft Market is held on the first Saturday of each month, 9.30am-1.30pm.
Food and drink
All tastes and budgets are catered for in Bishop’s Stortford with a large and varied selection of restaurants, bars and cafes. For light bites, stop by one of the many coffee shops that spill seating onto the street during summer months and watch the afternoon go by. For evening dining, there’s a choice of cuisine from around the world. Fans of Turkish food should head to Skew Restaurant, which features a Champagne bar, or Pirico, a popular choice for weekends serving both Turkish and Italian cuisine. For al fresco drinks, head to Host for its outdoor terrace. For a classic country pub drive a short distance out of town to the Coach & Horses, a beautifully styled gastro pub with a huge garden.
Family days out
It’s clear to see why the town is popular with families. In addition to its cinema and the Rhodes Centre, the town is home to eight parks. Sworder’s Field is one of the most popular with two playgrounds, one for 4 to 11 year olds and the other for older children, a skate park and splash and paddling pool.
Pet-owner’s will be thrilled with the lovely walks in and around Bishop’s Stortford. Take a leisurely walks along the River Stort which leads to the countryside of Great Hallingybury and Sawbridgeworth or visit Southern Country Park with its woodland, streams and picnic areas. For all your doggy needs visit the ‘Barkery’ on Church Street, just off the High Street, which serves up hand-baked doggy treats such a pupcakes and doggy donuts among many others, using organic ingredients! There’s also a range of pet accessories. Like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pg/bishopsstortfordbarkery