Connect with us

News

Shopping in Watford: What to expect in Watford post-covid

Published

on

intu Watford outlines how it will keep people safe

As part of our ongoing guide to shopping in Beds, Bucks & Hertfordshire, we have created this guide to shopping in Watford. If you have not been to Watford before, this guide will give you an overview of where to go and what to expect when shopping in Watford post-covid.

Watford – A brief history lesson

Watford began as a settlement in the 12th century when a market was granted to the Abbot of St. Albans as the lord of the manor. He chose a site along a route already used by travellers, where the market continued to be held until 1928.

With employment high and most enjoying a reasonable income, the early 1960s saw a growth in consumerism. During the Swinging Sixties, Watford like many other places in Hertfordshire started to change into the town we know today. This period saw the birth of the Harlequin Shopping Centre – although not built until 1990, planning started as far back as 1963.

Old Watford High Street

Watford High Street’s Pond has seen many transformations

Since then, Watford has grown to become a popular shopping destination for people of all ages. Being home to Hertfordshire’s largest shopping mall, Watford is also well known for its football club and its popular tourist destinations. These include the Harry Potter Studio tour at Warner Bros Film Studios and Cassiobury Park.

Shopping destinations in Watford

Watford has three main shopping destinations. The main shopping centre is intu Watford. The second shopping destination is Watford High Street which is also home to the third, New Watford Market.

intu Watford - One of the best destinations for shopping in Watford

intu Watford – One of the best destinations for shopping in Watford

1. intu Watford

Formerly known as The Harlequin Shopping Centre, intu Watford has undergone some major changes recently. Coronavirus has hit Hertfordshire’s largest shopping destination hard. The large Debenhams has gone and will be replaced by The Beauty Hall by Next, an upmarket beauty hall being launched by fashion retailer Next. John Lewis Watford closed in July and there have been some other closures to restaurants and small retailers.

Despite the closures and with over 25 fashion retailers over two floors, intu Watford is still a favourite destination amongst fashionistas. Stores include Accessorize, Aldo, Hugo Boss, Clarks, Ernest Jones, Fatface, H&M, Hollister, Jack Wills, Jack & Jones, JD, Joules, Kurt Geiger, Levi’s, New Look, Next, Office, Phase Eight, River Island, Superdry and many more.

2. Watford High Street

If intu Watford is for the fashionistas, Watford High Street is for the foodies. Watford High Street is still extremely busy despite the drop in footfall due to COVID. Many of the restaurants that reopened after the lockdown are still relatively busy. They are operating with social distancing measures which mean they are limited to the number of diners they can host at any time. Our favourite Watford restaurants include:

  • TGI Fridays – Watford Central
  • Five Guys Watford
  • Côte Brasserie
  • The Florist Watford

The good news is Watford Bid has been working in the background to ensure shopping in Watford is safe. From supporting many of the local retailers with track and trace to installing social distancing signage, the Watford Bid team have been busy in the local area and online.

3. New Watford Market

Another shopping destination in Watford is New Watford Market. Unlike the traditional markets, New Watford Market combines a mixture of inside units and street stalls. These stalls offer a range of products and world foods. The design of New Watford Market has been the subject of local debate. The inside units were made from 42 recycled shipping containers. This means some units have only one side for entry and exit.

New Watford Market has been hit-and-miss with locals and some of the traders themselves. The concept is great for artisan stalls and micro-businesses. Traditional market traders prefer open spaces with lots of footfall. Unfortunately, New Watford Market doesn’t have a lot of either.

New Watford Market

Travelling to Watford

Watford has great transport links by car or rail. Watford has three stations bearing the name Watford. There is Watford Junction, Watford High Street and Watford Station. Watford Junction is served by both train and London Overground services from Central London. The main train terminus is London Euston Station, and the National Rail train service takes about 20 minutes. The Overground train service takes around 50 minutes.

Watford High Street is a London Overground station with fast links to Euston. Watford High Street also connects to the interchange at Watford Junction, just one stop to the north. Situated in the south end of Watford’s busy High Street, the station is just minutes’ walk from the shops, including intu Watford Shopping Centre.

Parking in Watford

Parking in Watford is pretty easy and we will start with the easiest place to park, the intu Watford car park. intu Watford has 4 individual car parks, totalling 2,773 parking spaces. These include disabled and parent and child spaces. Passenger lifts and escalators give easy access from each car park directly to the shopping centre.

Right next door to Watford High Street is CitiPark Church. With great access to intu Watford and IMAX Cineworld, CitiPark Church is located on Exchange Road, Watford and has over 550 spaces.

Depending on the time you visiting Watford, you can park on some of the residential roads but ensure you have either paid where applicable. Pay attention to parking during enforcement times – Watford Borough Council is notoriously known for strict parking enforcement.

If you don’t mind walking, parking is also available at Watford Junction Station. There are 763 parking spaces at the mainline station. Again, slightly pricey but cheaper than a parking ticket.

Shopping with kids in Watford

If you are shopping with children in Watford, there are a number of places and activities to keep them entertained. The No.1 destination for kids in Watford is Rock Up Watford. Located in intu Watford, Rock Up is the thrilling indoor climbing centre. It is strongly advised to book in advance especially for busy times such as weekends and school holidays.

 

Advertisement
Comments

Eating

Win a ‘Freebie Fridays’ meal by tagging your favourite restaurant

Published

on

Win a 'Freebie Fridays' meal by tagging your favourite restaurant

By simply tagging your favourite restaurant and who you would like to dine with, you could win a ‘Freebie Fridays‘ free meal for two courtesy of TrendLife Magazine. Launching in January 2022, Freebie Fridays will give foodies across The Three Counties the chance to take a friend or loved one to a restaurant of their choice

Freebie Fridays Entry tasks

  1. Tag your chosen restaurant/eatery.
  2. Tag your chosen guest and follow us.
  3. Sit back and wait for the weekly draw.

You can tag as many friends and resturants in each draw. Duplicates will only be counted once. You and your nominated guest BOTH need to follow us to be entered into the prize draw. You can enter on both Instagram or Facebook.

Win a 'Freebie Fridays' meal by tagging your favourite restaurant

 

Freebie Fridays Terms and Conditions

  1. The promoter of the Freebie Fridays prize draw is TrendLife Magazine. The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  2. The Freebie Fridays prize draw is open to UK residents aged 18 or over.
  3. Winners must select/tag a restaurant within the Three Counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The winner will be chosen at random and a check will be performed to ensure the winner’s account is. valid. You cannot transfer the prize to a third party.
  4. To enter the prize draw you should follow the instructions on the Facebook post or Instagram post announcing the competition.
  5. Late, invalid or incomplete entries will not be considered, and we accept no responsibility for lost entries.
  6. The Freebie Fridays prize for one winner will be defined within the Facebook and Instagram post.
  7. The Freebie Fridays prize is non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. Freebie Fridays meal value will be limited to £50 per person. Alcoholic drinks are not included.
  8. The winner will be chosen at random from all qualifying entries. The result is final and no discussion will be entered into concerning the outcome.
  9. The Freebie Fridays prize draw closes on the date defined in the social media post. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  10. The winner’s contact details may be passed on to a third party for prize fulfilment purposes.
  11. The personal information and contact details you supply will be used only for the purposes of administering the competition, including contacting winners. Winners will be asked to review their meal and chosen restaurant.
  12. We reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions or to cancel, alter or amend the draw or the Freebie Fridays prize due to any circumstances that arise beyond our control.
  13. The Freebie Fridays prize draw is subject to the laws of England and Wales.

Continue Reading

Events

Milton Keynes Theatre reveals it’s Winter/Spring 2022 season

Published

on

Milton Keynes Theatre has today announced its Winter/Spring 2022 season with a programme of outstanding shows, shaping next year into one of the biggest in the theatre’s history. 

Since it’s reopening in July 2021, Milton Keynes Theatre has seen a joyous return of live audiences, safely welcoming over 100,000 people through its doors to enjoy 42 quality shows. Here’s what the leading live entertainment venue has in store for 2022. The new year will see the final few performances of the highly anticipated, GIANT of a pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, which opens on Sat 11 Dec and closes on Sat 8 Jan.

Ashley Banjo and Diversity with Pete Firman and Gina Murray in Jack and the Beanstalk at Milton Keynes Theatre

From 11 January, everyone’s favorite creepy and kooky family are back in town. The Addams Familystars Strictly Come Dancing icon Joanne Clifton as the dark and mysterious Morticia. The spectacular musical comedy comes from the writing team of multi award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, with music and lyrics by Tony award nominated Andrew Lippa.

Milton Keynes will be the third city in the UK to experience the dazzling show which dominated theatre award ceremonies from its original production in 1982 to its West End debut in 2017. The long-awaited UK tour of Dreamgirls arrives at Milton Keynes Theatre for two weeks from 25 January to 5 March starring The Voice semi-finalist Nicole Raquel Dennis and Milton Keynes actress Natalie Kassanga.

Bringing some rock and roll to your February afternoons and evenings will be the electric School of Rock. Relive the face-melting music from the beloved film and enjoy Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new hits delivered by a band of insanely talented kids. Rock out with the band from 8 to 12 February.

Jersey Boys UK & Ireland Tour. Credit Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

Jersey Boys UK & Ireland Tour. Credit Birgit + Ralf Brinkhoff

From 23 February to 5 March, the stage sensation Jersey Boys returns to Milton Keynes Theatre’s stage. The smash hit musical goes behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons from the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Welsh National Opera will bring a trio of operatic delights on their return to Milton Keynes. Powerhouses Don Giovanni and Madam Butterfly take to the stage between 22 and 26 March while Katie Mitchell’s acclaimed production of Czech opera Jenůfa performs on 25 March.

The scrumptious candy-coated Nutcraker! Credit: Johan Persson

2022 will also welcome two spectacular ballet productions; the scrumptious candy-coated Nutcraker! from choreographer Matthew Bourne in February, and in May Northern Ballet take us back to the roaring 2020’s with The Great Gatsby.

For one night only, audiences can enjoy Strictly Come Dancing stars Kevin Clifton in Burn The Floor(17 January) and Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice in their dance extravaganza Him & Me (17 July). On 13 March, laugh out loud to Friends! The Musical Parody, a hilarious good-hearted romp with everyone’s favourite New Yorkers.

Moving towards the spring season, Milton Keynes will host a handful of phenomenal plays, including psychological thriller Catch Me If You Can (from 5 April) starring Dallas legend Patrick Duffy and brand-new stage play Cluedo (from 30 May) based on the family favourite boardgame.

Following a sell-out run in 2019, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Les Misérablesreturns to Milton Keynes for a stunning four-week residence from 26 April. And the UK premiere tour of Bat Out of Hell rolls into town from 14 June, bringing to life the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf.

Continue Reading

Events

An Audience with Anton Du Beke launches at Grove Theatre Dunstable

Published

on

An evening with Anton Du Beke starts at Grove Theatre

An Audience with Anton Du Beke presents an intimate theatre tour with the indubitable King of Ballroom. Anton shares tales and anecdotes providing some fascinating insights from across his prolific career as one of the UKs leading dancers, authors and TV stars.

The evening’s entertainment will include music, song, dance and of course humour as Anton is joined on stage by special guest vocalist Lance Ellington, powerhouse band and dancer. It’s an exclusive opportunity to get up close with 2019 Strictly finalist and Mr Showbusiness himself – Anton Du Beke.

Commenting on the tour Anton said:-

An Audience with Anton Du Beke is going to be an intimate evening with myself, my wonderful band and my very good friend Lance Ellington! I’m going to tell you about my career and life (you can ask me any question you like) and we’re going to do it with song and dance… It’s going to be a great night! 

I have so many wonderful Strictly memories, of which I shall talk about on the tour, but a couple of highlights are the moment I had with Brucie when we did Me and My Shadow, and when I opened the show on Musicals week with a great ensemble piece that I sang, it was called Anything Can Happen On The Strictly Stage. I absolutely loved that moment! 

I’ve also had many classic moments with my wonderful partners, whether it’s falling down with Ruth Langsford at the end of the Paso Doble, flying Anne Widdecombe in or throwing her across the floor and skidding, performing the Viennese Waltz with Emma Barton or dancing with Katie Derham and making it to the final. 

I’ve had so many incredible moments on Strictly and I can’t wait to share them with you at An Audience with Anton Du Beke.”

An Audience with Anton Du Beke 2022 Tour Dates

5 May 7.30pm Grove Theatre, Dunstable

8 May 3.00pm Theatre Royal, Brighton

13 May 7.30pm Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe

14 May 7.30pm New Theatre, Peterborough

15 May 3.00pm Richmond Theatre, Richmond

22 May 3.00pm Churchill Theatre, Bromley

About The Grove Theatre Dunstable

The Grove Theatre is a 780 seat regional theatre and entertainment venue situated on the edge of Grove Park in Dunstable and we provide a range of performances, film screenings, workshops, tours, classes, community events, functions and wedding parties

Continue Reading

Most popular