Letchworth is known as the world’s first garden city, with its parks, green open spaces and beautiful arts and crafts architecture. But there’s much more to this Hertfordshire town than meets the eye and the Christmas break is a good time to visit if you’re looking for something different.
We’ve put together a list of things that you can do and try, from art galleries to craft beer and vegan food – Letchworth has it all.
- Delve into Letchworth’s art scene
Letchworth is home to a thriving art community centred around the Broadway Gallery, a public gallery and arts centre located just over the road from the train station. The gallery runs a dynamic programme of contemporary art exhibitions, events and activities.
Currently on show in the main space is Parade - A Celebration of Contemporary Art Textiles. Featuring 15 internationally known artists, Parade showcases the many ways threads and fabrics are being used in contemporary art today.
Parade is supported by three other exhibitions, Spa Songs, a film and installation by Fay Zmija Nicolson, Tremble | Tromos by Letchworth based artists Katherine Roberts and Sian Wilson and Flock, a sculpture installation by Mark Tanner Sculpture Prize winner Anna Reading.
If that isn’t enough the gallery is flanked by two artist studios, Digswell Arts and Eastcheap Studios and Project Space; drop them a line to arrange a tour. We’re also very excited about the formation of a new ceramics studio, Made With Clay, opening soon in the grade II listed Vasanta Hall.
Broadway Studio and Gallery is located at 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW. Open Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm. For more information call 01462 476110 or visit broadway-letchworth.com.
2. Broadway Cinema and Theatre
Broadway Cinema & Theatre is one of the few remaining independent cinemas in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
This art deco cinema, designed by Bennett and Bidwell and built by Howard Hurst, originally opened its doors back in 1936. In recent years, the cinema has undergone extensive refurbishment programmes which included restoring and developing the cinema into a four-screen facility. As well as mainstream blockbusters, Broadway’s programme features independent films from around the world.
In 2016 Broadway also became a theatre following a multi-million-pound development. Broadway Cinema and Theatre is now a stand-out venue in the area for stage productions, live music and comedy acts alike.
For a list of forth coming films, theatre programme and live streamed events visit www.broadway-letchworth.com.
3. Grab a coffee and a healthy bite!
Enjoy a healthy bite at Miss Little Green Fingers. This vegetarian health food shop and café also sells organic fruit and vegetables, with plenty of vegan and gluten free options to choose from.
If you're looking for some filling comfort food, or something light and uplifting as you stroll around Letchworth, then head to Vutie Beets.
This new eatery is owned by brothers John & Brad whose passion is to inspire and motivate people to be more ethically, healthily, and environmentally conscious by bringing an exciting and vibrant energy to vegan food. Using nutritious whole foods Vutie Beets offers meals that appeal to everyone; from burgers and curries to fresh pressed juices, smoothie bowls, and sweet treats.
4. David’s Bookshop, Music and Café
Established in 1963, David's Bookshop, Music & Café brings together books, music, cards and café and makes for a unique shop that you must stop by if you’re in town.
Davis stocks more than 50,000 books on two floors, a wide range of maps and children's books and over 15,000 second-hand and antiquarian books.
If music is your passion, check out the enormous range of CDs, DVDs and vinyl in David's Music. All the latest hits and albums are stocked as is a comprehensive range of sheet music and 12 inch vinyl.
The cafe serves great coffee, Birchall tea and gorgeous homemade cake and light lunches prepared on the premises daily.
5. Garden City Brewery
A local gem, Garden City Brewery is a “brew-bar” serving a selection of ever-changing, on-site brewed ales and guest beers direct from the cask (‘on gravity’) alongside local ciders, gin specials and other alcoholic, soft drinks and locally produced bar snacks.
A friendly and warm welcome is guaranteed for dogs and owners alike.
How to get here:
By train: There are regular rail services to Letchworth Garden City from both London Kings Cross and Cambridge. Broadway Studio and Gallery is a five-minute walk away from the station and everything else is situated in its vicinity.
From the A1 From the A1 (North & South): Exit junction 9 and follow Letchworth Gate/A505 towards Letchworth. Take Pixmore Way and follow signs for the town centre.
From Cambridge: A303 toward Sandy, take the first exit at the roundabout onto A1198. Take the third exit at the roundabout onto A505 towards Baldock and continue over the roundabout at junction 9 of the A1. Follow Letchworth Gate/A505 towards Letchworth. Take Pixmore Way and follow signs for the town centre.
From Luton: A505 towards Hitchin, follow A505 though Hitchin via Bedford Rd and Fishponds Rd. Continue on A505 and follow signs for the town centre.
From Bedford: A600 south towards Shefford, over the roundabout onto the A507 towards Henlow, turn right at the roundabout onto Hitchin Rd and follow signs for Letchworth. Turn left onto Bedford Rd and follow signs for the town centre.
From St Albans: Get on A1(M) in Hatfield from A5183 and A414 then follow A1(M) to Letchworth Gate/A505. Take exit 9 from A1(M) and continue on Letchworth Gate/A505. Take Pixmore Way and follow signs for the town centre.