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With its southernmost border just 12 miles away from the centre of London, Hertfordshire is a popular place to settle.
Modern towns thrive amid interesting historic settlements. The county enjoys quiet rural lanes, interesting woodland, river valleys and sleepy, picturesque villages in abundance. Yet for residents of some of its southern towns central London is less than a 20-minute train ride away.
Around a million people live here and more than half of the county is designated as green belt. The Chiltern Hills to the west and north-west of the county are classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and walkers enjoy more than 1,800 miles of public paths and rights of way.
For the more adventurous, the county’s canals, rivers and lakes provide opportunities for a number of water sports, including sailing and canoeing. Watford is Hertfordshire’s biggest town, busy and prosperous with large residential areas and high-speed rail links straight to the capital.
Welwyn (not to be confused with the Garden City a mile to the south) makes for a more rural location, and dates as a settlement right back to the Iron Age. It takes its name from the Old English welig, meaning “willow”, which refers to the trees that nestle prettily on the banks of the River Mimram, which flows through the village.