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Pocket Guide: Stevenage

Stevenage is often considered as being a thoroughly modern town, but it has a history that goes back two millennia and is full of interest.

Stevenage Attractions

Stevenage became an important regional settlement in this part of the UK because of its closeness to the ancient Great North Road, built of course by the ever-practical Romans for moving their troops quickly and now marked by the route of the A1 motorway. Over the centuries it settled down and eventually became something of a backwater until 1946, when its tranquillity was disturbed by it being designated as Britain's very first New Town. These were set up to relieve London congestions and housing problems following World War II, and became the sites of industrial development in their own right.

The original settlement of Stevenage was surrounded by six new residential clusters, which were effectively self-contained, but the so-called Stevenage Old Town has managed to cling on to its old world charm and is certainly worth a visit if you're staying at a Hertfordshire hotel nearby.

Stevenage Old Town

The old coaching inns, pubs and historic buildings that cluster around the ancient centre of Stevenage attract visitors from London and farther afield at all times of year. It's a lovely, scenic spot for a walk from a local Hertfordshire hotel or guesthouse, and the surrounding parkland is delightful. Even the newer parts of modern Stevenage have their attractions, however, and visitors will enjoy the Town Square with its post-war architectural features, and Stevenage Museum with its displays and interactive exhibits on the town's history. The town centre shopping area is free of traffic, and nearby Westgate Centre has all the facilities you need for a pleasant afternoon's shopping under the one roof.

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With such a variety of great accommodation on offer in Hertfordshire, visitors can easily find somewhere suitable to stay when they come to this attractive and exciting part of the United Kingdom. From Hertfordshire hotels to guesthouses and B&Bs, there's something for all types of taste and budget, and a great many attractions.