Based in Hertfordshire at the more remote end of the Metropolitan line, Watford is a lively town that is particularly popular with commuters into London's city centre and with those on business errands, given that a number of major companies have their headquarters or flagship offices in the area. Whilst it doesn't compare with London when it comes to history, vibrancy or pace, Watford is a well-equipped and fairly pleasant town that delivers on convenience, with much more reasonable hotel rates on offer. The district has a good selection of shops, bars, restaurants and cinemas to keep visitors occupied, and complexes such as Croxley Business Park have made it an important base for businesses that want to maintain proximity to London without paying central rents. It is also close to rural walks and canals for when you want to step outside of business matters. Watford Junction, Watford High Street, Watford and Croxley Green train stations provide strong links into central London and beyond.
With the M25 a stone's throw from Watford town centre it is easy to drive to surrounding attractions including Brent Cross shopping centre, the historic town of St Albans and Wembley Arena and Stadium. Watford is also the home of Leavesden Studios, which as of 2012 are opening a new Harry Potter Studio Tour that will take in props, sets and costumes used during the filming of the movie franchise on the premises. Just around the corner from Leavesden, Woodside Leisure Centre is a busy complex complete with cinema, ice rink, bowling alley and arcade, as well as several restaurants and a fitness club. The main attraction within Watford town centre is the Harlequin, a large shopping centre that is packed with high street chains and has further shops lining the streets outside. Cassiobury Park is a green spot within Watford itself, complete with children's paddling pools, a playground, a toy train that takes children around the park in summer, canals running through the centre and plenty of open space for dog walks and picnics. The semi-rural location of Watford means that visitors with a car can easily travel to the Chilterns, where there are beautiful English country walks open throughout the year.
The most obvious place to head for an affordable bite to eat is Watford High Street, which has all manner of chain restaurants from fast food eateries like McDonald's and Burger King to cafés such as Caffé Nero and Costa, with mid-range names such as Pizza Express, Ask, Nandos and Wetherspoons also dotted along the road. If you're after something a little more upmarket then be sure to take a trip to The Grove, a five star luxury hotel situated amidst rolling hills just outside the town centre. Both the main restaurant and Conservatory are renowned for their delicious and high quality food, with previous guests including Barack Obama and the England football team!
The top end of Watford High Street has become something of a weekend destination for clubbers, who travel from around Hertfordshire to revel in bars and clubs including Revolution, Bed, Area, Oceana and Reflex - turn up a few hours before the partying starts if you're after a more chilled out atmosphere. If you're looking for class or something outside the norm, unfortunately Watford is not the place to be - the music sticks to a rigid programme of cheese, hip hop and pop, and the majority of the venues are a part of large chains such as Oceana, Yates and Walkabout. The clientele is also enthusiastic and all too eager to take advantage of the cheap drink deals and happy hours that are regularly staged here. Nonetheless, if you're after an unpretentious, wild and loud night out, the close proximity of a multitude of bars and clubs make Watford a decent option! There are also several takeaways scattered along the high street, ready to serve up the post-2am fast food fix..
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|3||Best Western White House Hotel||1.1km|
|3||Watford Croxley Green Premier Inn||1.2km|
|3||Bedford Arms Hotel||1.3km|
|2||Travelodge Watford Central||1.3km|
|3||Park Inn Watford||1.3km|
|3||Jurys Inn Watford||1.4km|
|3||Holiday Inn Express London - Watford Junction||1.5km|
|3||Premier Inn Watford Central||2.0km|
|2||Grove End Hotel||2.8km|
|2||Long Island Hotel||4.1km|
|3||Premier Inn Watford North||4.4km|
|3||Bedford Arms Hotel||5.8km|
|3||Grims Dyke Hotel||5.9km|