ROYSTON sits on the borders of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, so residents have the choice of two education systems. It offers cheap housing and convenience. In addition to the railway line it also has easy access to the A10, M25, A1 and M11. There is a new leisure centre and a monthly farmers’ market. Traditionally the south side of town is thought to be better than the north, where some of the housing estates have been built at a very high density, close to the huge Tesco. Property prices start at £150,000 for a two-bedroom Victorian cottage and £190,000 for a three-bedroom semi. The modern houses tend to be cheaper than the older Victorian/Edwardian ones which offer more room. The heath, which has a golf course on it, is the place to walk and ride.
The surrounding countryside offers a wide choice of villages. Barley, to the south-east, is a pretty village with a strong local community, good walks and an all-purpose village shop. There is a riding school, doctor’s surgery with dispensary, two pubs and a primary school. Its greatest assets are a Grade II*, early-Tudor restored town house, used for village activities, weddings and harvest suppers, and a small village cage or lock-up, which remains as a curiosity. A two-bedroom cottage will cost £215,000 or more. Barley’s position on the chalk toes of the Chilterns accounts for the villagers’ historic nickname, ‘the little men from the hills’.
Barkway is rather more elegant, with a wonderful array of timber-framed and Georgian brick houses. One of these with four bedrooms and parking on the main street will cost over £500,000. A two-bedroom cottage will cost over £250,000, but these are few and far between. Barkway still has a good village school where the numbers are increasing. Bassingbourn, to the north, also has an impressive main street lined with period houses. The nearby army barracks does not affect house prices. A five-bedroom detached house with four reception rooms will cost from £550,000 to £750,000.