ARLESEY You are on to the Bedfordshire plains here, where the low, sprawling, yellow-brick villages can seem monotonous and unimaginative after the variety of Hertfordshire. Arlesey itself might be short on charm, but lays claim to being the longest linear village in the country, with a High Street of Victorian brick houses, many of which have been extended at the back to provide bathrooms and kitchens. A three-bedroom detached house will cost around £190,000. Its immediate neighbour, Stotfold, is a similar large village, dominated by the local yellow brick, and has a comparable mix of Victorian and modern housing at similar prices. Stotfold has the additional advantage of having a secondary school, being close to the A1M, and offering the choice of whisking down the motorway for the better train service from Stevenage. Letchworth and Baldock are also nearby.
Shillington is another large, though rather more rural, village of yellow brick with the occasional timber-frame house and an intimate gathering of 17th-century houses around the hilltop church of All Saints, an impressive local landmark. Closer to Arlesey is Henlow, where prices are slightly increased by the proximity of RAF Henlow. This is the village where sports and showbiz personalities come to revitalise at Champneys Henlow Grange Health Farm. Henlow has a few shops and pubs and good sports facilities. County cricket is played at The Pyghtles. Other villages worth looking at in this catchment are Meppershall, Lower Stondon and Clifton.