BALDOCK is a classic small market town, with pubs from its coaching days and a much admired wide main street. People enjoy living here. After years of wrangling a bypass has been built to siphon traffic out of the centre. The main asset for shoppers is a vast Tesco superstore in a converted Neo-Classical hosiery factory, which once also enjoyed a brief life as a film studio. The traditional High Street has to compete with the shopping centres in Stevenage and Cambridge, but the ancient tradition of the Wednesday market has kept it alive. The town musters a butcher and a baker, plus plenty of solicitors and estate agents, antiques shops and restaurants.
Almost anywhere in Baldock is nice to live. There are streets of timber-frame and colour-wash, Georgian and Victorian houses and some modest modern estates. Even the council estates are arranged in well-kept, tree-lined avenues. A two-bedroom mid-terrace Victorian cottage will cost around £200,000; a Georgian house with four bedrooms from £350,000. Baldock is just within range of people who work in Cambridge (20 miles), and this is reflected in the property prices. It is also attractive for its secondary school. Knight’s Templar Comprehensive has a good reputation and is the preferred choice of many parents who could afford to have their children educated privately.