BROXBOURNE The railway came to Broxbourne in 1840. Victorian houses immediately started going up around the station, and it has been commuter country ever since. To the south of it is a soothing pocket of countryside where the New River lazes across the meadows. Other relics of the rural past, including Broxbourne Woods, have been retained by conversion into parkland. The Lea Valley Regional Park runs for 23 miles from Bromley-by-Bow through Broxbourne to Ware, making Broxbourne a handy resort for boating and holiday chalets. Plans are in hand to transform the Lea Valley Leisure Pool, and perhaps add an adventure playground and athletics track. Detached houses on the more residential western side of the town can sell for up to £630,000. Smaller three-bedroom houses to the east fetch up to £350,000. Large amounts of new housing are planned at Canada Fields. There is a vast out-of-town Brookfield Retail Park at Cheshunt to the south. Cheshunt also has a golf course.
Broxbourne doesn’t stop before Hoddesdon begins, though the atmosphere becomes rather more industrial. Hoddesdon is tightly bound by the green belt and it has a proper town centre with 17th-century buildings set around the old clock tower – an area busy with stalls on market day. The two good state schools attract large numbers of families. Houses on the west and south sides are more desirable, being removed from the more industrial east. In the mix of Victorian, Thirties and Sixties houses you could buy a three-bedroom semi for up to £320,000. Larger houses, such as those in the privacy of College Road, sell for £400,000 to £520,000.