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London Colney is a large village on the outskirts of St Albans, which is best known for three things: it's retail park, aircraft museum and kids' activity farm.

The name London Colney was first recorded in 1555, and takes its name from the River Colne. The complete name means 'Colney on the road to London'.

London Colney's High Street used to be one of the main routes to the capital, with its range of inns proving a popular stopover for travellers.

With a population of around 10,000 residents, London Colney offers a great balance as a cosmopolitan area with access to London, as well as offering many opportunities to appreciate nature.

There are many walks for people to enjoy near the village, as well as a number of open-water fishing areas in and around the River Colne, notably Broad Colney Lakes.

The village offers a range of amenities, including supermarkets, hairdressers, several takeaways and a variety of different businesses - including a tattooist and several estate agents. 

There are also doctors' practices, a library and a handful of pubs, as well as popular local café Carmelo's.

The village has a public library attached to Caledon Community Centre, with free computers and Wi-Fi, where children can take part in the summer reading challenge.

Colney Fields retail park offers a selection of supermarkets and stores, including a Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Boots and Next.

The village is steeped in history, as London Colney is where the Romans captured Alban before executing him at Verulamium.

More recently, London Colney was the landing site of German spy Karel Richter, on May 12, 1941.

After landing, Richter hid in a forest, too nervous to travel to London. After eventually coming out of hiding, he was approached by two lorry drivers asking for directions towards London.

When he was unable to give directions, the drivers became suspicious and reported him to a police officer, who took him to the local police station. Eventually, Richter confessed to the true purpose of his spy mission.

Visitor attractions

Although there is much more to London Colney than aeroplanes and animals, these nonetheless form the key components of the village's most popular attractions.

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum was established in 1959, and is the UK's oldest aviation museum - dedicated to the preservation of the de Havilland aviation heritage. It is located at Salisbury Hall on the south side of the M25 motorway.

Meanwhile Willows Activity Farm is the perfect place to visit with young children, offering a range of attractions including cow-milking demonstrations, funfair rides, JCB ride-ons, indoor soft play and farm animals.

The village also has a thriving scout group, with sections for four to five-year-olds (squirrels), through to 14 to 18-year-olds (explorers), with beavers, cubs and scouts in between.


Football fans can watch non-league team London Colney FC playing at Cotlandswick Playing Fields.

London Colney is also home to both Arsenal FC and Watford FC’s training grounds, which are next door to each other on Bell Lane, on the south side of the M25.

Transport links

London Colney is located to the south of St Albans, and has excellent transport links. 

For drivers it's close to Junction 22 of the M25, while bus routes connect the village to a range of destinations, including St Albans, Barnet, Watford and Borehamwood.

Commuters can catch Thameslink trains from both St Albans and Borehamwood into London.


London Colney is home to three primary schools, which are all rated 'good' by Ofsted. These are Saint Bernadette Catholic Primary School, London Colney Primary & Nursey School and Bowmansgreen Primary School.

London Colney students often attend secondary schools in neighbouring St Albans, including St Albans Girls’ School (rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted), Samuel Ryder Academy and Verulam School (both rated 'good’).

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