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The local area guide to living in Arlesey

Nestled in a narrow stretch along the valley of the River Hiz is the small town and parish of Arlesey. Arlesey is also the name of the ward in this central region of County Bedfordshire. The town has been settled for 1,000 years at the very least and appears in the Doomsday Book of 1098. A classic timber castle of the Danes, Etonbury Castle, was once a prominent site in the area, though only bare traces remain today. St. Peter’s Church was built by monks in the early 12th century, and an Elizabethan bridge spans the river.

The community is well connected, very engaged and benefits from a good range of local shops and services. In fact, the Index of Multiple Deprivation standards rank Arlesey’s barriers to services as lower than most of England, 87% of England in fact. Overall, Arlesey ranks quite highly, with better rankings than 76% of English living areas, according to the IMD. This beautiful, historic market town provides a wonderful residential community, whether you’re a family, single professional, pensioner or commuter.

Information about the local residents

There is a population of 5,584 in the parish, which makes up around 38% of the total population of the ward, which has 14,572 residents. There are 2,344 households in the parish. The most common arrangements among these are households of a single person (651), married couples with dependent children (438), and married couples with no dependent children (639).

The Lifestage 35-54 age group is by far the largest in the town, being made up of 1,780 residents. In central Arlesey, 37.7% of residents fall in the 25-49 age group. Children make up the second largest group, reflecting the large number of families that can be found in the community.

The Arlesey Town Council leads a very active and engaged community, and residents are involved in many clubs and societies. Among these are arts groups, a Royal British Legion branch, environmental and preservation groups, the VIVACE adult and youth choirs, a karate club, a weekly yoga class, the Arlesey Women’s Institute, Beavers/Cub/Scouts and Rainbows/Brownies/Guides and adult and youth football clubs.

Nearby schools

Within only 3 miles of Arlesey are over a dozen primary schools, 4 secondary schools and 3 sixth forms, so educational options are abundant. The local primary is Gothic Mede Academy, which serves 312 pupils aged 5-9. There is also a nursery school for infants.

Etonbury Academy is the town’s comprehensive secondary, covering ages 9-19. The school has an Ofsted rating of 2, and, at Key Stage 2, 82% of pupils achieve level 4 in reading, writing and maths at the very least (the national average is 80%).

A little over a mile away in Henlow, additional primary and secondary options include Raynsford C of E Academy and the popular Samuel Whitbread Academy.

Getting around

The town benefits from excellent transport connections by bus, rail and road. There are numerous, well-placed bus stops providing good service through the local area. The A1 is a short distance west of town, which leads to Stevenage in about 15 minutes by car to the south and Bedford in about 20 minutes to the north. London is under an hour away by car and around 2 hours by bus.

Arlesey railway station provides very good connections to the nearby towns of Sandy, Stevenage and Biggleswade, with longer routes running onto larger cities like London or Peterborough. Kings Cross station in London is just 40 minutes away from the station.

Local shops

Arlesey has many locally run specialist shops, pubs, and eateries. The White Horse is purportedly the oldest pub in town, still sporting a thatched roof. The town has a post office, a library, a health centre, recreation grounds, convenience stores, a grocery market and several international eateries in the south part of town. The Orchard offers an excellent brunch or tea, and the Fox & Duck is a unique, friendly event venue, bar and restaurant between Arlesey and Stotfold. For gastropub fare, The Crown in Henlow offers a lovely atmosphere with a distinct countryside-theme.

Bedford, Stevenage and Hitchin are all moments away, with everything from shopping and dining to common high street brands, supermarkets, shopping centres and a wide variety of restaurants.


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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