As part of the National Trust's Ashridge Estate, Little Gaddesden occupies a rightful position in the upper echelons of English village lifestyle. A Google maps search delivers a place mark in a sea of green and a visit does not disappoint: with most of the houses set behind hedges and shrubs, and with a bounty of trees lining and leaning over the roads, the immediate and lasting impression is that of lush leafiness and serenity.
Around 30 different clubs and societies contribute to a spirited community life while facilities within the village include a Church, village hall, shop & post office, the excellent Little Gaddesden Church of England Primary school, and a popular pub and restaurant in the Bridgewater Arms. Just up the road in nearby Frithsden, make sure to drop in at the Alford Arms gastropub, a real - and almost literally - hidden gem.
As well as the primary school in the village, the area offers famously excellent education, including the independent Berkhamsted School, founded in 1541, and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Just four miles away is the prestigious market town of Berkhamsted with a wide range of shopping, from independent clothing and homeware boutiques to national names like Waitrose, and Laura Ashley. The many bars, restaurants and cafes create something of a metropolitan ambiance, beautifully augmented by the Grand Union Canal that runs through the town.
Excellent transport connections by road and rail include the mainline station in Berkhamsted with regular and direct trains to London Euston taking a little over 30 minutes. The A41 can be picked up just south of Berkhamsted and provides a dual carriageway connection to the M25 and M1, as well as to the larger towns of Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes with their shopping centres, department stores - including John Lewis and Debenhams - and cultural venues.
Fantastic walking and riding are right on your doorstep in the beautiful surrounding countryside, both on and off the Ashridge Estate. Nearby golf courses include Ashridge, Berkhamsted and The Grove while the ultimate in five star pampering awaits at Champneys, a mere 20 minute drive on the edge of the quaint market town of Tring.
Ashridge House is the most notable property in the village; a huge country mansion in 190 acres that is today home to the internationally acclaimed 'Ashridge Business School', but has a unique place in English heritage.