26th May 2021
Why people who live here love it so much
Some places just have a nice balance to them. The market town of Dunstable is one of these places: with its community feel, the character of old buildings, modern developments and amenities, and convenient links to major centres.
Let’s start with location
Location is undoubtedly one of Dunstable’s strong points. The town is near to four junctions of the M1 motorway and from junction 9 you can be in central London in less than an hour. Junction 11a was built a couple of years ago, and serves the town’s newer housing developments.
When you need to go beyond Dunstable’s town centre, you can be in Hemel Hempstead in half an hour, Watford in 40 minutes and Milton Keynes in 20 minutes. Luton airport is just 25 minutes away, with Heathrow easy to get to as well.
You’ll also find a handy guided busway system, which was built for £91m four years ago. When the buses go off road, they use the original railway lines. This busway has made life easier for the commuters among Dunstable’s population of around 35,000: ‘You can be at Luton Central station in just 17 minutes’, comments Stuart McMillan, Associate Director at Alexander & Co in Dunstable.
The space for growing families
This is a growth area, an affordable place on the M1 corridor, as Julia Wheatley, Senior Sales Negotiator at Alexander & Co in Dunstable explains: ‘With Amazon arriving five years ago, demand for housing in the area is high; and with more houses and families, come more schools and facilities.’ In fact, there are a number of good schools in the area, some of them ‘outstanding’, such as Lark Rise Primary Academy.
Here, you’re also not far from beautiful countryside. Stuart McMillan covers the highlights: ‘We’ve got the famous Dunstable Downs where there’s a National Trust Visitors’ Centre, and we’re also on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. More and more, people want access to outside space, and they can enjoy it here, with some lovely countryside pubs around too.’
Julia Wheatley adds: ‘It’s almost as though we have our own weather system at times, as we’re in between two sets of downs. The sunsets are amazing.’
Where history mixes with modern pursuits
The old mixes well with the new in Dunstable. Nearly all the supermarkets are here, plus there’s a retail park and recently re-built sports and leisure centre with gym, swimming pool and even library. Whipsnade Zoo is local too, another bonus for families.
Alternatively, you can take time out at Priory House Tea Rooms, overlooking Priory Church, which dates back to 1131. If it’s sports you’re after, tee off at Dunstable Downs Golf Club (Alexander & Co now sponsors the score cards and 18th hole there), or touch down at Dunstable Rugby Club. Dunstable Downs is popular for kite flying; and if you’re after something a little more adventurous, then this is also the place for hang-gliding and paragliding. Dunstable Town has a new stadium, which is also used for grassroots football; Alexander & Co is one of the sponsors here too.
A rich choice of housing for buyers and renters
Older properties can be found in the centre of town, including a number of terraced, two-bedroom houses. Expanding out from the centre, there’s a good variety of homes, including detached houses with three and four bedrooms. ‘A very buoyant rental market also exists in Dunstable,’ adds Stuart McMillan.
‘Where people look out for each other’
‘Dunstable is a community-based town. Once people are here, they love it, and they stay here. It’s the type of place where people look out for each other.’ Julia Wheatley continues: ‘We’re proud to be part of this community, and involved in it, sponsorship being just one example. We also support Dunstable Food Bank, and in 2020 we raised money to provide 1,435 meals. Over the past ten years we’ve also helped in donating over £15,000 to Keech Hospice, which serves the Bedfordshire area.’
A personal approach and local advice you can trust
Alexander & Co moved into new offices in November 2019, creating an even more welcoming environment for people to drop in, chat and discuss their property needs. The team’s made up of people who live and work in the town, who are ready with the local knowledge, insight and experience of the property market that can prove invaluable for buyers and renters.
Julia Wheatley explains further: ‘Many of us have children who have gone through schools in the area, so whether it’s advice about schools or specific areas, we offer the sort of traditional service and personal approach that people really trust.’