Stevenage has always had a bit of a bad reputation as a chavy place to live, and while its not Mayfair it not as bad as people think.
For someone commuting into London Stevenage is perfect, trains from the station take between 19-45 minutes (generally 22 mins) into London Kings Cross (and subsequently now to Paris and the rest of Europe) Train travel can be quite expensive, Travel card is £20, daily peak return £17 and monthly season ticket £275. Its Close to the A1(M) giving links to Welwyn Garden City; Cambridge and the North. Close to the M25 (via A1(M)).
There are 2 tescos (24hrs), 2 sainsburys, and asda (24hrs) a hospital, a garden center and Fairlands valley park. The Park is an amazing open space that runs through this middle of the town, this has a boating lake, climbing wall and has a fantastic fireworks display every year.
The Old town is where all the nice bars and restaurants are, and all the posh houses! Stevenage is divided up into areas each with its own set of shops; churches and pubs, so Its never too far to go and buy a pint of milk. The older areas are Chells, Bedwell, Broadwater and Shephall these have lots of amenities the newer areas of Great Ashby and st Nicks have a lot fewer things to do and facilities.
Stevenage is great for having a completely independent cycle pathways, you can easily get from one end of town to another with out going near the roads, there is also easy access to the country side all around.
oh and the beat part is compared to other places so close to london, houses are very cheap!
Stevenage in Hertfordshire is a nice shopping area, with quite a few good shops. Not in the same league as the bigger shopping centres of course, such as Brent Cross or Lakeside. No, but Stevenage offers smaller branches of shops like Marks and Spencer, Next, BHS Littlewoods, Miss Selfridge, Top Shop, QD and my favourite River Island, amongst others. Just off the A1, it is quite central and easy to get to, and all in all a good day out can be had for shopping. It has a pretty good outdoor market, which is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and an indoor market which is perhaps less appealing, in my view. A couple of minutes away by car are two retail parks which contain Argos, Toys R Us, Homebase, MFI etc. The Leisure Park is an added attraction with a Multiplex Cinema, Bowling Alley, Smiling Sams and the Academy and Vogue nightclubs. Come out of the Cinema to fill yourself with lovely food from Pizza Hut or Fatty Arbuckles. Stevenage is one of my favourite places for shopping, as it has a nice feel about it. If you come by train, the railway station is just a few minutes away from the main centre and accessed by a walk-way, so no busy roads to cross at all. If you arrive by bus, the buses stop right outside the shops, so it's very convenient for young and old alike.