Romford is a large town east of London. Once part of Essex, it now identifies as one of the potential major metropolitan centres for the future of Greater London.
Based in East London, Romford is the primary town of the Borough of Havering, with a population of around 20,000. From London, Romford is accessible via the A12, going past Stratford and out through Leytonstone, passing the southern tip of Epping Forest, across the North Circular Road and eastwards towards Essex. Once part of Essex, it now belongs to the Greater London region. Being 18 miles from London, corporate accommodation in Romford may be a little further out than some other ‘commuter centres’. Nevertheless, it makes up for this by being a large town of almost a hundred thousand people, with all the amenities, services and sources of entertainment expected of a place its size. In fact, the town is one of the 13 significant metropolitan centres in the London Plan.
Romford railway station is in London Travel Zone 6. A branch line shuttle connects to Upminster, where the London Underground District Line can be accessed. The station sits in the middle of the iconic Romford Ring Road which continues to play a vital role in supporting the transport of 50,000 vehicles each day. Visitors to the area staying in Romford serviced apartments can situate themselves within or just outside this ring road, which provides easy travel in and out of the town. For instance, this road connects Romford to surrounding suburban areas such as Chadwell Heath, Mawneys, Rush Green and Gidea Park.
Within the borough of Havering, Romford holds significant viability as an important metropolitan centre. Of course, central to economic strategy is recognising how Romford’s location fits within London. The town is an increasingly attractive location for people working in Central London and seeking to live in a more affordable, but still accessible, Outer London. This means directing developments to both accommodate for a commuter population and improve its own business potential.
For instance, recent investment has meant Romford has one of the largest shopping centres in the sub-region. Its historic market has benefited from infrastructural funding too, in a bid to ensure the Market Place remains as popular as it always has been. All in all, based on Romford’s economic state and proposals, it would appear the aim is to build on the town’s vibrant retail sector. This would be in order to take advantage of potential economic growth in the hospitality sectors.
Romford is currently reaping the benefits of a Business Improvement District (BID) Business Plan. Local businesses made themselves clear in their favour of improving the town in regard to accommodating new and existing business. With this scheme in place, businesses have a stronger influence on the community. The surrounding area develops as well to become more welcoming for new business. This could involve revamping the iconic ring road to become more practical and supportive of consistent corporate travel. Ultimately, its projects such as these which make the future of Romford’s business climate bright. The considerable stock of convenient corporate housing in Romford is also on hand to help make corporate trips to the area simple and comfortable.
First records of Romford being mentioned came in the twelfth century, with London town quoted as ‘Romfort’. However, it was arguably the actions of Henry III which put Romford on the map. He granted the town permission to hold a livestock market in the mid-thirteenth century, ultimately securing Romford's future. Historians believe the market became very popular for its leather goods before it expanded to be very agriculturally based. Romford then gained further exposure in the following centuries. The local hotels profited from the town sitting on a coach stop-off point between London and the town’s Colchester Road.
With any popularity comes further growth, and that is exactly how Romford continued. The nineteenth century saw the founding of the Romford Brewery, one of the country's biggest, and the arrival of the Eastern Counties Railway. The iconic ring road was then constructed in the late 1960s which effectively tied all of Romford’s success together. A more detailed overview of the town’s history can be explored at the Havering Museum along Romford High Street. It is just around the corner from the where the old brewery used to be. Guests can book stays in furnished housing in Romford within walking distance of this museum and the town’s other historic sites.
Based on the way Romford looks on the map and its status as a commuter town, it is only natural to think the town is congested, busy and overly urban. This is not the case though. Outside the town centre, from all angles, there is plenty of green space worth visiting. Raphael Park is particularly popular amongst the locals. It consists of a beautiful lake, sports facilities, a small café and a large play site for children.
Further to the northwest of Romford is the even larger Hainault Forest Country Park. Just outside of Romford, the forest covers nearly 300 acres of woodland and is a dream for animal lovers. Anyone though can appreciate the included petting zoo and over 150 species of bird seen on record so far. Visitors can also opt to cycle across the picturesque woodland setting thanks to the attached Redbridge Cycling Centre. Its open, green spaces such as Raphael and Hainault Forest Parks which encourages guests in Romford aparthotels to venture out and enjoy the great outdoors throughout a potentially stressful business trip.
Why not educate yourself about the area too whilst visiting? Even if you are in town for a brief period and have a stay at short term accommodation in Romford, it is still worth finding time to explore the fascinating Havering Museum. It primarily focuses on the history of the five towns encompassed in the Borough of Havering. Anyone is welcome to explore the strong community identity which radiates from the museum. After finishing up at the museum, within the close vicinity there is a surplus of nearby shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to keep you occupied. There is always something to do in Romford’s town centre.
When all is said and done, although Romford does not attract the same numbers of corporates or tourists to the area in comparison to London, this should not deter anyone from relocating here or paying a visit. Not only is the future bright economically, but its attractions and displays of local history make a stay in Romford serviced apartments worthwhile.
As a London town, Romford benefits from close access to the capital’s international airports. The closest and only around half an hour away by car to the southwest of Romford is London City International Airport (LCY).
Alternatively, guests in Romford city apartments can also utilise London Southend International Airport (SEN), which is no further than forty-five minutes west by car. This airport can also be reached via Southend Airport railway station. To-and-from SITU’s furnished short lets in Reading and many other accommodation options, transfers to these airports can also be arranged.
Ideally placed in the centre of Romford is its predominant railway station. It is an interchange station based along Great Eastern Main Line, which can also connect to Upminster, providing access to the London Underground.
The station sits between Chadwell Heath and Gidea Park and is twelve miles from London Liverpool Street station. Around 170 trains run each day from Romford to this major London station.
The bus network in Romford is very supportive of the local community and visiting populations. The largest concentration of buses stop off at Romford Bus Station in the town centre.
There are at least twenty routes which run throughout Romford and connect to surrounding areas such as Ilford, Barking, Dagenham, Upminster, Redbridge and Hainault.