Visit Harlow – from Sculpture Town to the birthplace of fibre optic technology

True to its pioneering ethos, Harlow offers everything from arts, culture and theatre to sport, parks and nature reserves. Visit the Playhouse Theatre, the Museum of Harlow, the Town Park, the Gibberd Garden and their outstanding collection of public sculptures ranging from Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore to Elizabeth Frink and Barbara Hepworth. The Parndon Mill Art Gallery and Gibberd Gallery also offer a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events.

These are just some of Harlow's highlights. 35 minutes by train from central London, within 20 minutes of London Stansted Airport and close by the M11 motorway, Harlow welcomes you.

Visit the Playhouse Theatre, the Museum of Harlow, the Town Park, Gibberd Garden and their outstanding collection of public sculpture ranging from Rodin and Moore to Frink and Hepworth. Parndon Mill Art Gallery and Gibberd Gallery also offer a vibrant programme of exhibitions.

These are just some of Harlow's highlights. 35 minutes by train from central London, within 20 minutes of London Stansted Airport and close by the M11 motorway, Harlow welcomes you.

The story of our town

 

 

Visit the Harlow wesbite. Opens in new window.
Visit the Harlow website

Harlow is one of the original New Towns, designated in 1947 and designed by world-renowned architect Sir Frederick Gibberd. Set on the Essex/Hertfordshire border near the River Stort, the town was designed to respect and complement the natural landscape. Green and open space is at the heart of the town.

Harlow is a pioneering town, built to accommodate overcrowded Londoners. The town was planned with sustainable neighbourhoods with their own local facilities and access to green and open space. The town has one of the most extensive cycle track networks in the country, following many of the original pre-new town lanes and roads. Harlow had the first pedestrian shopping precinct in Britain, the first residential tower block and the first health and sports centres. The town was built on manufacturing and technological industry which brought forward innovations that shape our current world – fibre optic telecommunication was born here.

Harlow has produced Olympic athletes, government ministers, world renowned musicians and scientists. Today the town continues to innovate and grow with its Enterprise Zone, award winning Housing developments of high quality architectural design, renewed sporting and leisure facilities, and a thriving arts and cultural community.

An original New Town, designated in 1947 and designed by world-renowned architect Sir Frederick Gibberd. Set on the Essex/Hertfordshire border near the River Stort. Green and open space is at the heart of the town.

Harlow is a pioneering town planned with sustainable neighbourhoods with their own local facilities and access to green and open space. The town has one of the most extensive cycle track networks in the country and our industry brought forward innovations that shape our current world – fibre optic telecommunication was born here.

Harlow has produced Olympic athletes, government ministers, world renowned musicians and scientists. Harlow continues to innovate and grow, with award winning housing, renewed sporting and leisure facilities, and a thriving arts and cultural community.

Highlights of the area

Picture of a sculpture in the middle of the display area.

The Gibberd Gallery is an exhibition space run by Harlow Art Trust in the center of Harlow. Permanently on display is the important 20th century collection of watercolours donated by Sir Frederick Gibberd, which includes pieces by Edward Bawden, John Piper and John Nash.

Picture of a couple of Greek columns in between trees and shrubs.

The garden, designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, set on the side of a small valley with terraces, wild garden, vistas, pools and streams is one of the most important post-war gardens in the country where sculpture and plants complement each other perfectly.

Image of the outside of the building

An oasis of tranquillity, the museum is great for a family day out and much more besides. The four main galleries tell the story of Harlow over four periods: from recent times through the Victorians, Stuart and Tudor times, reaching back through the middle ages to Roman finds in the local area.

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Stainless Steel sculpture of an athlete with his hands stretched out.

Sited throughout Harlow is a collection of sculptures of national significance including works by Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Ralph Brown, F. E. McWilliam, Lynn Chadwick and many more.

A tutor is showing a young girl how to climb.

Situated on the banks of the River Stort navigation, this oasis of urban adventure offers an amazing amount of activities including one of the largest indoor climbing walls in the South East.

Picture of a converted mill from across the river and a a barge moored on the side.

Parndon Mill is a unique studio hub for fine art and many other creative disciplines. Artists using traditional media work alongside craftsmen in glass, ceramics, metal, textiles and more.

Explore our county

Picture of the iconic Firstsite building at night.
Discover Essex’s creative spaces. They come in all shapes and sizes and are crammed with artistic treasures, from international names to emerging local artists.
Picture of a sunset over the The Naze waters with some rocks protruding from the water.

Explore our 350 miles of coastline, the longest shoreline of any county in England, a place of surprising wild beauty, rich in wildlife and sprinkled with history and hidden cultural gems.

Essex’s history has been shaped by a wide variety of cultures. Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans – all left their mark. Echoes of their influence can still be seen today.
Picture of a cow at the edge of the River Stour and drinking water.
A scenic patchwork of rich farmland speckled with pastelwashed villages of thatch and timber, the views interrupted by mighty oaks and ashes presided over by the hurrying skies.