Before trains first came to Hitchin in 1850, the north Hertfordshire town's focus was the wool trade and being a staging post on the route connecting London with towns in the north. The railway brought more prosperity and turned the town into an important centre for grain trading, with its hub at the Corn Exchange in the Market Place. These days, Hitchin is still a bustling town known for its open-air markets every Tuesday and Saturday, which have been taking place for over 500 years.
From Hitchin station, it's about a twenty-minute walk to the town centre, or buses from right outside take about eight minutes. During weekdays, four trains per hour head south to London, and northbound there are two trains per hour to both Peterborough and Cambridge. The fastest services get passengers to London King's Cross in half an hour, making Hitchin a key commuter hub, too.