The History of our Practice

Shephard and Akay Optometrists watercolour

The practice was established by Mr Tony Shephard in 1975 as an upstairs practice at 5a Churchyard. After some years, we established a downstairs presence by taking over 5 Churchyard. In 2015, to coincide with our 40th anniversary year, we completed a major extension project providing a larger reception, showroom and new eye examination rooms at ground level. After climbing our narrow, steep stairs for 40 years, our clients can now benefit from all our services at ground level.*

* On days when we have more than one optometrist working, some patients are seen in one of our upstairs consulting rooms. If you prefer to be seen downstairs, please mention this when booking your appointment.


  • “I wouldn’t go anywhere else now. Friendly, attentive staff, and a very thorough eye exam”

    S.E, Shefford
  • “Every time I have gone elsewhere, I have regretted it! Great service and consistent friendly staff”

    Miss N.M, Hitchin
  • “Mr Akay takes time and trouble with my eyes and is always happy to answer any concerns and questions I may have”

    S.H, Luton
  • “Very impressed with the attention to detail and thoroughness of the eye test”

    D.H, Hitchin
  • “By far the best and most comprehensive eye care I have received. Great service and great care.”

    H.W, Hitchin
  • “I would recommend anyone with Keratoconus to visit Shephard and Akay as they are clearly experts in this field.”

  • “If you are looking for a good optician, I highly recommend a visit to Shephard and Akay.”

    Diane, Hitchin
  • “Mr Akay goes the extra mile to ensure that his patients receive the personalised help that they need.”

    I. Talks, Ashwell
  • “Very efficient, helpful staff. I have a petite face and it’s been a joy to find an optician who helps with smaller frames- they are perfect!”

    Dora, St Albans