The nearest railway station is Elstree & Borehamwood. The names of Elstree and Borehamwood can be used interchangeably to a certain extent. The area of Borehamwood to the west of the railway line, formally Deacon's Hill, is colloquially called Elstree even though it is not contiguous with the village.
There was an Elstree Rural District from 1941 to 1974.
It is most famous for giving its name to the Elstree Film Studios where a number of famous British films were made. The TV soap opera EastEnders is filmed at the BBC's Elstree Studios, but these, too, are in nearby Borehamwood. Elstree studios have been the home of the Big Brother UK house since series 3. It was announced that in 2008 the house will be moved elsewhere for the foreseeable future, however, the plan to move house will not go ahead now.
In 1779, Martha Ray (c. 1742–1779), singer and mistress of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, was buried in the parish church after she had been shot dead by the Rev. James Hackman, Rector of Wiveton in Norfolk.
In the nineteenth century Elstree became notorious for the Elstree murder.
Elstree Aerodrome has a paved 656 metre runway, suitable for light aircraft use.
London Transports large Aldenham Bus Overhaul Works was sited on the edge of Elstree close to the A41, it was demolished in 1996 and is now a large business park.