Hertfordshire offers a wealth of adventure and enjoyment, from nature preserves to historic locations to quirky attractions for the family, like Cassiobury Park. Here, you can see biological Sites of Special Scientific Interest, explore historic cathedrals, meditate at a Buddhist monastery and traverse an enchanting roundabout. The town offers parklands, stunning architectural buildings, fine-arts installations and historic Tudor castles with brilliant, coloured gardens. 

    Check out 10 of the best things to do in Hertfordshire on your holiday travels, whether you're travelling as a family, group or couple.


    St Albans Cathedral

    See a spiritual site that dates to the Norman period

    • History

    St Albans Cathedral is often locally referred to as The Abbey, and features breathtaking architecture that dates back to Norman times. Construction on the cathedral was started in the year 1077 and the original building was completed in 1089, but it's been restored and reconstructed many times. For the next 8 centuries, portions were expanded, add-ons erected and renovations performed through 1893 when it reached its current configuration. Thousands of visitors come to view the architecture and designs, whether for spiritual or historic reasons.

    Location: St Albans AL1 1BY, UK

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1727 860780


    Knebworth House

    Walk the grounds of an authentic Tudor mansion at an iconic location

    • Families
    • History

    Knebworth House is an enormous and stately Tudor mansion and gardens that is famed as a venue for a major rock concert festival. The house itself is an attraction and exemplar of a Tudor mansion where you can explore authentic architectural features and stone gargoyles guarding turrets and domes. The interior is decorated in lavish Victorian design. Other attractions include immaculate and colourful gardens, an adventure playground for the kids, a watchman's tower, a tea room and a gift shop.

    Location: Old Knebworth Ln, Stevenage SG1 2AX, UK

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Friday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1438 812661


    photo by foshie (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Rye Meads Nature Reserve

    Hike in a wetland area full of natural wonders

    • Adventure

    Rye Meads Nature Reserve is a designated biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hertfordshire with wetland hiking and cycling trails along the River Lea. The reserve features an extensive network of hiking and cycling trails to explore unspoiled lands and see native wildlife in its natural habitat. A car park and toilets are available on-site, and a visitor centre provides education and information about the history, purpose and features of the park. A snack bar offers a selection of snacks, cold drinks and ice cream for refreshments on your visit.

    Location: Rye Rd, Hoddesdon, Ware SG12 8JS, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1992 708383


    photo by PAUL FARMER (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Cassiobury Park

    Hike, splash and play your way through this family recreation area

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Cassiobury Park is a family recreation area that encompasses expansive open green space and woodland areas with sports facilities and family attractions. Voted among the top 10 parks in the entire United Kingdom, this park has a great deal of history behind it and was awarded the Green Flag for its beauty. The park features paddling pools, splash pools, water features, a bandstand, 2 different cafes and programmed activities throughout the year. Hikers will enjoy walking the Heritage Trail, while kids will enjoy the playgrounds near the Hub and Ca Café and the miniature railway.

    Location: Gade Ave, Watford WD18 7LG, UK

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +44 (0)1923 226400


    photo by Dom Crossley (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Magic Roundabout

    Try to navigate a massive roundabout made up of 6 small roundabouts

    • Unusual

    The Magic Roundabout, properly named the Plough Roundabout, consists of 6 smaller roundabouts and is named for the classic children's television programme. This complex maxi-roundabout is marked by a river that cuts right through its centre. Ducks and other local wildlife also frequent the green space centre, but what it's really famed for is the sight of drivers white-knuckle-gripping their steering wheels with a look of confused panic as they try to navigate the misadventure it represents.

    Open: 24/7


    photo by Giles Devlin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

    Escape from the world and meditate in tranquil surroundings

    • Unusual

    Amaravati Buddhist Monastery is a stunning monastery with tranquil surrounds for a quiet and contemplative afternoon. Established in 1984 in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the monastery has its roots in the Thai Forest Tradition and features male and female monastic communities and lay residents. Here, you can enjoy morning and evening meditation, serene meals, question-and-answer sessions and learning workshops in the tradition. Visitors come from the world over to experience its spiritual wonders and escape the stresses of everyday life.

    Location: St Margarets, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3BZ, UK

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1442 842455


    photo by Mb1347 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Heartwood Forest

    Lose yourself along the pathways of this spectacular forest

    • Adventure

    Heartwood Forest is a planned forest that's home to spectacular trees, beautiful wildflowers and open grasslands to explore. One of the largest continuous newly planted native forests in the UK, Heartwood Forest is owned and managed by the UK Woodland Trust and features over 600,000 trees that were hand-planted and cultivated. Tucked within the trees are pockets of ancient bluebell woods, wildflower meadows, hedgerows and open grassland for varied scenery. As you walk the tended paths, you can see native wildlife playing among the greenery and just enjoy a serene escape from the world.

    Location: Sandridge, St Albans AL4 9DQ, UK

    Open: 24/7


    Minsden Chapel

    Visit the ruins of a 14th-century chapel that's rumoured to be haunted

    • Couples
    • History

    Minsden Chapel is a ruined medieval chapel with a turbulent history and fascinating lore about ghosts and curses. Falling into disuse during the Reformation, the chapel became so unstable that the roof caved in centuries later. The collapse occurred during a wedding ceremony and nearly struck the curate, who just managed to get out of the way. The chapel is rumoured to be haunted, and in 1907 a photographer was reputed to have snapped a picture of a ghostly monk just outside. The ruins are reached via a short hike from a nearby car park over a public footpath to experience its evocative atmosphere for yourself.

    Location: Langley, Hitchin SG4 7PW, UK

    Open: 24/7


    photo by Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Willows Activity Farm

    Play with Peter Rabbit and friends at an adventure park farm

    • Families

    Willows Activity Farm is a family adventure park with plenty of children's attractions, including amusement-style rides, inflatables, adventure play and live farmyard animals. The farm is also the fictional home of Peter Rabbit in Hertfordshire where you can explore and meet Peter and all his brothers, sisters and friends in Cottontail Village. In this fun live play area, you can enjoy daily interactive activities and live shows featuring the Lily Bobtail Nature Discovery Area, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Mr. Bouncer, Mr. McGregor, Old Brown and many other beloved characters.

    Location: Coursers Rd, St Albans AL4 0PF, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)3333 312060


    Henry Moore Studios and Gardens

    View the sculptures of an iconic English artist

    • Families
    • History
    • Unusual

    The Henry Moore Studios and Gardens are a registered charity designed to educate about and promote the fine arts and preserve the works of Henry Moore. As you walk the elegant green spaces of the gardens, you'll visit the former home of the iconic artist and walk among his sculpture gardens and personal studio. The gardens help to support the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, which is a world-recognised centre for the study of sculpture. A cafe is on-site, so you can enjoy light food and drinks during your visit. You'll also find an on-site gift shop to purchase souvenirs and mementos for friends and family.

    Location: Dane Tree House, Perry Green, Much Hadham SG10 6EE, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +44 (0)1279 843333


    photo by Julian Osley (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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