6 Great Places to Visit in Hertfordshire
Don't miss these places in Hertfordshire when you're planning a visit to the home counties.
One of England’s famous home counties, Hertfordshire is an exceptionally lovely place to take a trip to. Bordering London to the north, it’s an easy trip from the capital and is filled with history, wide open green spaces and many beautiful buildings and churches. Read on for Plum Guide's recommended list of places to visit in Hertfordshire.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
A Harry Potter tour takes the top spot of many a London to-do list, and for good reason. Fans of Harry, Ron and Hermione should start here (we know you’ve always had a soft spot for them, and don’t try to persuade us otherwise). This day out is ideal for kids both big and small, and is a genuinely impressive and fantasy-inducing experience. Set up on the studio lot where the films themselves were made, every aspect of the experience is created with perfection in mind.
You can view sets, props, costumes and even the Great Hall which featured in the actual movies. You can also learn about special effects and participate in any numbers of extras such as learning to fly a broomstick and buying a wand. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave – you’ll definitely want to bring your credit card for this one.
If you prefer your days out to be more historical than magical (nerds, we see you and we love you) then the Verulamium Museum is right up your street. A museum showcasing the everyday life of Roman Britain, it’s built on the site of one of the largest Roman cities in the country. There are more Roman artifacts here than you could fit on a chariot, that’s for sure.
You can walk through full recreations of Roman rooms and see huge, intricate mosaics on display. Treasures and trinkets abound - our favourite is the Sandridge Hoard, a collection of 159 Roman coins. Little Romans will enjoy the activity sheets and dressing up clothes, and you’ll enjoy taking photos of them in oversized togas to embarrass them in front of their future partners. One for the whole family, this fascinating museum should top anyone's list of places to visit in Hertfordshire.
The Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban
This is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain. Given the antiquity of the place, you should feel right at home as a venerable visitor. It has an incredibly storied and rich history: King Offa of Mercia founded a monastery here in 793; it was then granted special privileges by the only English pope, local Adrian IV, before becoming a cathedral in 1877.
Today, you can experience the cathedral and abbey church of Saint Alban by yourself or via a tour. Experience the Norman tower, one of the only 11th century crossing towers still standing, and the stained glass windows dating from 1376. A great time to visit is in the evening, when the cathedral choirs take part in Evensong and you can experience the acoustics as they were meant to be experienced. Maybe it will even inspire you to dust off your singing voice and get humming.
National Trust Ashridge Estate
Want to get back to nature when you’re looking for places to visit in Hertfordshire? The Ashridge Estate will deliver. An impressive 5,000 acres of beautiful land in the Chiltern Hills, there’s woodland, chalk downlands and a plethora of wildlife. Rare butterflies, fallow deer and lots of birds complete the bucolic picture.
Coming here with your kids or grandkids will give you the chance to make all those nature-related dad jokes you’ve had in mind for years (why do trees have so many friends? They go out on a limb for them). You can explore by foot, bike or horse – either way, the 3,000 years of tradition of this land will make itself felt.
Lee Valley White Water Centre
Always nursed a dream of being in the Olympics? This might just be your chance. One of the largest water sports centres in the UK and an official Olympic venue, you can live your rafting fantasies here. From hydrospeeding and white water rafting to kayaking and playing on an inflatable obstacle course, your inner child (or actual children) will love every second. Enjoying an activity-packed afternoon here is certainly one of the more unique things to do in Hertfordshire.
A classic British market town, Tring is well worth a visit. A combination of gorgeous 19th century architecture and a branch of the Natural History Museum make it a top-of-the-list destination when you’re considering places to visit in Hertfordshire.
Inside the museum you can view extinct species such as thylacines and quaggas, and there are plenty of mounted and stuffed animals that will inspire your children to start displaying their teddy bears around the house for scientific purposes. Otherwise, market day is Friday, with an additional weekly farmer’s market. Tring specialises in antiques, fine arts, furnitures and collectables. You never know – maybe you’ll pick up an heirloom that will land you on Antiques Roadshow, and your parents will finally be proud of you. There’s even an auction house in Tring, should you find yourself needing one.