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Hertfordshire, England: 10 of the Best Things To Do

Discover 10 of the best things to do in Hertfordshire, England, including Royston Cave, St Albans Cathedral, Henry Moore Gardens and much more.

We’ve lived in Hertfordshire for many years and in that time, we’ve explored all four corners of the county. Thanks to its size, its history and its proximity to London and the Chiltern Hills, we’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to finding things to see and do.

In fact, there’s so many things to do in Hertfordshire that it can be difficult choosing between them. That’s why we’ve written this article. With our vast experience and knowledge, we’ve hand-selected the very best things to do in Hertfordshire so that you can choose your next adventure with ease.

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Top 10 best things to do in Hertfordshire

Here we go then! Here are our top ten picks for the best things to do in Hertfordshire, England.

Ready? Let’s go!

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The walls of the cave are covered in etchingsPin
The walls of the cave are covered in etchings
Access to Royston Cave is along this narrow tunnelPin
Access to Royston Cave is along this narrow tunnel

Royston Cave

Address: Katherine’s Yard, Melbourn St, Royston SG8 7BZ
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Around 8 metres underneath a crossroads in the centre of Royston is an artificial cave whose origins are completely unknown. While there is no record at all as to why the cave exists, the most common theory is that it was used by the Knights Templar, a catholic military order founded in 1119.

The cave is very small, but captivating, with the walls of the cave almost entirely covered by etchings. Entry is by guided tour only and tickets can be purchased from 1.30pm on the day.

It's almost worth visiting St Albans just to see the cathedralPin
It’s almost worth visiting St Albans just to see the cathedral
Visitors can explore all parts of the cathedralPin
Visitors can explore all parts of the cathedral

The Cathedral & Abbey Church of Saint Alban

Address: St Albans AL1 1BY
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The jewel in St Albans’ crown is its magnificent Cathedral. It is one of the most remarkable buildings in the whole of England. Most of the architecture dates back to Norman times, though there are some gothic and more recent additions. Entry is completely free, as are walking tours that will help you to spot the different architectural styles.

You might like: St Albans, England: 8 Exciting Things to See & Do on a Day Trip

Find out how to plan and book your flights, transfers & accommodation for this destination

Welwyn Roman baths is located in directly underneath the A1(M) motorwayPin
Welwyn Roman baths is located in directly underneath the A1(M) motorway

Welwyn Roman Baths

Address: Welwyn By Pass Rd, Welwyn AL6 9FG
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Uncovered in 1960, this small museum houses the excavated ruins of a Roman Bath House. Astonishingly, the museum is housed directly underneath the A1(M) motorway, which was constructed shortly after the excavation was completed. Visible parts of the ruins include the hypocaust (the central heating system) and a number of rooms which will have varied in temperature.

There’s plenty of information provided on boards that cover the walls alongside the elevated viewing platform and plenty of fun things to keep kids interested.

Jade wanders through the lavender fields during a visit in 2020Pin
Jade wanders through the lavender fields during a visit in 2020

Hitchin Lavender

Address: Arlesey Rd, Ickleford SG5 3UA
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People come from all over the world to visit Hitchin Lavender, and rightly so. In peak flowering season (Jun-Aug), a carpet of purple flowers bloom in breathtaking style over picturesque rolling fields. Admission includes use of a pair of scissors so that you can cut and keep as much Lavender as you can carry in your bag. The on-site cafe serves tea, cake and good-quality lunches in a lovely rustic barn or outside in the garden.

You might like: Hitchin Lavender: A Complete Visitor’s Guide

Bhaktivedanta Manor is lit up during Diwali celebrationsPin
Bhaktivedanta Manor is lit up during Diwali celebrations

Bhaktivedanta Manor

Address: Hilfield Ln, Radlett, Watford WD25 8HE
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In 1973, former Beatle George Harrison donated what was then called Piggott’s Manor to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Bhaktivedanta Manor, as it is now known, is the UK home of the Hare Krishna movement and all visitors are very welcome to visit for free. While you’re there, you’re welcome to walk around the gardens and visit the shrine, gift shop, farm/cow sanctuary and cafe/bakery. During religious festivals (such as Diwali), the manor draws significant crowds of both worshippers and non-worshippers.

Find out how to plan and book your flights, transfers & accommodation for this destination

The Bridgewater Monument on Ashridge Estate offers great views of the surrounding countryside and woodlandPin
The Bridgewater Monument on Ashridge Estate offers great views of the surrounding countryside and woodland

Ashridge Estate

Address: Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted HP4 1LT
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Ashridge is a 2000 hectare (5000 acre) country estate that offers a wonderful glimpse of some of the beauty that the Chiltern Hills offers. The estate is mostly made up of woodland and chalk commons and is home to plenty of wildlife. People mostly visit to explore by foot, bicycle and on horseback and to enjoy a quick coffee at the Brownlow Cafe.

If it’s open, ensure you head to the top of the Bridgewater Monument, a Grade II listed tower built in 1832 that offers splendid views up Monument Drive towards Ashridge House.

Ashridge Estate is a National Trust property. National Trust membership* gives you free access to over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves all over the UK. Find out more* about why you should become a member.

Visitors to the studio tour can walk along the actual Diagon AlleyPin
Visitors to the studio tour can walk along the actual Diagon Alley
Dumbledore's Office is just one of several sets that are a part of the exhibitionPin
Dumbledore’s Office is just one of several sets that are a part of the exhibition

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR
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Declared by Tripadvisor as the world’s most highly-rated visitor attraction since it opened in 2012, the Harry Potter Studio tour in Watford is world-class and, put simply, completely unmissable whether you’re a fan of the film series or not.

Housed in two gigantic purpose-built sound stages, the self-guided exhibition is packed full of sets, costumes, props and equipment that was all actually used during the filming of the Harry Potter films. The entire experience is stunning and feels truly magical. It’s about as close to going to Disneyland as you can get in the UK.

Tickets & Tours: A number of tour operators offer combined entry ticket & transport options*, particular for those travelling from central London. Head to Tourscanner* to see the latest offers and prices.

You might like: Harry Potter Studio Tour London: 12 Top Tips for “Grown-Ups”

The former home of Irish playwright George Bernard ShawPin
The former home of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw
At the bottom of the garden is George Bernard Shaw's writing shedPin
At the bottom of the garden is George Bernard Shaw’s writing shed

Shaw’s Corner

Address: Shaw’s Corner, Welwyn AL6 9BX
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Shaw’s Corner is the former home of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, famed for writing more than sixty plays, including Man and Superman & Pygmalion. His home and the writing hut in the garden remain largely left as they were when he passed away in 1950. Visitors are welcome to explored almost all areas of his former property, which also houses a small exhibition, inside which you can see his actual Academy Award for screen-writing.

Shaw’s Corner is a National Trust property, so National Trust members can get in for free (charges apply for non-members). National Trust membership* gives you free access to over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves all over the UK. Find out more* about why you should become a member.

Find out how to plan and book your flights, transfers & accommodation for this destination

The ancient woodland in Heartwood Forest is lovely during Bluebell seasonPin
The ancient woodland in Heartwood Forest is lovely during Bluebell season
Over 600,000 trees have been planted in Heartwood Forest, most of which are still saplingsPin
Over 600,000 trees have been planted in Heartwood Forest, most of which are still saplings

Heartwood Forest

Address: Sandridge, St Albans AL4 9DQ
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Covering 347 hectares (860 acres), Heartwood Forest, on the outskirts of St Albans, is England’s largest new native forest. Since the land was acquired in 2008, over 45,000 volunteers have planted over 600,000 trees. From 2018, visitors have been permitted to enjoy this new forest and the adjoining ancient bluebell wood. Obviously, the new trees are still very young, but the walks are lovely and it’s exciting to see what this new forest will become.

Responsible Travel Choice: Projects such as Heartwood Forest help to create new natural habitats for wildlife. Find out how you can support the work of the Woodland Trust.

Henry Moore is famous for his large abstract sculpturesPin
Henry Moore is famous for his large abstract sculptures
There's plenty of art pieces to see amidst sprawling gardens and fieldsPin
There’s plenty of art pieces to see amidst sprawling gardens and fields

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens

Address: Dane Tree House, Perry Green, Much Hadham SG10 6EE
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Henry Moore was a English artist, famed for creating huge abstract sculptures, many of which can be seen in public spaces all over the world. His former work space and family home is now a lovely tourist attraction, where visitors can see many of his sculptures set around 28 hectares (70 acres) of beautiful landscaped gardens and countryside that he helped to create.

After you’ve wandered around and seen all the sculptures, be sure to stop for a coffee and a bite to eat at the excellent on-site cafe. Another option is to visit the highly-rated Hoops Inn pub, which is just across the road from the site entrance.

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Plan & Book your visit to Hertfordshire

In this section, we’ll go through how you can plan and book your visit to Hertfordshire.

Flights to Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is easy to get to by air, with London Stansted Airport just across the eastern border in Essex and London Luton Airport across the western border in Bedfordshire. Luton Airport is probably best situated for most trips to Hertfordshire.

Skyscanner* is a great place to start your search for the best prices on flights to Hertfordshire. They compare fares from multiple airlines and travel agents all at once.

Transfers from the airport

Both Luton and Stansted airports offers plentiful transfer options, particularly by bus and rail (see below for details). That said, to get to most of the attractions on this list, you’ll be best going by car.

Trains to Hertfordshire

Both the Midland Mainline and East Coast Mainline run through Hertfordshire, offering plentiful options for rail travel throughout the county. Main stations include St Albans, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage & Hitchin, though there are many other stations that may be more convenient.

Booking your train tickets in advance not only brings peace of mind, it also often means you pay the lowest fare. To find the best value train tickets to Hertfordshire from anywhere, we recommend Trainline*.

Since trains produce significantly less CO2 than planes, taking the train is a Responsible Travel Choice.

Buses to Hertfordshire

Several companies provide both short and long distance bus services to Hertfordshire. Arriva, Stagecoach and TfL offer services from neighbouring counties/boroughs while a couple of National Express long distance services run through too.

Search and compare bus fares with Busbud*, which offers comprehensive and up-to-date timetable and ticket price information for destinations all over the world.

Taking public transport is a Responsible Travel Choice, as sharing your journey with others is much better for the environment than taking journeys by car.

Getting around Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is very well served by trains and buses. Hertfordshire is a large area though, so for most of the attractions on the list, driving would be the best option for most.

Hotels and Holiday Homes in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire has plenty of accommodation options that suit all kinds of budgets.

For hotels, we really like the look of the following places:

If you’d like your own space, Vrbo lists over 1000 holiday home rentals in Hertfordshire* at a range of prices. Some even come with hot tubs! Head over to Vrbo now* to start your search.

For general accommodation searches and to read thousands of reviews, we recommend Tripadvisor*.

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