From the ancient streets of St Albans to the tranquil beauty of the Chilterns, Hertfordshire offers a diverse range of experiences and top visitor attractions.
If you’re eager to explore Hertfordshire, we recommend you read on. Our guide covers some of the most popular attractions and things to do. We begin with one of the most important historical visitor attractions in the region.
St Albans Cathedral, St Albans
One of the most visited Hertfordshire attractions, St Albans Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece with a history dating back over 1,700 years. Renowned for its stunning blend of architectural styles, the cathedral boasts a fascinating
Romanesque structure with Gothic alterations. It stands on the site where St Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr, was believed to have been buried after his execution in the 3rd century.
The cathedral’s interior is equally impressive, featuring medieval wall paintings, a beautifully carved screen, and the longest nave in England, which adds to its grandeur.
The cathedral also hosts the shrine of St Alban, attracting pilgrims and visitors from around the world.
Throughout the year, St Albans Cathedral serves not only as a place of worship but also as a venue for concerts, educational programs and special events.
Verulamium Park, St Albans
Verulamium Park is a picturesque and historically significant park. Set on the site of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium, it’s ideal for those of you looking for tranquil, peaceful places to visit in Hertfordshire.
The park covers 100 acres and includes the remains of the Roman city walls and a beautifully restored mosaic.
It’s also home to the Verulamium Museum, which showcases artifacts and provides insights into the life of Roman Britain. The park boasts a tranquil lake, popular for its wildlife and the opportunity it offers for leisurely walks and picnics.
Additionally, there are sports facilities, including tennis courts and a playground, making it a favourite spot for both relaxation and recreation.
With its open green spaces, historical features, and modern amenities, Verulamium Park offers a unique and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.
Verulamium Museum, St Ablans
Verulamium Museum offers a captivating journey into the past, allowing visitors to explore the rich tapestry of Roman history in Britain. As such, it should be part of any Hertfordshire travel guide.
Situated on the site of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium, this museum is a treasure trove of artefacts and exhibits that shed light on daily life in Roman Britain.
The museum’s collection includes intricately crafted Roman jewelry, pottery, and tools, providing a glimpse into the craftsmanship and culture of the time.
Visitors can also marvel at the stunning mosaics that once adorned Roman villas in the region.
One of the museum’s highlights is the recreated Roman hypocaust, allowing visitors to experience the ingenious Roman underfloor heating system.
The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead
The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, is a premier indoor skiing and snowboarding facility, offering an authentic alpine experience in the UK.
Boasting a vast main slope covered with real snow, the centre caters to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts.
Experienced instructors provide lessons for those new to winter sports or looking to improve their techniques. For younger visitors, there’s a dedicated lesson slope, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning environment.
The Snow Centre also features a fun park area with jumps and rails, designed for more advanced skiers and snowboarders to practice and showcase their skills.
Off the slopes, visitors can relax in the alpine-themed bar and restaurant, which overlooks the slopes, offering a cosy spot to unwind and enjoy a meal or a hot drink.
The Snow Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities and year-round snow make it an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts in the UK.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Watford
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, located in Leavesden, near London, offers a magical experience for fans of the iconic Harry Potter film series.
This unique behind-the-scenes tour allows visitors to explore the authentic sets, costumes, and props used in the making of the films. Highlights include walking through the Great Hall, visiting Dumbledore’s office, and strolling down Diagon Alley.
Fans can see the intricate details of the sets, learn about the special effects and animatronics, and even try the famous Butterbeer.
The tour also provides insights into the filmmaking process used in creating the magical world of Harry Potter.
With its interactive exhibits and exclusive displays, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is one of the most highly-rated places to visit in Hertfordshire – ideal for family days out.
Cassiobury Park, Watford
Cassiobury Park is a sprawling and picturesque public park, widely regarded as one of the finest in the region.
This expansive green space, which once formed the grounds of Cassiobury House, extends over 190 acres and offers a diverse range of activities and natural beauty.
The park features well-maintained walking trails, verdant meadows, and tranquil wooded areas, ideal for leisurely strolls or active recreation.
It boasts a range of facilities including a children’s playground, a paddling pool, sports facilities, and a café, making it a perfect spot for family outings.
The Grand Union Canal runs through the park, adding to its scenic charm and providing opportunities for waterside walks and nature watching.
Cassiobury Park is a beloved urban oasis, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life – perfect if you’re looking for Hertfordshire countryside experiences.
Hertfordshire Zoo, Broxbourne
Formerly the Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire Zoo is a dynamic family-friendly zoo known for its commitment to conservation and education.
This vibrant park is home to a wide array of animals, including big cats, primates, reptiles, and birds.
One of its standout features is the World of Dinosaurs, a thrilling exhibition with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs that fascinate both children and adults.
The zoo offers unique interactive experiences such as animal feedings and keeper talks, enabling visitors to learn about wildlife and their habitats intimately.
The emphasis on conservation is evident through various breeding programs for endangered species. For younger guests, the park includes adventure playgrounds, ensuring a fun-filled day out for all.
Featuring a combination of wildlife encounters, educational initiatives, and family entertainment, the provides an engaging and informative experience – a top attraction well-suitecd for visitors seeking fun-filled Hertfordshire day-trips.
Lee Valley Park, Broxbourne
Lee Valley Park, stretching over 10,000 acres accross Hertfordshire, Essex, and Greater London, is a unique and vast green space offering a plethora of outdoor activities.
This regional park, encompassing river valleys, heritage sites, ecological reserves, and sporting facilities, caters to a wide range of interests.
Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks, cycling, bird watching, and horse riding along its picturesque trails and waterways. The park is also a hub for water sports, offering canoeing, kayaking, and white-water rafting at its world-class centres.
For families, Lee Valley Park provides various play areas, farms, and nature reserves, ideal for educational and fun days out.
The park’s diverse landscapes, including wetlands, woodlands, and open green spaces, support a rich biodiversity, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and a vital ecological area for wildlife conservation.
Hatfield House, Hatfield
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire is a majestic Jacobean country house and estate, steeped in history and grandeur. Built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, this stately home has been the seat of the Cecil family ever since.
The house is renowned for its splendid architecture, including the magnificent Great Hall and the exquisite Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.
Surrounded by sprawling gardens and parkland, Hatfield House also features the historic Old Palace, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I.
Visitors can explore the beautifully maintained gardens, which include the scented East Garden and the more formal West Garden, with its knot garden and fountains.
Hatfield House is not only a significant architectural landmark but also a cultural and historical treasure, offering a fascinating glimpse into England’s past.
Mill Green Museum and Mill, Hatfield
Also in our guide to things to do in Hertfordshire is the Mill Green Museum – a charming and historically significant site that offers a unique glimpse into the region’s milling heritage.
Set in an 18th-century working watermill, the museum is surrounded by picturesque countryside, providing a tranquil backdrop for visitors.
Inside, the museum showcases the mill’s original machinery, still operational and used to grind flour on specific days.
Exhibitions at the museum delve into the history of milling, local history, and the significance of the mill to the community over the centuries.
With its combination of historical insight, operational mill, and scenic location, Mill Green Museum is a delightful Hertfordshire attraction for those interested in history, technology, and the rural heritage of the county.
Knebworth House, Knebworth
Knebworth House is a remarkable example of Tudor Gothic architecture and a notable historic estate.
Home to the Lytton family since the 15th century, the house boasts a rich history, reflected in its opulent interiors and extensive collections of heirlooms.
The exterior, with its distinctive turrets and red brickwork, is instantly recognizable. Knebworth House is also famous for hosting some of the UK’s most legendary rock concerts, featuring renowned artists over the decades.
The sprawling grounds include beautifully landscaped gardens, a dinosaur trail, and an adventure playground, making it one of the more popular Herefordshire attractions for families.
Natural History Museum, Tring
The Natural History Museum at Tring is a renowned center for natural history and zoological research.
Originally the private museum of Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild, this Victorian-era building now houses one of the finest collections of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects in the United Kingdom.
The museum displays an extraordinary range of specimens, from tiny insects to large mammals, including a comprehensive collection of British birds and rare animals such as the extinct quagga.
The exhibits, which span several floors, are both educational and fascinating, offering insights into the diversity of the natural world.
All in all, the Natural History Museum at Tring is an engaging destination for visitors of all ages, providing a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of wildlife and the natural environment.
Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted
Managed by the National Trust, this historic estate offers a diverse landscape of woodlands, chalk downlands, and lush meadows, providing a haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Visitors can explore miles of walking and cycling trails, taking in the stunning scenery and possibly catching a glimpse of deer and other wildlife.
Ashridge Estate is also home to the famous Ashridge House, a former monastery and royal residence, now used as a business school.
The estate’s rich history, combined with its breathtaking natural beauty, makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and families seeking engaging Hertfordshire day trips.
Berkhamsted Castle, Berkhamsted
Located in Berkhamsted, this 11th-century motte-and-bailey castle played a significant role in English history and is the site where William the Conqueror was offered the crown of England in 1066.
Over the centuries, the castle has seen numerous royal residents and has been a key military and administrative center. Today, its extensive and well-preserved ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into medieval architecture and feudal life.
Managed by English Heritage, Berkhamsted Castle is surrounded by a protective moat and features a series of earthworks and the remains of the original defensive walls and buildings.
One of the most historically significant places to visit in Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted Castle is well worth a visit.
Welwyn Roman Baths, Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Roman Baths, tucked away beneath the A1 in Welwyn is an intriguing historical site that offers a unique glimpse into Roman life in Britain.
These ancient baths form part of a once grand Roman villa, dating back to the 3rd century AD.
Preserved under a motorway flyover, visitors can explore the remains of the bathhouse, including the tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot room), and frigidarium (cold room).
The site is a fascinating example of Roman engineering and architecture, showcasing the advanced techniques used in heating and construction.
Informative displays and exhibits around the baths provide context, explaining how the Romans used these facilities and offering insights into their daily life – another major historical attraction Hertfordshire.
De Havilland Aircraft Museum, London Colney
This specialised museum is renowned for its extensive collection of De Havilland aircraft and aeronautical memorabilia, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in British aviation history.
Among the museum’s most notable exhibits are several models of the famous Mosquito fighter-bomber, known as the “Wooden Wonder,” and the early jet airliners like the Comet.
Visitors can explore a range of aircraft, from early biplanes to modern jet engines, gaining insights into the technological advancements and engineering feats achieved by De Havilland.
If you’re looking to explore Hertfordshire, this fascinating museum should be part of your travel itinerary.
Rye Meads Nature Reserve, Hoddesdon
Rye Meads Nature Reserve is a haven of natural beauty and wildlife diversity. This serene and tranquil reserve, managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), offers a peaceful escape from urban life.
The reserve encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including wetlands, reedbeds, meadows, and lakes, making it a hotspot for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts.
Visitors can explore a network of well-maintained trails and hides that provide ideal vantage points for observing a rich variety of bird species. Rye Meads is especially renowned for its birdlife, with seasonal highlights including kingfishers, bitterns, and warblers.
The reserve’s educational facilities and visitor center offer valuable insights into the local ecosystem, making it an excellent destination for both experienced birdwatchers and families looking to connect with nature.
Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage
Fairlands Valley Park is a sprawling and picturesque green space that offers a perfect blend of recreational opportunities and natural beauty.
This expansive park covers over 120 acres and boasts a large central lake, making it a beloved destination for both residents and visitors.
The centerpiece of the park is the serene lake, which offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and sailing. Surrounding the lake are well-maintained walking and cycling paths, perfect for leisurely strolls or more active pursuits.
The park’s diverse landscapes include woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, providing a haven for local wildlife and creating a tranquil atmosphere for park-goers.
The park also hosts various events, from outdoor concerts to sports competitions, bringing people together in a natural setting.
Royston Cave, Royston
Carved into the chalk bedrock, this Royston Cave has puzzled historians and intrigued visitors for centuries. Its exact purpose and origins remain the subject of debate and speculation.
Inside the cave, intricate carvings adorn the walls, featuring a mix of religious symbols, pagan imagery, and enigmatic designs. These carvings, which date back to the 14th century, add to the cave’s mystique and raise questions about its use.
Today, Royston Cave is open to the public, offering guided tours that delve into its history and the various theories surrounding its creation. A visit promises a fascinating journey into the past, where secrets and enigmas continue to captivate the imagination
British Schools Museum, Hitchin
Housed in a historic school building dating back to the 19th century, the British Schools Museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the evolution of British education.
Inside the museum, visitors can discover a wealth of artefacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that showcase the development of teaching methods, classroom settings, and educational tools throughout the years.
From Victorian-era classrooms with inkwells and slates to insights into the lives of pioneering educators, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the educational journey of the nation.
The British Schools Museum serves as a valuable educational resource, offering a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of the British education system – a captivating and enlightening experience awaits!
Hitchin Lavender, Hitchin
Hitchin Lavender is an enchanting destination allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and fragrance of lavender fields.
During the summer months, the lavender fields come alive with vibrant purple hues, making it the perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls, photography, and relaxation.
Visitors can wander through the neatly arranged rows of lavender, breathe in the soothing scent, and enjoy the calming ambiance of the countryside.
Hitchin Lavender also provides the opportunity to pick your own lavender, allowing visitors to take home a piece of this fragrant paradise.
Additionally, the farm’s gift shop offers a range of lavender-themed products, from essential oils to lavender-infused treats, making it an ideal place to find unique souvenirs.
Benington Lordship Gardens, Benington
Benington Lordship Gardens is a horticultural gem that invites visitors to explore its enchanting landscapes and historic grounds.
Nestled within the picturesque Benington Lordship Estate, the gardens are a delightful blend of history, artistry, and natural beauty.
The gardens showcase a stunning array of seasonal flora, including vibrant displays of tulips in spring and meticulously manicured lawns. One of the standout features is the dramatic pyramid-shaped yew hedge, which serves as a striking centerpiece.
Visitors can wander through meandering pathways, discovering hidden corners adorned with sculptures, ornate fountains, and tranquil ponds. The gardens’ design incorporates both formal and informal elements, creating a sense of serenity and wonder.
Benington Lordship Gardens also boasts a picturesque Norman castle, adding a historical dimension to the visit.
The combination of artful landscaping and centuries-old architecture makes this destination a captivating retreat for garden enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Much Hadham
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens celebrates the enduring legacy of one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptors, Henry Moore.
This tranquil haven offers visitors a captivating journey through Moore’s life and work, set amidst lush gardens and rolling landscapes.
The studios, once Moore’s creative sanctuary, now house an exceptional collection of his sculptures, drawings, and maquettes. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the evolution of his artistic vision and the intimate process of sculpture creation.
The beautifully landscaped gardens provide a harmonious backdrop to Moore’s monumental sculptures, seamlessly blending art and nature.
Visitors can explore winding paths, encounter sculptures nestled among trees and foliage, and experience the interplay between form and landscape that was central to Moore’s artistic philosophy.
Aldenham Country Park, Elstree
This sprawling park offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that make it a perfect destination for families, couples, and individuals seeking a day of relaxation and adventure.
The park features beautiful woodlands, meadows, and lakes, providing ample opportunities for scenic walks, picnics, and wildlife spotting. One of its highlights is the picturesque Aldenham Reservoir, where visitors can enjoy boating and fishing.
For families, the park offers a delightful adventure playground, farmyard encounters, and a miniature railway. These attractions ensure that children have a memorable and engaging experience in a natural setting.
Aldenham Country Park is not only a place of leisure but also a venue for various events, including outdoor concerts and festivals. Its tranquil ambiance and recreational offerings make it a cherished Hertfordshire attraction.
For more information about the best things to do in Hertfordshire, visit the offical Hertfordshire tourism site.