It seems that the weather in the UK is finally getting a little better, after the pitiful summer we have had so far. If you’re based in the home counties and can’t stand the thought of driving or using the packed and sticky London underground at the moment, worry not! I have rounded up some of the best things to do outdoors in Hertfordshire this summer.
For my international readers, you should know that we have some beautiful countryside here in Hertfordshire and being only a stone’s throw from London, it’s a good way to see England at its finest without having to travel too far out of the capital.
- Hitchin Lavender
Summer is certainly the season to be enjoying farm life! If pigs and cows aren’t your bag, you should definitely come and visit this beautiful lavender farm in Hitchin. Entrance to the fields is £4.50, and for this fee you’re also given a bag and some scissors, so you can cut some lavender to take home with you. The gift shop also sells various lavender related items.
If you’re hungry after all of that lavender picking, why not head into the cute barn-style café for a cream tea with lavender jam! Definitely tastes better than it sounds.
- Graveley Fruit Farm
Another animal-free farm option is this fruit farm on the outskirts of Stevenage. Entry is free and during the summer months you can pick strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and redcurrants – although bear in mind that it’s a weigh and pay deal, so you may end up shelling out quite a bit if you pick too much!
This is a lovely and messy way to spend a summer’s day and a perfect outing for the family. The farm also has a café serving all kinds of food and fresh lemonade, as well as a play area and zip line.
- Knebworth House
This stately home dates back to Tudor times and it costs £12.50 to enter the grounds. I won’t go into this one too much, as I wrote a post about this quirky house last summer.
This is a wonderful place to spend the day, not only for the house, expansive gardens, dinosaur trails and play areas, but for the events you can go along to. My friend Brontë is a particular fan of the medieval jousts! This summer you can look forward to theatre events and open air cinema screenings – it really is fun for all the family.
- Parks & Lakes
After a long week at work, I think we would all like to be whisked away to the French Riviera for the weekend. Well, in England the closest thing we have is Torquay (according to Fawlty Towers) but if you squint a bit and use your imagination, one of the lakes in Hertfordshire might also do the trick.
Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage and Stanborough Park near Welwyn Garden City do kind of make you feel like you’re a world away from the nearby towns. They both offer a range of different activities such as fishing, sailing and watersports, as well as over a 120 acres of parkland to enjoy. You can check out local wildlife (in both human and animal form) and Fairlands even has its own water park and climbing wall!
Both have free entry, although you do have to pay for parking at Stanborough Park.
Sticking with the water theme, for my final suggestion I would recommend the Lee Valley Boat Centre. The River Lea (or Lee) isn’t just a place that’s stuck in Adele’s roots and veins, it’s also a place where you can hire a boat and kick back on the water.
Rowing boats and pedalos can be hired for as little as half an hour, costing between £7.50 and £13 (with a deposit). Larger electric boats and house boats can be hired for the day and can seat many more people. If you don’t fancy operating the boat yourself, you can also join one of the many passenger cruises taking place throughout the summer, which serve fish and chips or cream teas as you circle the river.
Do you have any favourite summer haunts in Hertfordshire? If so, leave a comment below and let me know whether you’d like a part two to this post!
Thanks for reading,