DSC 7451
Ellie Graham
20th May 2024

What is it that makes you proud to live in Herts? That one story that you just love to tell when friends and family come to stay, and you get to show off your favourite places. From literary links to ghostly tales, outstanding culture to brilliant sports, here are some of the stories that we can’t help but share.

The Brocket Arms

Built in the 14th century, this Grade II listed building is one of our favourite places to settle down for the afternoon after we’ve explored the county. Until the Reformation, it was used as the monastic quarters for the Norman church and, legend has it, a priest was tried and hanged in the building. To this day, locals and visitors tell tales of ghost sightings, so head along for a delicious meal, welcoming atmosphere, and see if you spot anything spooky…

Shaw’s Corner

The former country home of Irish playwright, activist, and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw sits amidst the glorious Hertfordshire outdoors. A visit to the house will bring with it the inspiration that Shaw would have experienced during his 44 years there. Walk from room to room, enjoying the Arts and Crafts inspired interiors, witnessing the links to the past, and enjoy a walk in the surrounding area.

Hatfield House

One of the most iconic spots in the county, we had to include Hatfield House and its surrounding park on the list. Visited by many throughout the year, its history dates back to 1611, when Robert Cecil (the 1st Early of Salisbury) built his fine Jacobean House adjoining the site of the Old Palace of Hatfield. Splendidly decorated for entertaining the Royal Court, join the long list of people who have visited throughout the years, soaking in the brilliant architecture, stunning furnishings, and countless tales.

Becoming us: African Caribbean in St Albans

St Albans Museum & Gallery

At the St Albans Museum & Gallery this year, there is plenty going on that will be sharing the story of the county. Until 30th June, you can witness the fantastic exhibition, “Becoming Us”, an exploration into the role of the African Caribbean community in St Albans over the past 80 years. Aimed at inspiring future generations, this is the perfect chance to bring together different communities and embrace a shared history.

Women doing everything, everywhere, all at once... 

Verulamium Museum

Meet the women archaeologists from the 1930s who brought the Verulamium to life, as well as hearing the stories of four women from this ancient landscape 2000 years ago. With authentic, mud splattered dig notebooks and diaries, you can witness first-hand the inspirational stories of the iconic Hertfordshire 1930s dig site.

The Aldenham Estate

Increasing biodiversity, restoring and rejuvenating the on-site lake, supporting environmental management, and plenty more are on the list of goals at the Aldenham Estate. On the estate sits one of our favourite overnight stay spots in the county, Home Farm Glamping, and together with the experts at Herts & Middlesex Wildlife, some big changes are happening. Keeping the planet healthy and happy, so far they have planted nearly 3,000 trees, restored hedgerows, reinstated 6 ponds. The effects are already being seen, and the work has only just begun, so keep an eye out for their upcoming projects and see how they are keeping the planet healthy and happy.

Knebworth House

Famous worldwide for its rock concerts and as the home of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton, Knebworth House has been home to the Lytton family for over 500 years. With such a rich cultural and historical background, you’ll want to add this to your list of stories to hear about in Herts. Plan your next day out and get to know the House and its surrounding gardens through exclusive tours and unmissable events.

Natural History Museum Tring

A zoo of a different type, you've probably heard of is the NHM Tring. Once a private museum, being home to Walter Rothschild's collection, there are 4,000 different taxidermy animals on public display from kangaroos to polar bears. The galleries give visitors the chance to get up close to some of the worlds rarest species and learn about our natural world.

Hertfordshire Zoo

The Hertfordshire Zoo has certainly come a long way since its creation in the 80s, with what was once a small park used for pure entertainment now being a spot for wildlife regeneration and reintroduction. A visit today will let you see some marvelous animals from across the globe, learn about their backgrounds and how they thrive in the wild, and embark on some unmissable experiences.

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

A spot that definitely has a story to tell, the Warner Bros.Studio in Hertfordshire is the place to go for a behind the scenes preview into one of the world’s most beloved tales. Get stuck into the magic, potions, sets, costumes, and characters as you embark on your tour, moving through the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and even trying a glass of Butter Beer!

Literary links

Grand landscapes that inspired Austen, rural living with Orwell, and features within Dickens. Hertfordshire has countless literary inspirations, so delve into the stories behind the stories, how the characters were built, what brought to life the plots, and how the landscapes of the county became integral to some of our favourite stories. And just a 40 minute walk from where Orwell stayed in Wallington (the village and farm said to have inspired Animal Farm!), you can spend the night at Bethnal & Bec, fit with all the comforts you could ask for - and copies of the book too! 

Herts on Film

Just this year, we’ve had smash hits such as Bridgerton, Mary & George, and One Day filmed across the county. With our brilliant backdrops, it’s no wonder that Herts has been featured in so many fantastic films and TV shows. Some call it the UK’s answer to Hollywood, so peruse the other spots here that have featured on screen, and get to planning your next movie-themed day out.