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Josh Carter
29th November 2023

As Hertfordshire residents, we absolutely love the scenic walks and stunning countryside views that our county provides. But did you know that Ashridge Estate’s special area of woodland and unique habitats is currently at risk? Together with Natural England, the National Trust, and other local authorities, Dacorum Borough Council are working on a new programme designed to protect this Special Area of Conservation's wildlife, habitats and woodland from damage caused by walkers. So, in an effort to help us all respect and protect this beautiful landscape, we're sharing some of the many other glorious spots where you can stretch your legs and enjoy the Hertfordshire countryside.

If you’d like to find out more about the programme, visit the webpage here.

Thinking of something fun to do with the kids or a great day out that won’t break the bank at almost any time of the year? Well look no further, we have compiled a list of tempting things right here on your doorstep that won’t cost the earth. No need to venture into London for a great day out, because here you'll find historic museums, wildlife reserves and even the odd garden or two to be enjoyed for free. So with your diary at the ready, get planning your next great day out. And why not share your own tips on free places to go in Herts? Talk to us on Facebook or Instagram.

Cassiobury Park

Take some time from the hustle and bustle of Watford to the peace and quiet of its natural paradise, Cassiobury Park. With almost 200 acres of green space, the park is home to a playground, splash pool and various activities in the summer and even a miniature railway. If you feel like wearing yourself out even further, head along the Grand Union Canal towpath and spot the boats meandering by. 

Natural History Museum at Tring

For all those keen explorers, step back in time as you wander the corridors of The Natural History Museum at Tring – yes, there is one outside of London! Featuring everything from tiny beetles to huge bears encased in Victorian cabinets, the exhibition is a fantastic place to relive those first discoveries and treat yourself and your little explorers to a slice of cake in the café afterwards.

The Stable Yard, Hatfield House

Why not pick up those essential weekend treats or discover a hidden treasure at The Stable Yard? You'll find a range of spots here, such as the mouth-watering menu at Coach House Kitchen to The Jodhpur Company fashion and lifestyle. The beautiful open courtyard plays host to authentic and locally sourced goods all year round, with seasonal events including beer festivals, face painting and live music throughout the summer.

Amwell Nature Reserve

Ramble through the wilds of Hertfordshire whilst searching for a rare orchid or one of the 19 species of dragonfly that call Amwell Nature Reserve home. Find the perfect picnic spot by the lake or simply enjoy a brisk stroll as the sun goes down over the marshes.

St Albans Cathedral

All you budding historians out there - why not explore the burial place of Britain’s first saint St Alban over 1,700 years ago? Adorned with medieval wall paintings, St Albans Cathedral is home to the Shrine of St Alban and surrounded by beautiful grassland and trees.

Free entry with donations gratefully received, visitors can join guided tours of the cathedral and learn all about the historical links between the Roman city of Verulamium and the cathedral.

Hertford Castle

Fancy rubbing shoulders with royalty? The beautiful 15thcentury Hertford Castle Gatehouse, was one of the childhood homes of Queen Elizabeth I. Nowadays, it plays host to numerous events and festivals throughout the year and is the perfect place for a midday picnic. Visitors can explore the grounds free of charge.

Hertford Museum

A place for those who love tiny detail and hidden stories, you can explore over 100,000 objects and artefacts relating to the history of East Hertfordshire and the surrounding parishes at Hertford Museum. From prehistoric fossils to Roman statues and coins, the museum is open for families and individuals to scan the shelves, explore the garden and exhibits free of charge.

Elstree Studios

Or not as far as you may think, or as expensive… as free tickets are often available to hit TV shows at the famous Elstree Studios, the home of Star Wars and many other blockbusters as well as the hit Netflix show, The Crown. Get behind the scenes to where it all begins and see the film sets and studios that make up some of your favourite TV shows such as Dancing on Ice, Big Brother or The Voice to name just a few.

Scott’s Grotto

Immerse yourself in the enchanting Scott’s Grotto and marvel at the shells and stones that adorn the walls. The grotto is just one of a number of chambers dug deep into the hills of the Hertfordshire countryside and free for you to explore. Entry is however not free, but we've included it on our list as it's just £2 for adults and children go free!