Top Free Things to Do in Hertfordshire
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 a 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.
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.
Take a trip back in time at Tring...
The Stable Yard, Hatfield House
Why not pick up those essential weekend treats or discover a hidden treasure at The Stable Yard? With a range of shops such as Darlish Ice Cream pop up 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.
A Foodie paradise with a country twist...
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.
Aldenham Country Park
"If you go down to the woods today…"Let the loveable literary character of Winnie The Pooh tempt you to visit and explore a fantastical journey around the 100 Akre woods. Enjoy an afternoon playing ‘Pooh sticks’ across Pooh Bridge and even catch a glimpse of the cheerful character himself around the grounds.
Open throughout the year to visitors with special appearances and story time features at weekends from Winnie The Pooh and Friends, the park is free admission, excluding certain events and attractions.
You’re sure of a big surprise!
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.
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.
Picnic in Style...
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.
Explore Heritage in Excellence...
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. 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.
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 £1, which goes toward maintaining the attraction for years to come.
We want you to say “I came, I saw, I conquered” as you wander through the recreated Roman rooms and visualise yourself in the city that once was one of the largest Roman settlements in Britain. Featuring everything from Roman mosaics to gold coins and artefacts, the Verulamium Museum is one not to be missed.
Free for residents of St Albans District (with proof of residency) – it should definitely be one to add to your list.
Veni Vidi Vici...
While Hertfordshire's rolling countryside is a joy in itself any time of the year and is in abundance right across the county, its finest areas are arguably in Ashridge Estate. Whether it's the views toward the House or its autumnal leaves and bluebell carpets, a day out in the 5000 acres is sure to keep both you and the little ones busy.