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Josh Carter
15th March 2024

The Herts Big Weekend is making a return for 2024, and with it comes the chance to discover all of those wonderful places that are in your local area.

Photo: The Rose Gardens, by Lumiere

Ashridge House

The beautiful home at Ashridge House, just a few moments from Berkhamsted, is a Grade I listed manor, with the 190 acres of gardens and onsite café being open daily. On a wander around the gardens you can take in the Italian Gardens, an oak tree that was planted by Princess Victoria in 1823 and visit during special events such as Christmas lights trail. But, we’re here for the Big Weekend! As you’d expect, the prize of an Afternoon Tea for Two is quite something at Ashridge House – being tipped as one of the best in London by Condé Nast Traveller in 2021.

The Five Bells Bar & Dining by Lussmanns

Over 150 years ago in Berkhamsted, the Five Bells pub closed down as it continually had problems such as ‘bare-knuckle boxing’ and navvies (rail workers) making a disturbance, of which the landlord refused to assist police with. Jump to the present and you would never know that had happened as it reopened this year under local sustainable restaurant brand Lussmanns. For the Big Weekend prize, you will be able to enjoy a set lunch for two - with 95% of what they serve grown or produced in the UK.

The Grove

Originally serving as the family seat of the Earls of Clarendon, The Grove which sits just outside of London, is well known for its luxury and its reputation speaks for itself – a beacon of relaxation and total escape from the world. Whether you will be found at the Championship golf course, spa and pool or one of its four restaurants when you win the prize of an overnight stay, with breakfast and dinner included, is up to you.

Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club

A country manor hotel setting doesn’t get any more idyllic than Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club. With 200 acres of stunning grounds including a par 72 championship golf course and grounds to wander all afternoon, the main grand building is home to open fireplaces, indoor heated pool and afternoon tea at an award winning restaurant – which leads us to the Big Weekend! You can experience all of this timeless English elegance as Hanbury Manor Marriott are offering a Prosecco Afternoon Tea for Two so you can savour pastries and tasty finger sandwiches with an array of Jenier World of Teas.

But! It doesn’t stop there, as the hotel is also offering a Four-Ball Golf Experience. As we mentioned, this course is a championship one which was designed by Jack Nicklaus II and with the four-ball experience you can bring along three companions and lean into your competitive side!

Hatfield Park

You might have seen Hatfield Park recently on the small screen in One Day (take a read of our filmed in Hertfordshire 2024 feature as it’s not just been One Day that’s been shot here!), so if you are yearning for a visit, put yourself in the ballot for free entry to Hatfield Park and Gardens. We feel the Big Weekend dates will fall perfectly to wander the grounds at Hatfield Park, as you will be able to soak in all of the springtime blooms – think bluebells, wild flowers and narcissi which will cover the Woodland Garden.

Knebworth House, Gardens & Park

Spring is quite the spectacle at Knebworth House, Gardens & Park - it comes alive with spring flowers and the scene becomes full of wildlife. As part of the visit to Knebworth House, you will be able to see 500 years of history told through the romantic exterior and unique heirlooms throughout. 

Pendley Manor Hotel

A wonderful Grade II listed building, Pendley Manor Hotel is home to 35 acres of rural escape near Tring – including an indoor pool with spa, sophisticated bedrooms and attractive gardens. If you need another reason to visit and wander, then book an afternoon tea. This perfect excuse to while away an afternoon is set in the lounge which overlooks the grounds, and all of its peacocks, and includes a selection of sandwiches and scones.

Puddingstone Distillery Evening Gin Tour

Just a few minutes away from Tring is the award winning Puddingstone Distillery. We say award winning as at the 2024 World Gin Awards they were given a Gold for the Campfire Cask Aged Gin – which has notes of lemon meringue tartness and blossom to name a few. So, if you’re lucky enough to pick up some tickets for the Evening Gin Tour, you will be able to sample their range of gins including two gin cocktails sat among like-minded gin lovers, hosted by the founders themselves. It’s worth noting, this event is strictly 18+.