This week the Countryfile team are visiting Hertfordshire, a county just north of London. Hertfordshire has plenty of fascinating places to visit, so get stuck in!
Knebworth House, Gardens & Park
This stately home has belonged to the Lytton family since 1490, and every generation has contributed something to its interior décor or gardens. The distinct romantic exterior of the house features turrets, domes and gargoyles while the Victorian garden shows off rows of pollarded lime trees, making the site a very beautiful place. There’s also something a little more modern on offer – a Dinosaur Trail featuring 72 life-sized dinosaurs found grazing amongst the rhododendrons and the redwoods. Knebworth Gardens also comprises a maze, an organic kitchen garden, the Gertrude Jekyll Herb Garden and the opportunity to explore the woodland paths. All that, and we haven’t even mentioned the 3/4 mile miniature railway or deer park.
Roman Theatre Veralumium and Museum
The Roman Theatre of Verulamium, built in about 140AD, is the only example of its kind in Britain – being a theatre with a stage rather than an amphitheatre. The Romans would have used the arena for religious processions and dancing, wrestling, armed combat and wild beast shows.
The ruins one can see today were discovered in 1847. Excavations have revealed a row of shop foundations, a Roman Villa and a secret shrine, all thought to date from the first century.
The adjoining museum showcases everyday life in Roman Britain, with interactive areas and a video of the Veralumium excavation.
Shaw’s Corner, in the village of Ayot St Lawrence, was the home of the brilliant George Bernard Shaw from 1906 until his death in 1950. The rooms in this Edwardian villa remain as Shaw left them, with many literary and personal items offering a background to life of the great playwright, politician and philosopher. The peaceful garden offers beautiful views over Hertfordshire countryside.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum at Duxford, set within the grounds of the famous former First and Second World War airfield, houses an impressive collection of over 200 aircraft including biplanes, Spitfires, Concorde and Gulf War jets. After wandering amongst the legendary aircraft, visit the Airspace exhibition showcasing an iconic Lancaster and the fastest ever Concorde.
Aldenham Country Park and rare breeds farm
This Country Park, on the edge of a large reservoir, has so much to offer – its network of footpaths and Winnie-the-Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood make it a great site for a picnic. The rare breeds farm has interactive experiences and petting areas – there’s also a system of monkey nets and trees for climbing with instructors, if you want to tire the kids out even more!
Capel Manor Gardens
For a spot of horticulture enjoyment, the Capel Manor Gardens have 30 acres of richly planted, themed gardens, such as the Japanese Garden, Italianate Maze, Historical Gardens and Kim Wilde’s Jungle Gym Garden – all surrounding a Georgian Manor House and Victorian stables.
Celtic Harmony Camp
The Celtic Harmony Camp is a reconstructed Celtic Iron Age village in Brickendon, providing Heritage education for family or school groups. The camp offers craft activities in the round house, a Woodland Survival course or simply a walk through the woods. Experience the way that the Celts lived over 2000 years ago – how they made food, clothes and shelter from the natural environment.
Mill Green Mill and Museum
Mill Green Mill is an18th-century, wheat-grinding, water-powered mill which plays host to several workshops, such as wood-turning, clay making, being a miller’s apprentice, learning 17th century herblore and historical cooking. The adjoined museum has three small galleries housing local artefacts, from Roman times to present day.