Watton-at-Stone lies between Stevenage and Hertford, sitting on an old Roman road that forded the River Beane at the spot where the village subsequently established itself. Watton was mentioned in the Domesday Book, with references dating back to the mid-10th century. Today the oldest surviving building is the 15th century parish church, although a number of buildings dating from Tudor to Georgian times can be found in the village. If all you want is a quiet weekend away, you’ll find two walks within walking distance of the village: Watton Green is a fine example of ancient common land, and has been designated an important County Wildlife Site, while the Lammas gives you a variety of habitats along the back of the Beane itself. A sizeable number of Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves are just a short drive away, most found in a triangular area between the neighbouring towns of Hoddesdon, Hertford and Ware. The Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust has details of Balls Wood, Amwell Nature Reserve, Rye Mead – which is jointly run with the RSPB – and King’s Mead (look under Flagship Reserves), plus Hertford Heath (under Local Reserves). If it’s historical interest you’re after, sadly Hatfield House has just closed to the public for the winter, but you can head west through Welwyn to visit Shaw’s Corner, home to George Bernard Shaw for 40 years.
The George and Dragon might be the youngest public house in Watton – its 17th century building served a variety of purposes before settling on being a pub, but its award-winning food is presented a rich and varied menu with starters, mains and sweets to suit all budgets and tastes. All ingredients are freshly prepared and sourced locally where possible.