6 things to do in North Herts during the summer holidays

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender Fields - Credit: @KimberelyYoxall

If you're looking to get out and about in North Hertfordshire then you're spoilt for choice - with places to explore from nature reserves to outdoor Olympic pools. Here are some days out worth discovering this summer holiday:

1. IWM Duxford

Three pilots from The Blades, flying in Extra 300s, perform a display at the Duxford Summer Air Show

Three pilots from The Blades, flying in Extra 300s, perform a display at the Duxford Summer Air Show at IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM

Just a short car journey from Royston you will discover the  Imperial War Museum Duxford, Europe’s largest air museum. At Duxford, you can see aircraft take to the skies from the airfield where spitfires first flew.

The historic site holds a vast range of hangars, gigantic aircraft, a currently live airfield and a wide collection of interesting personal stories of those who have lived, fought and died in conflicts such as the First World War.

There are lots of events taking place throughout the summer, including talks, behInd-the-scenes tours with IWM guides, of iconic aircraft such as the Lancaster Bomber, and summer family holiday activities.

Tickets cost £25 for adults, £12.50 for children aged five-15 with under-fives free. IWM members can visit for free.

2. Royston Cave

Carvings in the chalk walls of Royston cave

Carvings in the chalk walls of Royston cave - Credit: Archant

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From overground to underground, Royston Cave has been welcoming visitors since it was discovery in 1742. The entrance was dug by local builder Thomas Watson who lived in the town house above the cave.

The walls of the cave have carvings that are mostly Christian in depiction and medieval in style. It is believed that the carvings were made in the mid-1300s.

Entry is by guided tour only and tours last 30 minutes. Tickets cost £7 per adult, £4 for over-60s and students, £2 for children and under-fives are free.

3. Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender Farm will host an open air cinema

Hitchin Lavender is a fun day out for the whole family - Credit: Archant

Head just a couple of miles outside Hitchin and you will discover Hitchin Lavender, a small family-run flower farm where you can explore rows of lavender as well as acres of sunflower and wildflower meadows.

The main lavender field covers 30 acres and is the perfect place to wander. When you arrive at the entrance, you can collect up a paper bag and pick some lavender to take home while you stroll through the fields.

For the best Instagrammable photos, you should go between mid-June and late August during the main flowering season.

Next to the main field is a display field you can walk around, which contains over 60 varieties of lavender plants. 

The Field Kitchen café is open from 11.30 am to 7.30pm, and there is an onsite shop which sells products containing lavender grown on the farm.

And if your family includes a furry four-legged friend, you can bring them as long as they are kept on a lead. Make sure you book your visit in advance though.

4. Letchworth Outdoor Pool

Activities in and out of the pool will take place at the event. Picture: North Herts District Counci

Cool off on hot summer days at Letchworth Outdoor Pool - Credit: Archant

Often described as 'one of the best outdoor pools in Herts', Letchworth Outdoor Pool is located in a beautiful natural environment just a short walk from Letchworth Train Station.

The heated outdoor pool is 50 metres, the same size as an Olympic swimming pool, so it’s the perfect place to discover your inner Adam Peaty. The pool is surrounded by a grassed sunbathing area and there's also a pool for toddlers and a café.  

If you fancy some lane swimming, get there before 10am.

5. Norton Common

Family fun day set for Norton Common in Letchworth. Picture: North Herts District Council

Norton Common in Letchworth - Credit: Archant

Located in the heart of Letchworth, Norton Common is a nature reserve that boasts woodland and grasslands that are home to a diverse range of wildlife including deer, owls, squirrels and darting dragonflies.

In 1903 the Common was integrated into the design of the Garden City and paths were opened up through the scrubs. Due to the surprising amount of wildlife, Norton Common was designated as a local nature reserve in 2006.

There are a range of activities for families to enjoy, from having a picnic at the picnic area, strolling along the woodlands or relaxing while your kids have fun in the play areas.

6. Baldock Charter Market

Customers at Baldock Market

Customers at Baldock Market - Credit: Archant

If you are looking for a day out on a Wednesday, then pack your shopping bags and head to Baldock Charter Market, which has been trading in Baldock High Street for over 300 years.

Every Wednesday the market serves up freshly baked bread, scrumptious cakes, freshly caught fish and beautifully cut flowers.