7 free things to do in Hertfordshire

Hatfield House with a path, covered by low trees, leading through the gardens.

Hatfield House's historic Stable Yard is free to explore, with shops and cafés present. - Credit: Tips For Travellers on Creative Commons

In a post-pandemic world, with energy costs rising and fuel prices hiking by the day, its not always possible for us to spend big on activities and days out.

Fortunately, Hertfordshire has much to offer that doesn't require money to enjoy.

Many museums, parks and attractions across the county offer either free entry or free access to large proportions of their experience. 

Here's our list of free things to do in Hertfordshire. 

1. Stevenage Museum, Stevenage

Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Stevenage Museum bills itself as "Hertfordshire's friendliest museum". 

The attraction hosts multiple events throughout the year, including classic films and afternoon teas.

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Stevenage museum tells the story of the town and its community with displays, films and hands-on activities.

General admission is free, however, a small charge may be required for some events.

2. Verulamium Park, St Albans

Verulamium Park in St Albans is a vast green space spanning from Westminster Lodge leisure centre to St Albans Cathedral, and up to the Roman Verulamium Museum.

The park itself is named after the ancient Roman name for St Albans, and was used as a recent shooting location for upcoming blockbuster Wonka!.

The Roman mosaic with stones around the edge.

Verulamium Park is home to an ancient Roman mosaic. - Credit: Przemysław Sakrajda on Creative Commons

An ancient Roman mosaic, named The Hypocaust, can also be viewed inside a building towards the top of the park's hill.

Other features of the park include the River Ver, Verulamium Lake and the Inn on the Park café. 

3. The New Maynard Gallery, Welwyn Garden City

The New Maynard Gallery sits within the Hawthorne Theatre at Campus West, Welwyn Garden City.

It showcases art from both professional and amateur local artists, and is run by a group of volunteers and trustees.

The gallery hosts nine exhibitions per year, including one from Welwyn Art Club, one from Welwyn Photographic Club and one from Herts Visual Arts.

The New Maynard Gallery began when local artist Sally-Ann Jones asked to display her art on a staircase wall at Campus West in the early 2000s. 

4. Hatfield House Stable Yard, Hatfield

The majority of Hatfield House requires an entrance fee, however, parking and entrance to the Stable Yard is free.

The Stable Yard is a historic yard featuring multiple shops and eateries, including an ice cream vendor and café restaurant.

A view of Hatfield House from under a tree.

A number of woodland walks and the Stable Yard can be accessed for free at Hatfield House. - Credit: Tips For Travellers on Creative Commons

Access to Old Hatfield is also available from the location, with historic pubs and quaint streets present.

5. Royston & District Museum and Art Gallery, Royston

Royston & District Museum and Art Gallery celebrates the town and people of Royston and villages nearby.

In 1856, the museum was created in what is now the Town Hall, but moved to the museum's current home in 1984 with the closing of a Sunday School.

The venue is home to a number of art exhibitions and collections of artefacts from across the generations.

The Royston Crow newspaper archive is also present at the museum, with copies of every edition between 1855 and 2006.

6. St Albans South Signal Box, St Albans

A 19th century building, St Albans South signal box used to service Midland Railway trains, and is the largest box of its kind to be preserved.

The signal box has been restored, painted and rewired and is now open for the public to explore.

A yellow and red signal box, with glass windows.

A 19th century signal box can now be explored in St Albans. - Credit: Matt From London on Creative Commons

The ground floor is a museum, with a lever frame upstairs, dating back to at least 1904. 

The building itself was created in 1892, and has been recognised with awards from several bodies.

7. Town Centre Gardens, Stevenage

Described as a "Formal and ornamental public gardens", Stevenage's Town Centre Gardens were created in the mid-1960s.

A play area is present for children and toddlers, whilst flower-filled landscapes are available for all to enjoy.

A sensory garden, open grassland, fountains, a bridge and remnants of ancient hedgerows are included within the gardens' perimeter. 

The café within the park even sells duck food in a bid to stop people from feeding them bread.