Visit Herts' days out guide for keeping the kids entertained this summer
- Credit: Knebworth House / Paradise Wildlife Park / North Hill Farm
Looking for something to do to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays?
Don't worry. Visit Herts, the destination management organisation for the county, has come up with its Hertfordshire summer holiday guide.
School’s out for summer, so herein lies the big question, are you ready to take on six weeks of entertaining little ones? No?
Visit Herts have plenty of ideas to keep the whole family smiling, and what’s more, with a wealth of things to do right here on your doorstep, you needn’t travel very far to make the most of what this season has to offer.
From animal antics to movie magic, and family experiences in the great outdoors, this summer is packed with enough adventure to keep the kids away from their phones.
So, take a peek and start planning your memorable staycation in Herts.
1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
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All aboard the Hogwarts Express! That’s right Potterheads, additional tickets are now available for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter this summer.
Step inside the wizarding world of Harry Potter and discover the filmmaking magic as you go behind the scenes of this iconic film franchise made in Herts.
This summer the studio is shining a spotlight on all things Slytherin in their special feature ‘A Celebration of Slytherin’, which runs until September 15.
Paying homage to some of Slytherin’s most esteemed witches and wizards, a number of original costumes belonging to the Malfoy family will be on display allowing you to see how the designs changed to depict their rise and fall in power.
See the Slytherin common room up-close and step into the Great Hall to be greeted by a sea of famous green house banners.
2. North Hill Farm
Manifest a little magic when you book an utterly unique glamping break at North Hill Farm, Chorleywood, this summer. Who’d have thought a rural retreat could be reached quite so close to central London.
Situated in the heart of the stunning Chess Valley countryside, North Hill Farm offers a variety of B&B accommodation, glamping, and camping facilities – all just a short broomstick ride from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
For an added splash of sorcery, spend the night in the site’s perfectly Potter-inspired glamping unit, Hagridd’s Hideaway.
3. Hatfield House
A quintessential English manor fit for a Queen, Hatfield House was once the childhood home of Elizabeth I and is now a treasure trove of historic mementos, period detail, and sumptuous scenery, offering visitors a rich and varied day out.
This summer, Hatfield Park, along with the estate’s woodland walks, will be open every day throughout the school holidays, with advance online bookings automatically receiving a 10 per cent discount off of full ticket prices.
Pack a picnic and sprawl out in the sunshine with loved ones in the grounds of this fine Jacobean house and enjoy an ice cream from the new Darlish parlour.
Or why not indulge in a holiday treat at The Coach House Kitchen – salted caramel chocolate tart, anyone? For more, visit www.hatfield-house.co.uk
4. Knebworth House
Six weeks with restless little ones is enough to ignite the fear factor into any parent but fear not, for we think we’ve found the answer you’ve been looking for.
Two words: Knebworth House.
That’s right, with over 250 acres of parkland, 28 acres of formal gardens, 72 life-sized dinosaurs, and an Adventure Playground – not to mention the historic house itself – we reckon this Herts location has enough on offer to tire out even the most active of adventurers.
Knebworth Park, Gardens, Adventure Playground and Dinosaur Trail will be open throughout the school holidays, making this country house truly the perfect backdrop to your summer staycation.
Book tickets at www.knebworthhouse.com
5. Paradise Wildlife Park
With over 800 animals to spot, outdoor play areas, their popular World of Dinosaurs attraction, and a new after-hours event programme, Paradise Wildlife Park has plenty to offer families looking to indulge in a wild day out in Herts this summer.
Once you’ve met the meerkats, braved the big cats, and made pals with the primates, settle down every Friday and Saturday evening from July 30 to August 28 to relish sunset in Paradise.
Sip an ice-cold refreshment with friends and family as you experience the animals in a truly unique light, all while enjoying a packed programme of accompanying entertainment including African drummers, acoustic sets, wildlife stilt walkers and face painting. It will be Para-Para-Paradise!
To book, visit www.pwpark.com
6. Historic St Albans
Usually be jetting off for a European city escape right about now?
There’s no need to hop on a plane to get your fix of thriving culture, intriguing history, or fabulous food and drink. In fact, you needn’t stray too far from the M1 for all this and much more.
Whether you’re local, or visiting for a short break, there’s plenty to see, do, and soak up in stunning St Albans.
7. Govia Thameslink Walks
With the welcome arrival of sunny weather, head outside and explore more of our charming county by foot this summer.
Luckily for us, Thameslink and Great Northern, in partnership with AllTrails, have pulled together a fun list of family-friendly walks in Herts – all within a mile of their stations.
Gather together your loved ones and start your adventure by train with Thameslink and Great Northern, before embarking on a plethora of family-friendly routes across Hertfordshire which come complete with hand-curated trail maps, driving directions, detailed reviews, and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers just like you.
From Fairlands Park Circular to Broxbourne Woods Trail, it’s time to lace up and put your best foot forward. Visit www.alltrails.com/lists/family-friendly-walks-in-hertfordshire for a list of trails.
8. Welwyn Roman Baths
Travel through time and discover the fascinating archaeological site and museum of Welwyn Roman Baths.
Unfortunately, you can't actually bathe here – the baths are underground beneath the A1(M).
But you can still see the layout of this well-preserved bath house which once ran as a private villa for local farmers.
Let the little ones dress as Romans or complete the quizzes to become real history buffs.
With special family tours and craft activities to look forward to throughout the summer, this is the perfect place to keep a smile on everyone's face! When in Rome, after all!
Visit www.welwynromanbaths.co.uk for more.
9. Natural History Museum, Tring
School might be out for summer, but if your family has an eager explorer in its midst, you’ll want to head straight to the Natural History Museum in Tring for a day of delightful discoveries.
This marvellous museum’s latest exhibition Animal Mummies: What’s Inside? will transport you to ancient Egypt. You will have the chance to examine animal mummies given as gifts to the ancient Egyptian gods and see how modern technology allows museum scientists to study them today.
Scans and X-rays reveal the untold stories of these revered creatures and the way ancient Egyptians lived with these animals and preserved them after their death.
Walk (like an Egyptian) right this way…
Visit www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/tring.html for more.