7 of the most scenic places to visit in Hertfordshire

Knebworth House with trees and greenery.

Knebworth House is in our list of the most scenic places to visit in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Monica M. on Unsplash

Over the last few years, we have all become used to going out more and enjoying the natural world due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the lockdowns that it has brought with it.

It is important that, as the world gradually returns to normal, we continue to enjoy the outside world and the health benefits that it offers.

With that in mind, we've put together a list of the most scenic places in Hertfordshire to explore. Many of these locations include both indoor and outdoor areas, so you can enjoy the best of both.

1. Redbournbury Watermill and Bakery, near Redbourn

Redbournbury Watermill and Bakery near Redbourn is an aesthetically pleasing building with a museum and bread stall.

The working mill also offers bakery lessons for those who wish to learn how to make a variety of different types of bread.

The Watermill, which boasts 1000 years of milling history, is a great place to start a country walk, being situated directly on the River Ver.

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The museum side of the mill was restored following a fire in 1987, but most of the machinery on show is still from the Victorian era.

2. Hatfield House, Hatfield

Scenic in a variety of ways, Hatfield House is split into three sections to explore: the house, the gardens and the park.

The house itself provides a historic indoor experience, with attractions such as the Rainbow Portrait, the Marble Hall and the King James Drawing Room.

The gardens contain a range of sculptures, flowers, mazes and fountains. On a sunny day, these areas would provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere to walk in.

Finally, the park is home to three woodland walks, all of varying lengths. Ancient trees compliment these walks, along with a deer park which has been present since the 13th century.

3. Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage

Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage offers 48 hectares of green space, with no less than 29 points of interest.

A sailing centre, play area, aqua park, woodland, outdoor activity centre, four lakes and multiple conservation areas are all included within the parks boarders.

The activity centre is known for water sports and extreme sports such as mountain boarding, grass sledging and Power Kiting.

Meanwhile, in the more relaxing areas of the park, conservation areas Shackledell Grassland, Millennium Wood and Whomerley Wood are all available for a quiet stroll.

4. Gorhambury Estate, near St Albans

Located on the edge of St Albans, Gorhambury Estate is a rural estate with Roman, Elizabethan and 18th century heritage. 

It's drive is open to the public as a footpath between 8am and 6pm daily, for those wishing to enjoy a country stroll.

A ruined Roman theatre lies within the grounds of the estate, built around 140AD. Cultural entertainment still has a place within the theatre, with events taking place on a frequent basis.

The house itself was constructed in the late 18th century and is Grade II listed. Within the grounds also lies Old Gorhambury, a house built in the 1500s, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. 

5. Wheathampstead Heritage Trail, Wheathampstead

Wheathampstead heritage trail, located in the village of Wheathampstead, is actually a group of trails with a range of different sights to see.

Trails to choose from include The Village Centre Trail, Lea Valley Circle, Devil's Dyke & Normansland, Above the Lea Valley, The Romans & Normansland, Lamer & Ayot St Lawrence, and Old Railway & River Lea.

The Heritage Trail's website also provides a 'Virtual Museum' which gives information on the history of Wheathampstead.

The Wheathampstead history society is heavily linked to the heritage trail, while worksheets and 'King Cassivellaunus' page' are also provided for young explorers on the trails' website.

6. Knebworth House, near Stevenage

Knebworth House near Stevenage is a particularly scenic location with much to explore.

The house itself is complimented by the gardens, watchman's tower, Knebworth Park, tearoom, adventure playground and even a dinosaur trail.

An exhibition space is also present, showcasing the location's rock history, Indian links and films shot on location at the estate.

The house itself dates back to the Tudor times, but has been updated across the eras.

7. The Cathedral & Abbey Church of Saint Alban, St Albans

Located in the heart of St Albans, the Cathedral & Abbey Church of Saint Alban has resplendent views across both it's own grounds and the historic Verulamium Park. 

The cathedral itself claims to be the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain, dating back to a monastery founded by King Offa of Mercia in 793AD. 

Located next door, is the almost equally historic St Albans School, which itself dates back to 948AD.

If that wasn't enough history to go with the scenic views, 'Britain's oldest pub' the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is located between the Cathedral grounds and Verulamium Park.