Although it’s nowhere near enough time to do it justice, in just 48 hours you can get a taste of the very best Hertfordshire has to offer.
A trip to the Warner Bros. Studio for a tour of the Making of Harry Potter is a must for any Harry Potter fan – and even for those who aren’t, it is a fascinating insight into the craft of movie making. The studio is at Leavesden and if you’re coming from London you can begin your tour with a special coach from Victoria or a train from Euston. Once there expect to spend about three hours having a look around.
After you’ve enjoyed a morning full of magic, why not move on to St Albans for a spot of lunch before exploring the city in the afternoon? Lussmans at Waxhouse Gate off the High Street offer a varied menu with options to cater for all tastes. St Villa Bar & Restaurant in Marlborough Road is another popular choice and Hatch on Holywell Hill is always worth a visit for its friendly atmosphere, and delicious menu.
A visit to St Albans wouldn’t be complete without seeing the cathedral and after lunch take a gentle stroll around to this magnificent monument. Try and book a tour beforehand (they are free and led by very knowledgeable guides and usually take around an hour), which will bring the building to life. There’s also a small gift shop where you can buy souvenirs.
In the afternoon, if you still have the energy, why not enjoy a little retail therapy? The city has an interesting mix of speciality boutiques and independent retailers alongside major High Street names. There’s also a twice-weekly street market so if you time your visit well, you can enjoy a little more of the local life.
There are plenty of places to stay in and around St Albans, from small local hotels and pubs with rooms to larger out of town country retreats with spoiling facilities. If you fancy treating yourself, Hanbury Manor Marriot Hotel & Country Club near Ware will always provide a welcome respite from the hectic pace of life.
About 18 miles from the centre of St Albans, Hanbury Manor is set in stunning grounds with super restaurants and a great spa to help you unwind. After an evening here you will be recharged and relaxed for another day of exploring ahead.
About 15 minutes from Hanbury Manor, the Henry Moore Studio and Gardens are open to visitors in the summer from March to October. The sculpture gardens will take your breath away as you wander amongst Moore’s monumental bronzes. Your Studios and Gardens admission also includes entry into Moore’s studios and the Aisled Barn where unique tapestries are displayed.
After your visit, head towards Hertfordshire’s county town, Hertford, again just a few miles away. On the way why not call into The Nags Head in Little Hadham for a reliably good pub lunch? This charming village pub has a delicious menu and a pretty ‘secret garden’ where you can enjoy your meal on warmer days.
Once in Hertford, you can spend time enjoying the sights, such as Hertford Castle and the town’s museum and then in the evening, a visit to Hertford Theatre is a must. You can enjoy a snack in the cafe before experiencing a show. The venue offers superb shows for families, as well as art house and popular cinema, as well as top-name comedians and music.
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