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Family fun and magical adventures in Hertfordshire

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

There’s not much you can’t do in Hertfordshire, from pleasant ambling to heart-pumping thrills to suit everyone in the family.


Adventure activities

Resting on the River Lee, the Lee Valley Boat Centre is heaven for water babies. Hire a rowboat or jump on a pedalo to make the most of it. Then, it’s time to explore the Lee Valley Country Park. Don’t forget your binoculars for bird watching along the walking trails or take a bike ride through wildlife havens. When you’ve got more energy to burn, visit The Pioneer Skatepark in St Albans – and don’t worry if you’re new to the sport. It’s the UK’s oldest skate park and welcomes beginners to give it a go or spectators to watch the pros.

Also in St Albans, kids and big kids alike love Willows Activity Farm. Get up close to over 300 farm animals and take a ride on Tristan the Runaway Tractor. If it happens to rain, head undercover at Toddler Town or Captain Chicken’s Egg Dodge. Depending on when you visit, it’s likely you’ll enjoy a seasonal event like February Frolics or Santa’s Grotto at Christmas.

Resting on the River Lee, the Lee Valley Boat Centre is heaven for water babies. Hire a rowboat or jump on a pedalo to make the most of it

Fancy skating? Roller City at Campus West is the place to zip around to music while you’re visiting Welwyn Garden City. For indoor skiing action, head to The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. Challenge yourself to the 160-metre Main Slope, along with the UK’s largest indoor lesson slope. Expert ski instructors await to lend a helping hand.

Potty for Potter

Get your wand ready to explore the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter at Leavesden. It’s easy to get to via a 15-minute shuttle bus from Watford Junction if you don’t have a car. Stock up on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs before delving into the Forbidden Forest. You’ll have hours of fun spotting props and costumes from your favourite scenes and characters.

Marvel at Gringotts Bank at Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire

Marvel at Gringotts Bank at Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter

If your preference for magic is more flora and fauna than wands and spells, take a trip to Cheslyn House and Gardens. The Green Flag award winner boasts a formal area and semi-natural woodland, with ponds and an abundance of wildlife. The largest public open space in Watford, Cassiobury Park is a wonderland of children’s playgrounds with swings and slides. They’ll also love a miniature railway and a zip wire.

Stock up on Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs while you visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter

You’ll find the Gotha garden at Pembroke Farm Gardens, between Baldock and Royston. Spot wildlife as you stroll among formal topiary and rose gardens, then pop into the delightful shop to buy luxury aromatherapy products. Stevenage boasts Fairlands Valley Park, with lovely walking trails for peace-seekers and watersports for thrillseekers.

Exotic encounters

Get set to meet some of the world’s most exotic and endangered species at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne. It’s home to lions, tigers and snow leopards among around 400 animals. You’ll learn fun facts at daily talks, like how to spot the alpha male in a wolf pack or how much it takes to feed a big cat. Check out the host of slippery residents in the reptile enclosure and cuddle the cutest creatures in the farmyard.

Tiger at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire

Meet the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park

In Royston, Wimpole Home Farm sprawls across acres of parkland around a stately home. The 18th-century farmyard is home to horses and rare breed cattle, along with sheep, pigs and more. Young farmers learn about the daily activities around the yard, where they’ll grab a milking bucket, ride a tractor or run around the adventure playground.

Home to lions, tigers and snow leopards among around 400 animals, meet some of the world’s most exotic and endangered species at Paradise Wildlife Park

For something a little different, visit the former gravel pit of Amwell Nature Reserve. A Site of Special Scientific Interest, it supports incredible numbers of wintering wildfowl and communities of breeding dragonflies. In fact, all 19 species of dragonfly and damselfly in Hertfordshire have been recorded here. Head to the Bittern Pool viewpoint to spot the elusive bird of the same name.


Get your wand ready to explore the making of Harry Potter


Read more

Top 10 things to do in Hertfordshire

How to spend 48 hours in Hertfordshire

History and heritage of Hertfordshire

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Image credits: ©CW Entertainment; Paradise Wildlife Park; Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter; Willows Activity Farm/Visit Herts; Video: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter/YouTube

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