Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire is within easy reach of London and accessible to the wider UK through the excellent transport links to the county, and is home to a number of visitor attractions ranging from Roman ruins to the blockbuster film industry.

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Hertfordshire Overview

Welcome to Hertfordshire

The home county of Hertfordshire, often just called Herts, is a landlocked county surrounded by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Buckinghamshire and Greater London.

Hertfordshire has a population of around 1,200,000 people. The county town is Hertford with other large populations at Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and St. Albans – Hertfordshire’s only city.

The landscape of Hertfordshire has been largely agricultural, benefiting from chalk rivers, with a large number of medieval buildings and the remains of Verulamium a Roman settlement at St. Albans.


History

The Roman occupation of Hertfordshire, which has left the county with a series of Roman sites and visitor attractions, superseded by Anglo Saxon rule when the county became part of the Kingdom of Mercia.

Proximity to London meant that much of the land was owned by either nobility or royalty but the en of the Industrial Revolution was transformational for Hertfordshire with Letchworth becoming the world’s first garden city. The county enjoyed the success of MGM studios with a number of major films being made in the county including Star Wars, whilst EastEnders and Harry Potter were also recorded in Hertfordshire.


Places to Visit in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire has a wide choice of great of days out to keep all the family entertained. A visit to St. Albans to take in the Verulamium Museum will open a window on one of the largest Roman cities built in England, showcasing a collection of mosaics, coins and artefacts. Over at Welwyn you can take in the Roman Baths and see how the Romans enjoyed the warm waters. Paradise Wildlife Park is a venue where you can meet the animals – big cats, red pandas and everyone’s favourites the meerkats. Film buffs will love a trip a to Warner Bros. Studio Tour at Elstree – go behind the scenes to discover the magic of the Harry Potter movies, tour the sets Great Hall, experience the visual effects and learn how the magical creates were brought to life for the big screen.

Hertfordshire has a number of important houses, stately homes and glorious gardens open to the public. Hatfield House is perhaps one of the greatest houses in the country – the location at which Queen Elizabeth 1 was told she would be Queen. The interior of the house is a fascinating collection of rooms and galleries, whilst outside some of the most historically important gardens in England stretch to 42 acres – be sure to see the Queen Elizabeth’s Oak.

Knebworth House is an extensive building decorated in a wealth of fascinating architecture whilst inside there are numerous stately rooms to explore, the grounds regularly host concerts. Other houses in the county include Gorhambury House and Ashridge House. Garden lovers can explore Bushey Rose Garden packed with original features and colour throughout the year or take in the Lordship Gardens at Benington Lordship Country House, famous for its display of snowdrops, daffodils and summer borders.

Hertfordshire has a number of historic buildings that describe the heritage of the county – visit the St. Alban’s Clock Tower, the only civic medieval belfry in England, its cathedral or the Hemel Hempstead Charter Tower and the ruins of the 11th century Berkhamsted Castle.

For those seeking exercise and fresh air, Hertfordshire benefits from at least five national footpaths running through the county.

Looking for some retail therapy? Then head to Watford or Bishops Stortford – two of the best shopping locations in the country, the Galleria at Hatfield or the Westgate Centre at Stevenage.

Letchworth combines the mall of Garden Square with a range of independent boutiques.

Hertfordshire’s famous names include Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, writer Graham Greene, golfer Nick Faldo, England football manager Gareth Southgate, Olympian Victoria Pendleton, Geri Halliwell and Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bonn.

Hertfordshire has a large range of annual events including The Hertfordshire County Show, Hogsozzle Festival, Farr Festival, St. Albans Steam & Country Show and St. Albans Folk Festival.

Hertfordshire’s traditional food includes veal kidney pie, Braughing sausage made with pork and beer brewed from the large barley crops grown in the region.


Getting There

Hertfordshire is very accessible by road with the M25, M1, A1(M) and A1 among the major roads running through the county.

The county is well served by train with numerous links to London’s principal stations of Euston, King’s Cross and Liverpool Street.
Visitors from further afield can use the Heathrow airport and other major airports including Stansted given the road network.



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