London is an exceptional city and a city of a thousand faces. However, even those of us born and bred in the capital have to admit that, every once in a while, it can really start to grate on you. The hustle and the bustle, the constant stream of loud tourists and the frantic pace of life can be overwhelming without a break. And that’s what the weekend getaway was made for!
Located just an hour north of London by train, Hertfordshire is a remarkably green and vibrant area that you would think belongs to another country entirely than the imposing skyscrapers and concrete glamour of the big smoke. It’s also home to some incredible potential days out!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – If you’re a fan of the boy wizard Harry Potter and his many adventures then this could very well be the best day of your life. Explore the Forbidden Forest, Gringotts Bank and the famous Hogwarts Express and enjoy spending time on the actual sets that were used in the epic film series.
Hatfield House – A historic estate that was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I, Hatfield House is a commanding Jacobean mansion that’s over 400 years old and also boasts some truly incredible gardens, not to mention a working farm. With a train from Potters Bar to Hatfield taking just over ten minutes, it’s also perfectly located to work as the filling in an activity sandwich.
Pioneer Skatepark – Admittedly something of an acquired taste, but anyone who has ever wanted to find their inner Tony Hawk, this is one of the most fully-featured skateparks in the country. You don’t need to take to the half pipes either, as there are plenty of courses engineered towards beginners and even younger and older skaters!
The Priory Lido – An outdoor pool build in the 1930s and recently refurbished to an incredibly high standard, The Priory is one of many lidos in Hertfordshire and is one of the biggest and most famous, at 30 metres in length. Perfect for a summer’s day spent soaking in the sun.
Royston Cave – A spooky day out like few others, Royston Cave is a mystery to even those that discovered it. With cave walls depicting scenes of the crucifixion, it was obviously of some religious significance. It was also initially found full of human bones so if you’re a fan of the macabre then you could do a lot worse.
Scott’s Grotto – A series of ornate grottoes covered in shells and stones, these strange and marvellous chambers are carved into the hillside in the picturesque town of Ware and would make an ideal pairing with a day out in Royston Cave.