Hertfordshire is a county is full of contrasts which blend together to create a superb quality of life for residents and visitors. Thriving modern towns have developed amongst historic market towns. Country lanes and sleepy, picturesque villages are never far away. The close proximity of London provides fast train links into central London, for those wishing to visit the capital. Stevenage has excellent leisure and entertainment facilities and there is plenty to see and do round about, making the Novotel an excellent base for exploring.
Knebworth House and Gardens
Famous for its rock concerts and as the home of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton. The romantic exterior of Knebworth House with its turrets, domes and gargoyles silhouetted against the sky does little to prepare the visitor for what to expect inside. The House has stood for many years longer than the Victorian decoration suggests and the stucco hides from view a red brick house dating back to the Tudor times. The Gardens at Knebworth are delightful throughout the season. 28 acre formal gardens including a maze, colouful borders and children’s adventure park.
Contact: Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6PY. Tel: 01438 812661
Visit this stunning Jacobean house within its own Park and see the surviving wing of the Tudor Royal Palace, where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood. Home of the Cecil family for 400 years, the house is steeped in Elizabethan and Victorian political history. Delightful formal gardens to explore. Special events (see website) throughout the year. Enhance your day with a visit to Hatfield Park Farm. Spread over 25 acres it is a traditional breeds farm. Or take a mapped walk through the extensive parkland. Or just relax in Stable Yard, home to the Coach House Restaurant and an array of shops.
Contact: Hatfield House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5NQ Tel: 01707 287010-
Wrest Park is an exceptional rarity – a magnificent house of the 1830s set in an outstanding restored garden landscape originating in the 17th century. The house itself is remarkable, a near unique example of 19th-century English architecture following the style of an 18th-century French chateau. Its grounds are a glorious amalgam of three centuries of English garden design, and contain one of the few remaining formal gardens of the early 18th century. Children’s Play area
Contact: Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR. Tel: 01525 86000
Hitchin Lavender (open until 18th September)
Hitchin Lavender is a lavender farm attraction close to both London and Cambridge. There are 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. As well as the fields of lavender, they also grow sunflowers and have a wildflower area. Spectacular views of rural Hertfordshire and many interesting walks
Contact: Caldwell Farm, Ickleford Farm, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3UA. Tel: 01462 434343
There is plenty to do for little visitors round and about in Stevenage – here is just a selection or click on the link here: http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/stevenage
Hollwood Bow, Stevenage
Offers 22 lanes of classic family tenpin. Fun for all the family!
Contact: Stevenage Leisure Park, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2UA Tel: 0844 826 1468
Sensationally speedy but child friendly indoor go karts. Children must be over 8 years old and ready to rock as well as follow the rules – but don’t worry there are safety marshals on hand throughout to ensure safe practices and parental piece of mind!
Teamworks Karting, 2 Pixmore Avenue, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1JS Tel: 08456 436 890
Stand Alone Farm
See all your farmyard favourites, from sheep to cows, goats to pigs, regular feeding, trailer tractor rides, and special events
Contact: Stand Alone Farm, Wilbury Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4JN Tel: 01462 686775
British Schools Museum – Hitchin
There is no other museum like the British Schools Museum in Hitchin. The 1837 is the only one of its kind left in the world. Truly interactive, children can dress up in period costumes, explore the classrooms and practice their writing in sand trays and on slates.
Contact: British Schools Museum, 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin, SG4 9TS. Tel: 01462 420144
Knebworth House Gardens and Park
Dinosaur trail with 72 life-size dinosaurs! Adventure Playground, Maze, interactive water play and Fort Knebworth. Children under 4 free
Contact: Knebworth House, Knebworth, Hertfordshsire, SG1 2AX Tel: 01438 812661