Hertfordshire Reco's Please: Where's Nice For A Short Weekend Stay?

I’m looking for a weekend away over the next Bank Holiday (The Jubilee, no less) and had thought of Herts as it’s not too far from me (I’m near Reading) and is somewhere I’ve never really seen apart from a few hours in St Albans and Harpenden which I remember were nice (Harpenden particularly so).

Is there anywhere else in Herts or maybe even North London that would fit the bill given I’m looking for outdoor space, nice pubs etc and some ‘quaintness’

Are the Welwyn and Letchworth nice?

All reco’s and advice welcome.


Great album

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For a weekend away, not really.

Hertford, Letchworth and Hitchin are maybe worth an afternoon at the shops, but that’s about it. Letchworth (and Welwyn) have very few pubs, as they were largely Quaker developments.

There’s a few stately homes, like Hatfield House and Knebworth House, and the River Lea walk is nice, but it’s mainly just little villages and commuter towns.

I presume you’ve been to Cambridge already?

Quite a bit further east, but for a weekend, lavenham in suffolk is nice. Very quaint, lots of stately homes and nice walks and close to dedham vale/constable country too. It is very much a village though. If you wanted to stay somewhere bigger but a shortish drive from all those places you could for for colchester (disclaimer - i know very little about colchester).

Moved to DiS Travel Guide.

Berkhamsted is lovely, some great independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Next to the canal with pubs dotted along, a decent craft beer place (if that’s your jam) and an awesome Art Deco cinema.

Harefield on the Middx / Herts border is really nice - again, near the canal and all the glory that brings in good weather.

Stalebuns, yeah, lovely city. And Harpenden, as you say, is excellent. I know a few people that live there, more than 30 pubs within a mile or so of eachother.

Pirton is maybe too petite, but has a nice quaint village feel. Not far from Hitchin if you want some more evening options.

Welwyn itself doesn’t seem too exciting, but there’s a nice all day walj around the countryside surrounding it.

There’s a train line that runs through Finsbury Park, Haringey at out into Hertfordshire, so it would definitely be doable to stay in North London and head to places for the day. 00,

If you’re looking to do some walking, this is a great site.

Kind of weird hearing people talk about Harpenden favourably. Or talking about it all tbh. Went to school there and the place gives me the creeps quite frankly. Id say St Albans is probably the only place around there you could get a full day out of. It’s all a bit quiet round there tbh.

Expand, please. Nothing wrong with Harpenden, although I prefer Berkhamsted.

A nice weekend break would be to travel by train from Euston to Berkhamsted, preferably on market day (Saturday), check out the nice, independent shops, have drinks at a pub next to the canal, catch a film at the Rex, have a meal at one of the many restaurants on the high street, and then next day walk along the canal to Tring, check out the Natural History Museum, Tring Brewery and Puddington Distillery and then take in the beautiful countryside around Tring reservoir. Finally get the train back from Tring to Euston.

That’s a decent weekend break, me thinks.

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I agree, good suggestions, Harpanden is a nice place, similar to Berkhamsted (where I live). Berkhamsted is not at all exciting (for music or anything), but good food places, great outdoor stuff (ashridge is fab, Chilterns etc), pubs etc. I reckon definitely a nice weekend escape type break.

I dunno, I guess it just has loads of associations for me personally that I can’t expect other people to understand. If I were passing though I’d probably think ‘yeah nice place’. I never lived there but all my mates did when I was growing up and just felt like a place I needed to get away from. I’m sure a lot of people from small towns have similar feelings that are kind of hard to articulate. Sorry, none of this is really useful or relevant.

Ashwell Springs is nice

I’m from Stevenage, and I’m actually here right now visiting folks. Obviously avoid Stevenage, but I’d also swerve Letchworth, Hitchin and Welwyn personally. The tapas bar at Letchworth station used to be decent but haven’t been there for a few years so could have gone downhill like most places seem to have round these parts.

Cheers I’d love to see those places you suggest, just that bit further to go.

I had considered Bishops Stortford actually as I’ve never been but hear it’s nice.

Quite keen to see Southend out of curiousity but not sure what it’s like and can see on a warm bank hol it would be chaos!

nah, stortfords awful. just a bunch of flats and multi storey car parks. was nice 25 years ago…

like said above, go a bit further to cambridge or saffron walden or lavenham or bury st edmunds

Grew up near Bishops Stortford (over the border in the Essex). Unless it’s changed a lot I wouldn’t bother. Chiefly notable for me failing my driving test there several times when I was 17.

Southend-on-Sludge is fun if you like traditional English seaside towns (I do).

I guess when you’re less than 40 minutes on the mainline from central London it doesn’t really need to be.

I’ve got a family friend in Northchurch. Whereabouts do you live?

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Very true! I live just off the high street.

Cool. You know Mario’s on the corner? My father is a friend of the owner.

Yeah, I love Berko. Nice new library too.

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