Whilst Watford has a bustling city centre with all the amenities you’d expect from a large town, its centre is not particularly exciting. However, the surrounding area of green belt offers the tourist some beautiful natural settings that are well worth visiting and will prove to be great days out, especially for families. It is also home to great nights out in the theatre and music concerts. Being so close to London, it makes for a great day out from the capital and you can find out below what the best things to do in Watford, England are.
1. Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park, twice the size of London’s Hyde Park, dates back many centuries. It’s the perfect place for a meander through the ancient woodland, along the streams and canals. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love the large play area, miniature railway and wildlife. In addition to 2 outdoor fitness areas, check out their website for a wide range of events they host throughout the year for your entertainment.
Address: Gade Avenue, Watford WD18 7LG, England
Website: Cassiobury Park
2. Cheslyn House & Gardens
Cheslyn House & Gardens is a hidden gem in the Watford area and the best bit is that it’s free to visit! It has a stunning garden with a fantastic variety of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees, some of which have been carefully labelled so everyone can learn more about them too. You’ll also be able to wander around the fish pond, a small aviary and maybe catch glimpses of squirrels, badgers, foxes and even a Muntjac deer! Whether you chose to take a picnic, read a book or entertain the kids, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.
Cheslyn House & Gardens
Address: Nascot Wood Road, Watford WD17 4SL, England
Website: Cheslyn House & Gardens
3. Bhaktivedanta Manor
You’ll find this beautiful, old manor house has a very special atmosphere that is both calm and serene. Bhaktivedanta Manor was originally donated by the former Beatle member, George Harrison, to the Harikrishna movement and visitors today can meet the helpful monks as you explore the grounds. Alternatively, attend one of the many events that are held here, especially during religious festivals such as Diwali where thousands of pilgrims take part. Entry is free, as is parking.
Address: Hilfield Lane | Dharam Marg, Watford WD25 8DT, England
Website: Bhaktivedanta Manor
4. Watford Palace Theater
This old theater, which first opened in 1908, will certainly give you the feeling of going back in time and give you a sense of historical importance. A 600 seat Edwardian Palace Theatre is a Grade II listed building which has been modernized recently, puts on high quality theatre shows designed to encourage people to experience the delights of the theater, for both audiences and artists. If you’re visiting the area, plan ahead and see what’s on for an enjoyable visit to the theater.
Watford Palace Theater
Address: 20 Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 1JZ, England
Website: Watford Palace Theater
5. Watford Colosseum
Another great venue for fantastic concerts and events is the Watford Colosseum which has brought a huge range of musicians, comedians and artists to perform here. Situated in the heart of Watford, it was first built in 1938 and currently boasts world-class acoustics for some of the best live music and entertainment. And the best thing? It has all the qualities of a West End theater but without the hassle and high prices so you know you’re guaranteed a great evening out without so much of the expense!
Address: The Colosseum Rickmansworth Road, Watford WD17 3JN, England
Website: Watford Colosseum
6. Whippendell Woods
Whippendell Woods is a magical, ancient woodland that is believed to be more that 400 years old! Enjoy strolling through the avenue of lime trees dating back to 1672 or be in awe of its impressive collection of bluebells and range of trees including: oak, beech, cherry, hawthorn, hazel, ash and silver birch. For lovers of wildlife, look out for woodpeckers, tawny owls, sparrow hawks, bats, badgers and deer. There are several footpaths to follow and opportunities for horse riding around the perimeter.
7. Batchworth Lock Canal Centre
A visit to Batchworth Lock Canal Center is both educational and entertaining…with or without the kids! The original buildings have great historical reference to the canals, transport and trade that took place more than 150 years ago. The current museum is small but gives you an opportunity to learn more about canal building and the transport system of the UK at the time. You can also take a canal boat and have a 40 minute ride, looking out for wildlife as you go.
Batchworth Lock Canal Centre
Address: 99 Church Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1JJ, England
Website: Batchworth Lock Canal Centre
A must visit for all Harry Potter fans is this tour which will introduce you to all that went into making the films and includes seeing the film sets, props, costumes and special effects. You can walk around independently and pose for photo opportunities at The Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley which includes the storefronts of Flourish and Blotts, Ollivanders wand shop, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Eeylops Owl Emporium. The tour ends at the Platform 9 ¾ and where you can see the original Hogwarts Express train.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Address: London, UK
A visit to Watford may surprise you!Nature lovers, theater goers and film buffs will all enjoy special days out in Watford and the surrounding area. Whether you want to stroll through the open countryside, experience the magic of the theater or learn what goes into making a magical film, there’s something for everyone to experience, no matter how old you are!
Get Trip101 in your inbox