60 things to do in Hertfordshire in 2016

The popular Battle Proms returns to Hatfield House in July

The popular Battle Proms returns to Hatfield House in July - Credit: Archant

Grab your diary - here’s 60 of the best events in the county this year

Dance Springs takes place at the University of Hertfordshire in March

Dance Springs takes place at the University of Hertfordshire in March - Credit: Archant


3 New Year Wassail, Mill Green Museum, Hatfield

The ancient Twelfth Night ceremony in the museum’s grounds takes place from 2-4.30pm. Expect a tree blessing followed by drinking the ‘wassail’ - a Celtic drink made with apples and spices, as well as tucking into Twelfth Night cake. There’s music and a Mummers play too.


9-10 Bride: The Wedding Show, Knebworth House

One of Hertfordshire’s biggest wedding shows is back at Knebworth Barns. Around 80 exhibitors will help you o plan your special day all under one roof, and there’s fashion shows. a Champagne bar and the change to win a Mexican honeymoon too.

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Get ready for the jousting tournament at Knebworth House in March

Get ready for the jousting tournament at Knebworth House in March - Credit: Archant

10 St Albans Farmers’ Market

Thispopular market on St Peters Street is known for its range and high quality of goods from local farms and producers. Subsequent markets will be held on the second Sunday of each month.

24 Strictly Come Hospice, Watersmeet Theatre, Rickmansworth

Thanks to Peace House Hospice, Strictly fans have the chance to hit the dancefloor themselvesas the charity is giving 20 couples seven weeks of ballroom dancing lessons culminating in a grand finale in front of a live audience and panel of judges on March 13. peacehospice.co.uk

29 Burns Night supper, West Lodge Park, Hadley Wood

The hotel’s annual celebration of the poet is back. The authentic celebration sees a four-course dinner of Scottish cuisine and a dram of whisky, before the piper addresses the haggis with Robert Burns’ famous poem recited in gaelic. £55pp bealeshotels.co.uk/westlodgepark

A horse jumps a gate in the show jumping arena at the Herts County Show

A horse jumps a gate in the show jumping arena at the Herts County Show - Credit: Archant


4-6 Stevenage Winter Beer Festival, Gordon Craig Theatre

Over 80 beers, ciders and perry will be available at this three-day event in the Concert Hall. There’s plenty of food too. £3 on the door, free for CAMRA, EBCU and OAPs. gordon-craig.co.uk

5-10 Bishop’s Stortford Festival of Literature

Returning for its seventh year, this week of literary events at Bishop’s Stortford College promises a range of talks and performances. There’s appearances from key figures such as author Germaine Greer and comedian Arthur Smith. bishopsstortfordcollege.org

Last year's Tringe Festival attracted some of the biggest names in comedy - and this year could be e

Last year's Tringe Festival attracted some of the biggest names in comedy - and this year could be even better - Credit: Archant

7 Watford Half Marathon

The race for adults (as well as a youngsters event) starts and finishes at Cassiobury Park and includes the Herts County Masters Half Marathon Championship. All entrants must be capable of completing the course in three hours.


18 Anniversary Peace Classics, Clarendon Muse, Watford

A special evening of music celebrating the 25th year of Peace Hospice in Watford, as well as 90 years of the Royal College of Music’s junior department. Performances from the Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra. £25 adults, £15 concessions. peacehospice.co.uk

29-March 5 Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival, Barn Theatre

There will be plenty of narrowboats on the Grand Union Canal at the Rickmansworth Boat Festival in M

There will be plenty of narrowboats on the Grand Union Canal at the Rickmansworth Boat Festival in May - Credit: Archant

A week-long dramatic competition which attracts hundreds of young people from the county and beyond performing one-act plays to compete for various drama awards. wgcydf.org


4 Dance Springs, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

An annual week-long festival celebrating the best in contemporary British dance. The festival invites the audience to get close to the action, with performances, workshops and exhibitions across the University campus. herts.ac.uk

12 6.30-9.30pm Wimpole After Dark, Arrington nr Royston

A rare opportunity to experience a National Trust property at night time. As well as the popular Night Run event, where runners explore the grounds and woodland of Wimpole Hall, there’s live music and night tours of the house and gardens. £10 adults £5 children. nationaltrust.org.uk

12-13 10am-3pm Oaklands College Lambing Weekend, St Albans

This free event allows all the family to watch lambs being born at the college which has a strong agricultural focus as well as getting involved with activities such as tractor rides and a farm trail. There’s also access to the Oaklands Animal Care Centre, boasting a range of creatures from reptiles to rabbits. oaklands.ac.uk

13 10am-3pm Daffs & Dogs, Hatfield House

Following the success of last year’s event, the Daffs and Dogs dog walk and show in the grounds of Hatfield House is back. The fun family event in support of Riding for Disabled Association Digswell Place Group will be awarding rosettes and prizes for show categories including ‘best legs’, ‘most handsome dog’ and ‘dog most like its owner’, all after a mass walk around the grounds of the stately home, opened exclusively for the purpose. A must for dog lovers, and the Stable Yard shops and restaurant will be open too.

26-27 Jousting tournament, Knebworth House

Witness medieval jousting displays with knights on horseback charging full tilt across an arena as well as hand-to-hand combat. Theturrets and towers of the gothic stately home provide a fitting backdrop. You can also try your hand at archery. £9.50 (under-threes free). knebworthhouse.com


3-4 Hertfordshire Festival of Dogs, venue TBC

Talks and demonstrations by dog care professionals, celebrities and trainers, as well as thethe chance to splash out on furry friends onvariety of stalls.. festivalsofdogs.co.uk

16-17 East of England Food Festival, Knebworth House

A highlight of Hertfordshire foodies’ calendars. Sample and buy from a wide range of local and artisan producer, from cheese and meat to cakes and wine, and watch the cookery demonstrations taking place across the weekend. £9.50 (under-threes free) knebworthhouse.com

18-23 Hertford Theatre Week, Hertford Theatre

A six-night drama festival featuring a different performance every night.Productions travel from all over the country for the chance win trophies and to compete at the National Drama Festival Association’s All Winners’ Festival. Tickets for each performance are £12.50. hertfordtheatreweek.org.uk

23 De Havilland Model Railway Society Exhibition, Welwyn GC

The exhibition at the society’s meeting place, Ludwick Way Methodist Church, is expected to haveover a dozen model railway layouts for enthusiasts to enjoy, as well astrade stands. £4 adults, £2 children. dhmrs.co.uk

29-May 15 Baldock Festival

The annual town festival returns, starting with the Baldock Beer Festival on April 29 and finishing with the Baldock Classic Car Show on May 15, with a wide range of events in between. baldockfestival.org


Apr 29- May 2 Kimpton May Festival

One of the largest village festivals in the county, this weekend is always packed full of activities, including themed carnival, wine tastings, music, craft, art and of course maypole dancing. kimptonmayfestival.co.uk

8 Ashwell at Home

The quintessential village day in North Herts with music, cricket, open gardens and children’s activities. ashwellathome.org.uk

21-22 Rickmansworth Boat Festival, Grand Union Canal

This large festival celebrates boating, canals, community and the environment. There’s plenty to see and do, from the wide array of boats on display from Batchworth Lock to the Aquadrome Park, as well as music andperforming artsrwt.org.uk/festival

22 10am-4pm Herts Auto Show, Stanborough Lakes, Welwyn GC

This year’s show is being hosted by motorbike racer turned commentator Steve Parrish and promises a wide range of cars and from classics to hot rods and supercars, as well as motorbikes on display.Adults £5, children £3 (under-fives free). hertsautoshow.co.uk

28-29 Hertfordshire County Show, Redbourn

The county show attracts over 30,000 people to the County Showground There will be hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of crafted and specialist produce, animal shows and exhibitions, horse competitions, stunt riding and circus entertainment.hertsshow.com


4-5 National Garden Scheme Garden Festival Weekend

The chance to explore all kinds of special gardens across the county not normally open to the public (and meet the gardeners) in aid of charity.


11-26 Letchworth Festival

A fortnight of community-led events run by the town’s many clubs and societies. Expect all the usual fun such as Proms in the Park, a film festival and Day of Dance as well as many other events in and around the town centre. letchworthfestival.org

12 It’s a Knockout fun day, Wormley playing fields

The return of cancer charity Teens Unite’s annual event will see teams competing on giant inflatables in the spirit of the 1980s TV show, with various other fun activities and stalls in Wormley, near Broxbourne. teensunitefightingcancer.org

18-19 Alban Weekend, St Albans

The weekend starts with the Alban Pilgrimage, a celebration of the martyred saint that gives the city its name, with a dramatic carnivalthrough the streets. Then on the 19th the Alban Street Festival will see a range of creative displays taking place on St Peter’s Street. enjoystalbans.com

26July 16 Tringe Comedy Festival

Attracting some of the cream of the UK’s comedy scene, magicians and more, many preparing for their Edinburgh Festivalshows. get-stuffed.biz


1-3 Childwickbury Arts Fair, , St Albans

Over 60 artists and craftspeople will display their work, along with live music, refreshments and educational activities at the Childwickbury Estate. childwickburyarts.com

8-9 Chilfest, Tring

The annual music festival celebrating the sounds of the 1980s. The 2016 line up includes The Human League, UB40 and Chas & Dave. chilfest.co.uk

23 & 24 Battle Proms and Folk by the Oak, Hatfield House

The annual evening of classical music featuring choreographed aerial shows, cannon fire, cavalry displays and fireworks is followed by a one-day festival featuring some of the finestacts on the UK folk scene, asd well asplenty of craft and vintage shopping. Both are great hampers and champers events. battleproms.com and folkbytheoak.com

27 Classics on the Common, Harpenden

More than a thousand classic, exotic and contemporary cars and motorbikes on display. This popular show raises funds for local charities. classicsonthecommon.com

31 Kimpton Horse Show

Expect all the usual showing, show-jumping, gymkhana, fancy dress, working hunter classes and more. kimptonhorseshow.co.uk


3-14Shakespeare Festival, Pendley

This annual event at Pendley Manor near Tring, sees open-air productions of two of Shakespeare’s plays, is particularly important this year as it marks 400 years since his death. pendleyshakespearefestival.co.uk7 Rock at the Castle, Hertford

This free eventis part of Hertford Music Festival, with dozens of bands performing in the grounds of Hertford Castle, as well as a DJ tent. hertford.gov.uk

28-29 Knebworth Motor Show

Up to 1,000 classic and collectible vehicles on display, as well as a show arena hosting parades, interviews and other performances. £9.50, under-threes free. knebworthhouse.com

29 Ashwell Show

A mixture of horse show and traditional village show featuring falconry displays, a stunt show, crafts, food and animal activities. ashwellshow.co.uk

Dates TBC Benington Chilli Festival

Celebrate all things hot and spicy with stalls, competitions, displays and plenty of food. beningtonlordship.co.uk


3-25 Herts Open Studios

The chance to visit around 100 Herts artists including painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, textile and woodworkers in their studios to see them at work, chat to them about their creations and buy pieces. Now in its 26th year.


16-18 Hertfordshire Jazz Festival, Welwyn GC

Taking place at the Hawthorne Theatre with a variety of top acts performing over three nights as well as free sessions to attend in the theatre foyer at lunchtime. hertfordshirejazzfestival.co.uk

18 Hertfordshire Festival of Sport, Verulamium Park, St Albans

At this family event you can swim, run and cycle in various competitions, and budding Olympians aged 4-8 can take part in the Scootathon. herculesevents.com

22-25 Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival

A weekend of classical concerts ranging from Haydn to the present day, featuring eminent musicians performing chorus and orchestral arrangements. hatfieldhousemusicfestival.org.uk

28- October 10 St Albans Food and Drink Festival

One of Hertfordshire’s most-anticipated foodie events showcasing all the fantastic food, drink and produce available in the county and beyond. The event includes the popular St Albans Beer and Cider festival. enjoystalbans.com


8-9 Hertford Food and Drink Festival

Three days of markets, food activities, demonstrations and competitions taking place at foodie venues throughout the town. hertford.gov.uk

22-30 Pumpkin Festival, Willows Activity Farm, Colney Heath

Get ready for Halloween by picking your own free pumpkin and join in with the pumpkin-related family activities taking place. willowsactivityfarm.com

24-30 St Albans Fashion Week

Catwalk shows, pop-ups, demonstrations, special offers and shopping experiences taking place across the city. stalbansfashionweek.com

Dates TBC Hertford Childrens’ Book Festival

Now in its fifth year, this week-long festival is organised by bestselling author Freya North and PR specialist partner of Simon Pegg, Maureen. andfeatures appearances from leading children’s literaryfigures to inspire children (and adults). hertfordchildrensbookfestival.co.uk

Date TBC Herts 10K, Harpenden

Thousands of runners and walkers jointhis fundraising event in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. herts10k.com


5 Bonfire Night

Watch fireworks light up the night sky across the county. Some of the biggest displays are at Cheshunt Park, in St Albans’ Verulamium Park, Fairlands Valley in Stevenage and Hatfield House.

5-6 Mistletoe Market, Redbourn

Back for a second year, expect festive food, art and gift ideas from local producers. herts-mistletoe-market.com

13 Remembrance Sunday parades, locations throughout Herts

Join one of the range services and parades to remember our fallen servicemen and women – locations include Stevenage, Ware, Cheshunt, Hertford and Hitchin.

17-20 Frost Fair, Hatfield House

This popular festive shopping event has plenty of local produce as well as musical and magical performances in the magical grounds of the stately home. hatfield-house.co.uk

20 Hertfordshire Business Awards, Knebworth Barns

The glittering awards ceremony celebrating the county’s top businesses across a wide range of categories. Enter your company at hertsbusinessawards.co.uk


Dates TBC St Albans Christmas Market

A highlight of the county’s festive calendar, this Continental-style Christmas market takes place in and around Vintry Gardens by St Albans Cathedral for several weeks, with 60 traditional wooden chalets selling gifts. There’s food and entertainment as well. enjoystalbans.com

Dates TBC Nativity Crib Festival, St Ippolyts

Parishioners fill St Ippolyts Churc with hundreds of nativity scenes that they have made, bought or collected from around the world - creating a magical displayThere’s competitions and tea and homemade cakes too. stippolytschurch.org.uk

2 Ware Dickensian Evening

Experience a night of Christmas shopping with an (Oliver) twist. The Victorian-themed event takes place across the town centre with latenight shopping, stalls, live music, mulled wine and the big Christmas lights switch-on. Dickensian costume optional. dickensian.org.uk

10-11 Hitchin Christmas Tree Festival, Holy Saviour Church

Around 50 schools, families and groups each decorate a tree around a theme of their choice - allon of which go on display in the church - creating a mini forest. There’smusic, food and a thanksgiving service too. holysaviourhitchin.org.uk

Date TBC St Albans Sleepout, St Albans Cathedral

The annual event to raise awareness and funds for Hertfordshire homelessness charities. Schools, businesses and individuals gather to to spend the night sleeping out in the grounds of the cathedral. stalbans.anglican.org

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