15 great things to do in June in Hertfordshire
- Credit: courtesy The Alfresco Theatre Drive-In
Herts Life picks out the best things to do in the county this month as theatre, live music and generally going in doors to do things all make a triumphant return!
Words: Victoria Purcell & Julie Lucas
1. The Alfresco Theatre Drive-In, St Albans
Tom Kerridge’s 2020 Drive & Dine Theatre experience returns as The Alfresco Theatre Drive-In, coming to Hertfordshire Showground from June 2-6. Five top chefs - Tom Kerridge, Rick Stein, Atul Kochhar, Paul Ainsworth and Jason Atherton - will create one-off dishes against a background of live entertainment provided by guest comedians and bands plus popular films. Mark Watson and Dara O’Briain are among the comedy stars booked, while films include Dirty Dancing, Bohemian Rhapsody, the singalong version of Grease and The Greatest Showman. There's also kids' entertainment with The Gruffalo - Live on Stage. Kerridge's Pub in the Park will also return to Herts from September 10-12 at Verulamium Park.
2. Watford's Magical Maze
May 29-June 6
We have all felt stuck in a maze over the past months, so how about taking the family and finding your way out of one? Watford's Magical Maze will be coming to the town centre and asking youngsters to help solve its 'ancient' secret - the puzzle of the lost Knight Eustace II de Watford and his beloved Lady Margaret. Those who complete the quest will receive a certificate, a prize and entry into a gift draw. A-mazing family fun (sorry).
3. Chilterns Walking Festival
May 21-June 6
If you found, like so many of us, that your boots were made for walking in the past year, you may like to discover more walks in the county now things are opening up. The Chilterns Walking Festival includes more than 70 guided countryside walks, events and activities in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with several in Herts. Routes include rambles through nature reserves, centred around farms and churches, iron age hillforts and even filming locations. All the guided walks will adhere to government guidelines and each is graded, including family-friendly walks and those that are more easily accessible.
4. Captain Calamity at The Radlett Centre
Guinness World Record Breaking Captain Calamity has been busy during lockdown creating a new show with all the craziness, magic, science and bubbles you would expect from this children’s entertainer, aka Dov Citron. The show is aimed at children and those who wish they hadn’t grown up. All from the man who's had more custard pies thrown in his face in one minute than anyone else on earth. Tickets for The Radlett Centre show are £9.
5. Hertfordshire Festival of Music, Hertford
Hertfordshire Festival of Music is back for its fifth season with a programme of 13 live classical events at venues in Hertford and across the county. The Albion String Quartet kicks things off with pieces by Haydn and the festival’s featured living composer, Judith Weir. There's a concert by Hertfordshire-based pianist Florian Mitrea, and international violinist Chloë Hanslip will join the HFoM Orchestra. The renowned artist will also give a masterclass for violin and viola players. ZRI will perform their special gypsy-jazz-klezmer. Family events include a relaxed rehearsal with HFoM Orchestra conducted by Tom Hammond and Fairytale Stories - a one-man musical storytelling show.
6. Cars at the Castle, Hertford Castle
If you're a bit of a piston head or just love an amazing automobile, head to the picturesque setting of Hertford Castle for a Sunday afternoon of Cars at the Castle. There will be gleaming classics and more modern beauties on display at the free event, alongside food, refreshment stands and live music.
7. Herts Half at Knebworth House
Runners, joggers and even walkers at the ready, Hertfordshire's Half Marathon and 10k is back in aid of hundreds of charities. This popular event starts and finishes in front of Knebworth House, taking a route around the beautiful grounds and surrounding (closed-to-traffic) rural roads. A well-earned medal, t-shirt, refreshments and sense of satisfaction are over the finish line. Entry £28 for 10k, £34 for half marathon.
8. Giselle at Sandpit Theatre, St Albans
The romantic ballet, Giselle, reimagined by choreographer Akram Khanand, has been hailed as ‘a masterpiece of 21st century dance’. The award-winning production performed by English National Ballet can be seen on the big screen, in high definition, for the first time, including at St Albans' Sandpit Theatre. Artistic director of the company, Tamara Rojo, dances the lead in a story of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory. A haunting story of love, betrayal and redemption. Tickets: adults £13.50, children £10.
9. Romeo and Juliet at Knebworth House
The Three Inch Fools are coming to Knebworth House for an innovative take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The five actors will use all manner of musical instruments as well as animated storytelling, fast-paced drama, and a few quick changes along the way. Bring blankets, cushions and chairs (and possibly brollies!) for the new production in the grounds of the stately home. Adults £16, under-18 £10, under 10 free.
10. Living Crafts at Hatfield House
The best of British craft and design makes a welcome comeback to Hatfield House as Living Crafts returns for its 47th year. Hundreds of independent designers and craftspeople from new talent to seasoned designers will be showcasing their work over four days on the estate. Find contemporary art, traditional craft and everything in between including glasswork, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, metalwork and woodwork. Watch masterclasses and demonstrations or try one of the many workshops ranging from stone carving, willow weaving and even a mindfulness clay workshop. And there's live entertainment and a food pavilion too. Great for gifts, treating yourself, and a creative day out. Tickets from £9.
11. Herts Garden Show, Knebworth House
Green fingers at the ready for the biggest horticultural event in the county. More than 100 exhibitors with who knows how many plants and accessories will be at Knebworth House and Gardens for a weekend of all things gardening and gardens at the Herts Garden Show. See stunning flower displays including Chelsea medal winners in the floral marquee and buy plants from over 30 nurseries. There's tools, garden furniture, hot tubs and sculptures, a craft pavilion, brass band and children's rides. Access to the formal gardens, adventure playground and dinosaur trail is included in the ticket price of £11.50.
12. Solve-along-a Murder She Wrote at Wyllyotts Theatre
June 27, Potters Bar
Forget singalongs, this is a solve-along. Based on the long-running tv show Murder, She Wrote, Solve-along-a Murder She Wrote is an interactive cabaret style show where you get to solve the crime. The event at Wyllyotts Theatre includes a screening of the classic episode Broadway Malady and features games, prizes and audience participation. Time Out rated it one of its 50 Great Nights Out and it has played to sell-out audiences across the UK. Tickets £16.
13. Jump Cut, Still Life at Broadway Gallery, Letchworth
Until July 4
Broadway Gallery’s latest exhibition, Jump Cut, Still Life, presents painted, textile and sculptural works by Letchworth-based artist Fiona Curran. Developed from her experience of slowing down and being in her garden during lockdown, it explores landscape and the impact of technology on our engagement with the natural world. Works include vivid textile pieces on the walls and floor of the gallery plus there's an architectural installation in Station Road. Fiona said: ‘So much of life has been displaced to the screen. The sense of things moving very fast and very slow at the same time has been an unsettling constant over the past year.’ Free but booking is required.
14. Behind the Mask, St Albans Museum + Gallery
Until September 5
Behind the Mask charts the history of St Albans' performing arts centre, Trestle Theatre Company. The exhibition invites you to discover the extraordinary theatre and education work that Trestle has created over the past four decades. Behind the Mask will also be available as an online exhibition later in the year.
Town Hall, St Peter's Street, St Albans AL1 3DH; stalbansmuseums.org.uk
15. Explore Herts with Treasure Trails
This is a great way for families and friends to explore the county in a fun way. On a circular walk of about two miles, find clues on landmarks and places of interest to solve puzzles. There are 12 trails to choose from, including a haunted Hitchin treasure hunt, a murder mystery in Buntingford and a spy mission around Tring. Trail booklets cost £9.99.
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