Hertfordshire 2022: Things to look forward to

Battle Proms

Join the picnic fun at Battle Proms - Credit: Battle Proms

Grab your brand new diary and make a note of these 22 great family events in Herts throughout 2022...

1. Run the Sun, Hitchin

7:57am sounds like a slightly odd (and particularly early) time for an event to start in frosty January, but the team behind Run the Sun has the timing perfectly calculated to ensure attendees benefit from the best sunrise possible.

This is a timed sunrise run in the village of Weston near Hitchin that you can take at your own pace. It's ideal for those wanting to try a new distance, shooting for a personal best, or running their first race; the challenge is specific to you.

All you need to do is run as many laps of the 5km loop as you like as a team throughout the day (in relay formation) and enjoy the friendly and inspiring race atmosphere.

With refreshment stops, support coaches, and even a massage area on-site, we’re predicting this might be the perfect event to warm you up, and kickstart a fitter 2022.

Date: January 16

Website: letsdothis.com

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2. The Making of Harry Potter: Magical Mischief, Leavesden  

Brand-new for 2022, Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden will reveal the filmmaking trickery behind the Harry Potter films, as it shines a spotlight on the magical pranks and mishaps in its new feature, Magical Mischief.

Demonstrations will include how clever camera trickery created the disappearing effect of the invisibility cloak, how the SFX Team created the fireplace letter scene inside 4 Privet Drive, and how the Creature Effects Team created Fred and George Weasley’s accidental beards and burned costumes after the twins put their names into the Goblet of Fire.

The eagle-eyed will even spot several pesky Cornish Pixies on the loose around the Studio Tour, as visitors are invited to find them all and collect stamps as part of a Marauder’s Map activity passport. A wizarding family day out.

Date: January 22 - May 1 

Location: Warner Bros Studio, Leavesden  

Website: wbstudiotour.co.uk

Girl with lemur on her shoulder at Paradise Wildlife Park Broxbourne Herts

Fancy feeding the lemurs at Paradise Wildlife Park? - Credit: Paradise Wildlife Park

3. Hertfordshire Film Festival, Watford 

Hertfordshire Film Festival presents an unmissable opportunity for young people to create a film and see it showcased on the big screen at Watford Palace Theatre, alongside other filmmakers’ innovative creations.

This special screening event will include talks and masterclasses from leading film and TV industry figures. For the best films there are also prizes to be won.

Winners of the 11 to 17 years category will receive an industry screening at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, along with a family ticket to the Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.

For ages 18 to 25, winners will also receive an industry screening at the studios, plus lunch with Dan Dark, executive vice president of Warner Bros Studio Operations. 

Date: Screening February 16-17

Venue: Watford Palace Theatre

Website: hertsfilmfest.co.uk

4. A Tribute to Speed, Broxbourne

Ready to discover one of Hertfordshire’s hidden gems this year? While it's well-known across the country for its collection of magnificent animals and conservation work, Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne likes to venture into other wild areas too.

Thanks to the park's owner, a speedway racer in the 1960s, it's also home to the National Speedway Museum.

While it's open year-round, join the volunteer team from the National Speedway Riders Association on February 20 for a packed programme that includes display bikes, pit lane start-ups, the chance to meet former riders, a BBQ, and a wide range of speedway memorabilia up for grabs. Isn't Herts full of surprises?  

Date: February 20

Venue: National Speedway Museum, Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne

Website: pwpark.com

 Speedway racing at Svansta race track in Nykoping, Sweden. Biker from team Griparna in the fr

Did you know the National Speedway Museum is in Herts? - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

5. Triathlon challenge, Welwyn Garden City

Fancy taking on a brand-new challenge for 2022? For those looking to up their physical activity this year and push themselves to new limits, the Hertfordshire Triathlon is well worth noting in your calendar.

With an early morning start, this event at Stanborough Lakes in Welwyn Garden City, provides the opportunity to get involved either as a solo participant or as part of a relay team.

Whatever you decide, this race is open to everyone. Starting with an open water lake swim, participants will then hop on a bike to ride through the Hertfordshire countryside, before finishing with a run on grass to the finish line… sounds easy?

Well, we all need a challenge. Get a head start with preparations - you have until Sunday May 22 after all… 

Date: May 22

Venue: Stanborough Lakes, Welwyn City Garden

Website: activetrainingworld.co.uk

6. Watford Jazz Junction, Watford 

The term ‘third time lucky’ can absolutely be applied when talking about this next event, which has suffered from two setbacks due to the pandemic.

Fitting three festivals into one, Watford Jazz Junction is ready to welcome music fans back with open arms at great venues in and around the town. 

A family-friendly festival celebrating the best of local talent and musicians from further afield, Watford Jazz Junction was founded as a community interest company with live music, inclusivity and mental wellbeing at its core.

Attendees can look forward to performances by Emma Smith, Shri Sriram with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jelly Cleaver, Archipelago, Sam Sharp, Adrian Cox, Georgina Jackson, Tomorrow's Warriors, and plenty more.

Plus there's a fabulous free fringe programme with a range of special guests.

Date: May 19-22

Venue: Various locations around Watford

Website: watfordjazzjunction.com

Singer Emma Smith sings into a make up brush ahead of her performance at the reopening of Ro

Singer Emma Smith will be one of the acts at Watford Jazz Junction - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

7. Youphoria, Stevenage

Prepare for a celebration of wellness that inspires you to shake off the serious, wave goodbye to worries and fill-up on the feel-good.

The team behind the Youphoria wellness-weekender are thrilled to be launching in the stately grounds of Knebworth House.

Providing 'eclectic workshops and eccentric workouts, to soothing massages and serene sessions' visitors can also expect high-energy morning raves and roller-skating discos, chilled-out DJ sets, yoga flows and sound therapy sessions, as well as fun for all the family with circus skill sessions and crafty classes for little ones. It's a wellness event 'dedicated to helping you hit a you-phoric high'.

Weekend and day passes are available, and with 100 glamping spots, you can stay or simply join for the day.  

Date: May 20-22

Venue: Knebworth House, Stevenage

Website: knebworthhouse.com

8. Lush lavender, Ickleford

Thoughts of Provence may be evoked when imagining the hues of a gorgeous field of lavender, but you needn’t head 650 miles south - only to Ickleford where you’ll find the stunning sight of Hitchin Lavender.

With 25 miles of lavender rows to wander through you can take in the fragrant air, pick a bag full of flowers, and take loads of great photos too.

The Cadwell Farm site is also home to a converted barn shop where you can buy a wide range of locally made lavender goods plus enjoy goodies in the tea room.

There's a sunflower and wildflower area too,  perfect for the horticulturists amongst you. Hitchin Lavender’s main flowering season runs from mid-June to late August, so be sure to schedule a summer stroll through these glorious purple hues on a sunny day.  

Date: Open from late spring

Venue: Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford

Website: hitchinlavender.com

9. Henry Moore Studio and Gardens, Perry Green

For a great afternoon in the great outdoors, grab your loved ones and make a beeline for the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens in Perry Green.

Explore more than 70 acres of tranquil grounds that host some of the renowned artist's most striking modernist sculptures against the lush Herts landscape Moore called home.

While the studios and gardens’ 2022 open season dates are yet to be confirmed, we would highly recommend a summer stroll here. With a gallery, shop and regular special exhibitions, it offers an inspirational day out for the whole family.

What’s more, each visit helps to support the wider work of the Henry Moore Foundation, a charity founded by the artist to support sculpture and the visual arts. 

Date: Throughout 2022

Venue: Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Perry Green

Website: henry-moore.org

10. Great British Food Festival, Stevenage

With a marvellous mixture of brilliant bakeries, inviting inns, top notch restaurants, brewers and home grown produce, Hertfordshire serves up a full menu of delightful food and drink. 

However, if you’re not quite sure where to begin, we recommend tucking into an event that places fabulous food and drink at its heart. 

The family friendly Great British Food Festival arrives at Knebworth House in July, bringing with it an extensive menu of cutting edge street food, great chef demos, baking brilliance, foraging inspiration and much more including live music and crafts and gifts. Feeling hungry? Us too…

Date: July 16-17

Venue: Knebworth House, Stevenage

Website: greatbritishfoodfestival.com

11. Talk With the Animals, Broxbourne

Family-favourite Paradise Wildlife Park is an award-winning, conservation and education led zoo conducting vital conservation projects at home and around the world.

Helping to protect the most endangered and vulnerable species, as well as the continued upkeep and wellbeing of the animals in its care, to date the Broxbourne centre has contributed over £5m to environmental causes.

This year, why not tick something extra special off your bucket list and book one of Paradise’s unique animal experiences for yourself or a loved one?

From feeding the big cats to tickling a tapir, this zoo has developed an outstanding reputation for giving incredible access to some of the world's most exotic and endangered species.

What’s more, you’ll be supporting its wonderful conservation activities with your visit, so that’s two things to tick off the list!  

Date: Throughout 2022

Venue: Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne

Website: pwpark.com

12. Summer Music, Hatfield
Hatfield House is the place to be this summer, with the grounds of the iconic Jacobean mansion playing host to a plethora of exciting events and festivals you won’t want to miss out on.

Famous faces from the music world throughout the season include Michael Bublè on July 23, Paloma Faith shining on stage on August 5, and The Proclaimers set to headline the fabulous Folk by the Oak festival on July 17. And with Slam Dunk Festival South on June 4 bringing with it a line-up of pop-punk, emo, metal, and alternative music there's pretty much something for everyone, whatever your taste.

Date: Various dates throughout summer

Venue: Hatfield House, Hatfield

Webiste: hatfield-house.co.uk

W0Y5K7 Pub in the Park Bath

Pub in the Park returns to St Albans in September - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

13. Pub in the Park, St Albans

The brainchild of celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, Pub in the Park celebrates everything there is to love about the glorious British pub.

With delicious food, award-winning chefs, great live music, and divine drinks, the event is all about having a fantastic time with friends and family.

It's no surprise it is now the biggest food and music festival tour in the UK. Luckily for us in Hertfordshire, Pub in the Park returns to St Albans in September, and it’s set to be three-days to remember.

With a host of acts billed to headline the music stage including Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the Kaiser Chiefs, and plenty of talented chefs serving up great food and drink, all in the lovely grounds of Verulamium Park, it's got to go in the diary.

Date: September 9-11

Venue: Verulamium Park, St Albans

Website: pubintheparkuk.com

14. Battle Proms, Hatfield

A summer celebration with music, fireworks, fighter planes, cannons and cavalry, Battle Proms picnic concert takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field in the leafy parkland at Hatfield House.

Legend has it that it was beneath one of the ancient oaks here that princess Elizabeth discovered she was Queen of England.

The Old Palace at Hatfield House is where she spent much of her childhood and later held her first Council of State in November 1558. The celebrated Jacobean house has been the home to the Cecil family since it was built in 1611.

A place so steeped in history truly makes the perfect setting for this flag waving Last Night of the Proms-style tribute to our armed forces. Round up your troops, sit back, and enjoy the show. 

Date: July 16

Venue: Queen Elizabeth Oak Field, Hatfield House, Hatfield

Website: battleproms.com

15. Big Weekend , Hertfordshire 

Roll up, roll up! The annual opportunity to win free tickets to a host of attractions and activities across the county is returning once more in 2022.

What are we talking about? Herts Big Weekend of course. This annual event, hosted by the team at Visit Herts, provides residents with the chance to bid in the Herts Big Weekend ballot for free tickets to some of the best attractions in the county, with tickets available to use over a series of weekends.

Final dates and participating venues for this year’s event are still to be confirmed, but experiences on offer last year ranged from entry to some of the county’s most iconic venues, close encounters with wild animals, creative courses, afternoon teas, and even an indulgent overnight stay.  

Date: Date to be confirmed

Venue: Various locations around Hertfordshire

Website: hertsbigweekend.co.uk

16. Beautiful Autumnal Country Walks, Berkhamsted

We can’t think of many places more ideal to go exploring when autumn arrives in Hertfordshire than beautiful Ashridge Estate which explodes into a kaleidoscope of colour.

Every trail you follow or hill you climb, will give more breath-taking views of the National Trust estate. And some of the best of the autumn colours in Ashridge Forest are waiting to be explored in the less-trodden areas.

While the 5,000 acre estate is enjoyed by visitors year-round, we highly recommend adding a seasonal stroll into your calendar for when the leaves begin to turn.

To help you discover the best of it the National Trust has created a special autumn trail route. 

Date: Throughout 2022

Location: Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted

Wesbite: nationaltrust.org.uk

Deer on Ashridge Estate in autumn

Deer on Ashridge Estate - Credit: Richard Puncheon Photography

17. Great Escape, Chandlers Cross

Big birthday or something else special to celebrate? No matter the occasion, glorious Grove Hotel in Chandlers Cross has a culinary offering to suit you throughout 2022.

From indulgent afternoon teas that can be enjoyed in the comfort of the luxurious lounge, to delectable dining using only the freshest of ingredients from its kitchen garden at one of the fine restaurants, this five-star hotel, golf and spa destination is one not to be missed.

Need a break? Book a staycation. For those looking for a refresher from the routine, The Grove offers stylish interiors in a wide selection of luxury rooms and suites designed with comfort in mind. The great escape right on your doorstep.  

Date: Throughout 2022

Venue: Grove Hotel, Chandlers Cross

Website: thegrove.co.uk

19. The Making of Harry Potter's Halloween Feast

Brave witches, wizards and Muggles as the doors of Hogwarts Great Hall open once more between September and November for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, The Making of Harry Potter’s annual Halloween feast.

The Great Hall ceiling will be decorated with more than 100 floating pumpkins as well as a spooky feast laid out along the tables.

Visitors are invited to follow the Dark Mark trail, try their wand combat moves against Death Eaters in a live duel as they storm the Studio Tour - all before walking down a darker Platform 9 ¾ and a spookier Diagon Alley. 

Date: September 23– November 6

Venue: Warner Bros Studio, Leavesden

Website: wbstudiotour.co.uk

20. Hogwarts in Snow Yule Ball, Leavesden

If you’re not able to make it along to either of the previous special events at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – or haven’t yet reached your maximum magic quota for the year – there’s still time to wave your wand and step into the wizarding world during the winter months.

The year will conclude with the return of the Yule Ball for Hogwarts in the Snow. This annual, festive makeover will see the Great Hall transformed with the icy silvers of the iconic Yule Ball film scenes.

The Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow will cover the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, and the magnificent Hogwarts castle model. A truly magical Christmas.

Date: November 12 – January 15

Venue: Warner Bros Studio, Leavesden

Website: wbstudiotour.co.uk

Yule Ball in the Great Hall at Warner Bros Studios 

Yule Ball in the Great Hall at Warner Bros Studios - Credit: Dan Wong Photography

21. Guy Fawkes Night, Hertfordshire

Remember, remember the fifth of November... As the year begins to wind to a close (and dare we say it, our thoughts start to turn towards Christmas) the skies across Hertfordshire will light up once more with beautiful colours, to be met by the sounds of excitable ‘ohh’s and ‘ahh’s.

While official event dates are yet to be confirmed for many events, Hertfordshire is home to a host of awe-inspiring annual firework displays that are well worth getting on your radar.

From events at Watford’s Cassiobury Park and St Albans’ Verulamium Park to Tring’s fabulous Festival of Fire (which has been confirmed for November 5, 2022), Guy Fawkes Night will certainly be one to remember in Herts this autumn.  

Various dates around November 5

22. Christmas fun, Hertfordshire

As we get ready to close the curtain on the final act of 2022, we can’t think of many places better to enjoy a festive family day out than at one of Hertfordshire’s Christmas pantomime productions (oh no we can’t!).

While we await further details of the specific adventures taking to the stages of Hertfordshire’s beloved theatres during 2022’s winter season, we can recommend looking out for show announcements from some of our favourite live venues across the county.

Those local to Watford will want to bookmark the Palace Theatre’s Christmas programme, while those in the north of the county should keep a close eye on Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre for its seasonal line-up. 

Various dates in December 

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