What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 27 Aug-2 Sep

It’s a long weekend – yee-ha!  Which means, of course, that the weather is likely to be shocking.  While I’m off camping (heaven help me… please…), here are some things to keep you happy, dry and entertained.  Enjoy!  And spare a thought for me, prising a half-burned, half-raw sausage off a stick over a smokin’ pile of damp firewood…

Musical Mystery Tour, Hertford, 30 Aug, ‘lunchtime to bedtime’


As part of the town’s Music Festival, Hertford will be positively hopping on Sunday – with live music all day at various venues all over the place, and almost all of it for free.  Sounds like they’re covering pretty much all the musical bases, too, so chances are there’ll be something you’ll enjoy.


Geometric Exhibition, Nude Tin Can Gallery, St Albans, until 3 Sep


Feeling arty?  Or geometric, even?  Check out the ‘Geometric Exhibition’ that just opened at the Nude Tin Can Gallery in St Albans.  Browse all sorts of art work in peace through the week, or rock up – bring a bottle, if you like – for the ‘Finale Night’ on Thursday, 3 Sep, 7-9.30pm.

Nude Tin Can Gallery,  125 Hatfield Road, St Albans, nudetincan.gallery

Classic Car Show and Vintage Fair, Knebworth, 30-31 Aug


One of you wants to drool over classic cars, but the other wants to browse vintage treasures?  I know, I know.  But, what’s this?  Just the event to keep everyone happy?  Hoorah!  Knebworth is hosting a Classic Car Show and Vintage Fair this weekend – loads of cars and bits of cars in the park, as well as a vintage fair filling the barn to the rafters with all sort of lovely things.  And your tickets get you into the gardens, too, with its dinosaur trail and adventure playground and so on.  Sorted.


Chilli Festival, Benington Lordship Gardens, Stevenage, 29-31 Aug, 10am-5pm


Looking to spice up your weekend?  Look no further than the Benington Lordship Gardens (worth it just for the name) Chilli Festival.  Chillis as far as the eye can see – or the tongue can reach? – and in every conceivable form, I would imagine.  Chilli beers, jams, chutnies, pizzas, sausages, curries, and even – get this – ice cream.  And plants, too, so you can grow your own.  There’s entertainment, too, and it’s not your normal run-of-the-mill stuff – it’s extreme mountain biking, escapology, and a ‘variety spectacular medicine show’ (no, I have no idea).

Benington Lordship Gardens, Stevenage, SG2 7BS, beningtonlordship.co.uk

‘Androcles and the Lion,’ Shaw’s Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, 30 Aug, 2-4pm


Ok, so open-air theatre – well, open-air anything – is a bit of a gamble, but it is lovely when the sun’s out.  (Or it’s not raining, at least.)  The garden at Shaw’s Corner is the perfect venue, too, for a ‘script in hand’ performance of one of – guess who? – Shaw’s plays, ‘Androcles and the Lion.’  The house has been closed for repairs, and is re-opening the day before – so go early and have a quick look round, or pitch your blanket and scoff your picnic.

Shaw’s Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, AL6 9BX, nationaltrust.org.uk/shaws-corner

Open Air Cinema: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ Hatfield House, 27 Aug, gates open 6.30pm


Or, if you fancy a cinematic treat in the great outdoors, check out ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on the big screen at Hatfield House.  I loved this film when Mr C and I saw it at the Odyssey in St Albans, and I’m definitely tempted to grab a blanket and picnic – and Mr C, of course – and head over to see it again.


 Beer and Cider Festival, Kings Arms, Tring, 29-31 Aug

 kings arms

If you’ve not discovered the delights of the Kings Arms in Tring yet, you are missing out.  Proper beer, serious food, and a great atmosphere.  (And it’s just down the road from my house!)  This weekend, it’s the annual Beer and Cider Festival.  There’ll be 35 ales and 10 ciders to try – don’t feel like you need to sample them all, mind you! – as well as a barbeque going all weekend, an ice cream van (you never know, it could be sunny!), and live music to keep you entertained.  Not that I’d need much entertaining after a while…

Kings Arms, King Street, Tring, HP23 6BE, kingsarmstring.co.uk

Mini Beer and Music Festival, College Arms, Hertford Heath, 28-31 Aug


And if you’re more centrally located in Herts, get yourself down to the College Arms in Hertford Heath (lovely pub – you should try it) for their mini beer and music festival.  Doesn’t sound too ‘mini,’ mind you: there are 6 cask ales and live music on the Friday night, hog roast on Saturday and more live music, a family day on Sunday (bouncy castle, face painting, that sort of thing) and a barbeque, then finishing up with another barbeque and even more live music on the Monday.  Sounds brilliant.

College Arms, 40 London Road, Hertford Heath, SG13 7PW, thecollegearmshertfordheath.com

Taste of Berkhamsted (6 Sep) & Berkofest (12 Sep)


Planning ahead, it’s all go in Berko come September.  If you want them, tickets for both Taste of Berkhamsted and Berkofest are going fast – and both look like a good time.  Loads of local foodie delights at Taste of Berko (look for me wherever there’s tasting to be done…) and masses of music to get you and the family tapping your toes at Berkofest (I’ll be busy embarrassing the children with my mum-dancing…).




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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire