Article by Active - Mason Blog
If you live in Hemel Hempstead and you’re looking to visit some amazing attractions, here are our top 5 attractions to visit that are suitable for the entire family and less than 2 hours drive away from Hemel Hempstead.
Warner Brothers Studios
15 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead
The Warner Brothers Studio is a must-visit for Harry Potter fans. The staff are enthusiastic and helpful and give many informative talks about the making of the films. You can visit the amazing Great Hall, and taking photographs is encouraged so you get some amazing mementoes of your visit. After the initial Great Hall guided tour, the day becomes self-guided, allowing you to explore at your own pace. There are many areas where you can interact with the set pieces, such as the magic broomsticks and the perception tables. The Forbidden Forest is as scary as it is thrilling, but there is a handy cut-through so you can avoid the large spiders if you’re not a fan. There are also three amazing shops, Forbidden Forest, Platform 9 3/4, and the general shop at the very end of the tour. The cafe in the centre of the tour route is just before you go outside, and is the perfect place to pick up a butterbeer. You can spend many good hours enjoying the attractions and it’s only 15 minutes drive away from Hemel Hempstead.
20 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead
At Whipsnade Zoo you can get a wonderful guided experience with a lovely zookeeper that will look after you throughout the day and teach you about the zoo and all the animals. You can get some hands-on experience by hand-feeding Rhinos, Giraffes and Squirrel Monkeys. You can also help feed the elephants, hippos, bears and lynx, though these animals are not suitable for hand-feeding. Whipsnade Zoo prides itself on creating environments as close to the wild as possible and has reduced unnecessary human contact where it can so that the animals are as comfortable as possible. Despite this, you will still get closer than you would anywhere else and the animals are wonderful to watch. The brave can even help muck out animal enclosures to get the full keeper experience. Breakfast, Lunch and afternoon refreshments are provided throughout the day and there is still plenty of time after the tour finishes to go back and revisit certain enclosures. Highly recommended for anyone in Hemel Hempstead that loves animals, and it’s only 20 minutes drive away.
40 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead
Waddesdon Manor is only 40 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead and has plenty for the entire family to do and see. Children will love the play areas and everyone can appreciate the beautiful flowers all year round. There are some lovely walks for those that want a relaxing day. The Manor itself is stunning, with the Parterre at the front of the house being a favourite. The facade of the manor is beautifully planted and designed, with a fountain and sculptures making the setting very photographic. The house has some very interesting architectural details to it that is impressive and not to be missed. From the front, you can walk to the aviary that has a beautiful formal garden and interesting birds to look at, perfect for the kids. You can also visit the stables and horses, and the interior of the manor is viewable. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic, though there is a lovely plant centre and cafe that sells homemade cakes and treats to enjoy. An efficient bus service is available to and from the car park for easy travel. A lovely atmosphere for those looking for a historical getaway from Hemel Hempstead.
1 hr 12 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead
Oxford Castle is a great family day out for the whole family. It’s a nice way to teach children about history and look back through a thousand years of building and fortifying, covering crime and punishment too. Some stories that the guides tell can be a little grisly, so younger children may need to cover their ears. The tour guides use the “ear-muffs” method to tell these stories so that children miss the gory bits while being able to enjoy the rest. The Castle tower can’t be climbed by children under the age of five, but they have an impressive castle playset available for this part of the tour. The tower itself is 100 steps, with a good handrail, and offers excellent views of the grounds, motte and the city skyline. For those who cannot manage the steps there is a very nice video to keep you occupied. The gift-shop is very nice and has great options for those looking for gifts for children, including unique book options and toys. Oxford Castle is well maintained, well lit and there is plenty to see, even with lift access from the ground floor. At an hour and 12 minute drive from Hemel Hempstead, it is a reasonable journey and a good day out.
1 hr 50 minutes away from Hemel Hempstead
The Brighton Royal Pavilion is set in the middle of some beautiful gardens. Historically interesting, there is always something worth finding out when you visit. Audio guides are available and highly recommended while you’re free to wander from room to room at your own pace. There is a short film about the history of the Pavilion available to watch in one of the rooms and there is also a small cafe you can choose to visit which has a great view over the surrounding gardens. Very young children may not appreciate the history or the tour, but older children will be fine. You are free to have a picnic on the grass if the weather is good, and there’s the museum and Brighton Dome right next door. Just under 2 hours drive away from Hemel Hempstead, the Royal Pavilion is an excellent attraction to visit if you’re planning to visit Brighton.
To get more ideas of where to visit within 2 hours of Hemel Hempstead, or to enquire about any of our other services such as day trips, get in touch with the team at Masons Minibus and Coach Hire. We can provide coach and minibus services for your day trip so you don’t have to drive. Give us a call on 01296 661604 or fill out our short contact form.