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Things to See and Do in Watford, Hertfordshire
Conveniently located less than 20 miles from London and just seconds away from Hertfordshire’s picturesque countryside, the town of Watford offers visitors a combination of modern amenities, historic features and pleasant settings. It also happens to be home to witches, wizards and all manner of other magical delights.
In and around Watford town centre
Whether in town for business or pleasure, visitors will find Watford well stocked with the typical trappings of a large town. intu shopping centre and the surrounding streets offer a good selection of shops and stores, as well as restaurants, bars, pubs, and more. Situated nearby is Vicarage Road stadium, home to Watford Football Club. The Hornets, as they’re known locally, generally play on a Saturday afternoon during football season. Meanwhile, Watford Museum, found right in the heart of town, offers an interesting glimpse back into the town’s past. The museum, which is housed in an old brewery, also features an art gallery. If you’re on the hunt for a hotel, you’ll find a number of choices in the town centre, ranging from chain hotels to inns and guest houses.
Entertainment and attractions
When it comes to entertainment, Watford Colosseum is one of the town’s top attractions. Regularly hosting everything from pop concerts and stand-up comedy to opera and tea dances, the historic venue has been the place to go in Watford since it opened in 1938. It’s also home to an impressive Compton organ, which has been meticulously restored. Watford Palace Theatre is another popular entertainment venue, screening all the latest films, as well as in-house theatre productions. Meanwhile, the Pump House Theatre & Arts Centre offers a heady mix of live music, theatre, and other art forms. If you’re unfortunate enough to be in town on a day when these venues are closed, you’ll still find bars, nightclubs, comedy clubs and live music venues scattered around the town.
Picturesque parks and pleasant walks
Despite its urban layout, Watford still has space for a number of scenic parks and green spaces, perfect if you’re looking for a little R&R. Cassiobury Park is the top choice for locals and visitors looking to get away from the hustle and bustle. The west end of the park, which lies along the River Gade, features a pleasant nature reserve that houses an array of interesting birds and creatures. Other parks in the town include Garston Park, Oxhey Park and Albans Wood. Meanwhile, Cheslyn House, a stately home located north of the town centre, features gorgeous gardens that are ideal for whiling away an afternoon. If you’re in the mood for walking, make a beeline for the Grand Union Canal, which passes through the town. Whether you head north towards Birmingham or south towards London, the pleasant canal-side walk offers plenty to see, as well as a good selection of watering holes along the way.
Explore the hallowed halls of Hogwarts
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter has proven to be one of the most popular attractions in the region since it opened in 2012. Located in Leavesden, about two miles from the centre of Watford, the studio tour offers fans the chance to ride a broomstick, sip on a glass of butterbeer, walk down Diagon Alley and much, much more. Those looking to explore the hallowed halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are likely to be blown away by the authentic sets and props used in the filming of the movie series. For those looking to stay as close to the studio as possible, a limited number of hotels can be found nearby. Alternatively, town centre hotels are equally as convenient, thanks to a shuttle bus service operating out of Watford Junction railway station.
A short jaunt to London
Watford’s close proximity to London makes it a popular choice with business commuters and leisure travellers alike. Two main railway stations in the town, Watford Junction and Watford High Street, offer frequent connections to the capital via the London Underground, London Overground and mainline rail services, with journeys taking as little as 15 minutes. You’ll find a selection of hotels near each station, making it even easier to explore London’s many landmarks, attractions, and shows. Furthermore, the stations also offer direct connections to local destinations like Milton Keynes and St Albans, as well as those as little further away, including both Northampton and Birmingham.