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Free and low cost family days out

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Days out as a family can be an expensive time, so I asked for recommendations of free and cheap things to do on my Instagram and Facebook pages and there were lots of suggestions, so I thought I’d share them in a guide, along with my own.

Out and About Locally

FREE King George V Recreation Ground, Hitchin

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

We love this park (check out the Reel on my Instagram)- with parking, large playing fields, a skate park, multi sports areas, exercise zone and a great playground, it was our best lockdown find!


Hitchin Town Centre Trip

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

Pick up snacks/lunch/ice cream from town, head down to the river by St Mary’s Church to see the ducks, then visit the many (many!) charity shops with some pocket money to find some bargains!


FREE
Hitch Wood, nr Whitwell

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

Great woods for family walks, just outside Hitchin. Perfect for bluebells in the spring. There are a number of dens for kids to play in, and pathways to follow. You might even spot some deer!


FREE Oughton Head Nature Reserve, Hitchin

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

We’re so lucky to have this just outside our village – there’s so much to explore! The main paths are buggy friendly (the others are too when it’s dry), plus the woodland is great to explore and it’s ideal to take the dog too. Home to rare chalk pools, it’s a beautiful place to visit and has a lovely Tea Room – The Garden Gate - check out my review here.


FREE Purwell Ninesprings, Hitchin

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

A great Lockdown find, this lovely nature reserve with recreation ground, play area, sports courts, fitness area and small stream to play in is well worth a visit.

FREE Norton Common, Letchworth

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

There’s lots to explore here- from trails, to streams, a great path for scooting and cycling, plus a little park and skate park. It’s well worth a wander round on a nice day.


FREE
Wymondley Wood

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Created as an educational resource for managed groups, Wymondley Wood features a special nature conservation and field study area adjacent to existing and newly planted forest environments.


FREE
Wain Wood

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Wain Wood is an ancient woodland extending to 19.2 hectares near Preston in North Hertfordshire. The site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest which was notified in 1986 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It's also an excellent place to see beautiful bluebells in Spring


FREE
Stotfold Mill Nature Reserve

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Stotfold Watermill is a great day out for all the family and is open to the public on various dates throughout the year. The Nature Reserve which adjoins the Mill is open all year round. Stop at Randall's tea room for refreshments


Out and About – Further Afield


Farrowby Farm, Hinxworth

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Free entry with shop and tea room on site. Farm animals, play areas, baby change, toilets, disabled access and parking. 


FREE Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Saunter round the large lake, where there are plenty of ducks to spot or feed, then go for a play in their extensive playground area, before grabbing a drink in the lakeside café. There’s also a great splash park, which is open from April (check before you go).


Stanborough Park

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Covering 126 acres there's something for all ages and tastes. Take a gentle stroll, picnic or just laze away an afternoon relaxing in our award winning parklands. Watersports Centre, Childrens Play Area, Walks, Orienteering, Nature trail, The Lakes, Rowing Boats & Pedalos (Open during weekends and the School holidays - April to October). There's also a great Splash Park, which opened last year.


FREE Moggerhangar Park

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Moggerhanger Park is a Grade 1 listed Georgian Historic House set in 33 acres of parkland and woodland. It is recognised as the most complete surviving example of Sir John Soane's architecture and is set in stylish grounds and woodlands sculpted by Humphry Repton. Visit the Moggerhanger Park Orchard Tearooms for coffee, cake and light lunches. Opening hours 10am - 4pm. Our children’s woodland playground is situated close to the Tearooms. 


FREE
Verulanium Park

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Situated close to the City centre, Verulanium Park is set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland with a large lake, café, sports courts and recently done children’s play area. The Cathedral is nearby to explore too, as well as Verulanium Museum so it’s a great low budget trip option.


PAY TO PARK RSPB The Lodge Reserve, Sandy

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Still on my list to visit, RSPB The Lodge Reserve and Gardens is a very special place, offering an exceptionally rich combination of wildlife and heritage experiences. The Lodge boasts woodland, heath and acid grassland that cover an area of some 220 hectares, and now form the largest stretch of heathland in Bedfordshire. Visiting The Lodge reserve is free, except for parking (RSPB members have free parking) and any paid events.


FREE
Great Park, Ampthill

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Approximately 160 acres of parkland and woodland, including a Children's Play Area, plus Park Hub with Café and Toilets. Ideal if you have a dog too!


FREE
Dunstable Downs

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Enjoy kite flying and stroll across rare chalk grassland to look out for all the natural delights that exist here including butterflies, orchids, skylarks and glow worms.
Browse through the brilliant selection of kites and other goods in the shop and sample the visitor centre's excellent café, whilst admiring the breath-taking views over the Vale of Aylesbury and the Chiltern Ridge.

Indoor Attractions


British Schools Museum, Hitchin

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

It is over 200 years since the first "Monitorial School" in Hertfordshire opened in Dead Street, but which now has the more cheerful name of Queen Street. The furnished classrooms are open to the public and equipped to show the history of elementary education from pre-Victorian times to the late 1960s. Here young and old can enjoy going back to school, to a place where "Learning Comes to Life".
There are always plenty of low cost events going on and a lovely tea room with toys.

FREE North Herts Museum, Hitchin

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Currently home to a Paddington The Bear exhibition (until June), and handily situated on Brand Street, the Museum is a great free attraction in Hitchin, with a lovely café to boot!

FREE Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

I first discovered this about 4 years ago and couldn’t believe it’s free! There’s an indoor museum with a display of carriages (sounds random, but children love climbing on carriages!), a beautiful garden, play area and indoor café- it’s a must-try!


FREE
Wardown House, Luton

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Wardown House, Museum and Gallery is a Grade II listed building situated in the beautiful grounds of Wardown Park. Formerly the home of the Scargill family, then a World War I military hospital, the house is now a museum. But not just any museum, this house transports you back in time, to a Victorian family home. Every room tells a story, with interactive displays, a treasure trove of local curiosities and the largest hat collection in the UK!  


FREE
RAF Museum Hendon

Mum’s guide to Hitchin Recommendation

Across four buildings they have six hangars, each dedicated to a different era, packed full of planes, helicopters and equipment. There are lots of interactive displays, games and activities throughout the museum where you can get hands-on with RAF life throughout history.

Check out my Tried and Tested Review here


FREE
Tring Natural History Museum

Recommended by a Mums guide to Hitchin follower

Discover the fascinating range of animals collected by Lionel Walter Rothschild in our beautiful Victorian Museum. It is home to the world-class research and collections of the Natural History Museum's Bird Group.


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