From local theatres to action-packed days out, Watford has something for everyone. With so much to see and do in Watford, we’ve put together an inspiring itinerary to help you pack in all the local highlights!
As an amazing beauty spot with a huge amount of history behind it, Cassiobury Park is the perfect way to spend time treating yourself and your family in this fantastic, Green Flag award-winning open space, which has been voted one of the top 10 parks in the UK for a number of years.
Featuring the award winning Cassiobury Park Hub, state of the art paddling pools with exciting splash pool and water features, a booming bandstand, Daisy’s in the park café and Cafe Cha, as well as a packed programme of activities all year round, Cassiobury Park has something for everyone.
Situated besides the Park, you can also take in the beautiful scenery in the 160 acres of woodland situated on the outskirts of Watford in Whippendell Wood.
The Visit England accredited museum is housed in the former offices of Benskins Brewery. Telling the story of Watford past and present, the museum has displays of local history, industry and archaeology. These include Watford at War, Print and Brewing and a display on Watford Football Club – which includes some fabulous Elton John memorabilia.
Other permanent displays include the Cassiobury Collection of Fine Art, which features portraits of the Essex family capturing the Earls, their wives and children. You can also view works painted of Cassiobury itself including John Wootton’s A View of Cassiobury Park painted circa 1748.
As well as its wonderful displays, the museum has a full calendar of events and activities throughout the year from action packed activities for children to themed walking tours of Watford High Street. These are all complimented by an ongoing series of exhibitions at the Museum’s Space2 art gallery. The museum has its own Little Gallery Tearoom which sells Fairtrade drinks and delicious cakes which is open on the first Saturday of each month.
Everyone’s welcome at the Watford Palace Theatre, with great stories that entertain, provoke and inspire, on our stage and in our streets. The Palace aims to inspire and entertain through inventive, ambitious and inclusive drama, new plays, musicals, dance and family shows; free outdoor festivals; diverse stand-up; and a much-loved traditional pantomime. Their locally produced shows and home-grown talent have toured nationally and internationally, been seen on BBC iPlayer, won awards and transferred to the West End.
Often described as Watford’s “hidden gem”, Cheslyn House and Gardens is another of Watford’s Green Flag Award winners. Its 3.5 acres of space is imaginatively laid out to invite exploration, providing a myriad of interesting areas including a pond, aviary, fernery and public art. Designed by renowned architect Henry Colbeck and his wife, Daisy, the original gardens have a collection of unusual and exotic plants which they collected whilst travelling the world. Among the special delights you can still see today are the whimsical sweet gum tree, the handsome Indian bean tree and the distinctive tulip tree. Beyond the house and open lawns, a paved pathway turns into a natural path for visitors to explore the semi-natural woodland, which is full of colour in spring when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom.
Step on to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. Discover the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall and explore the Forbidden Forest, all before boarding the original Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 ¾ and wandering down Diagon Alley. Located at the Studios where all eight films were produced, the Studio Tour showcases the British talent, imagination and artistry that went into making the impossible a reality on screen. Visitors will relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.
Watford Colosseum is a 1,260 seat venue in the heart of Watford and is home to the best live music and entertainment outside London. In addition to shows and gigs, Watford Colosseum boasts a range of adaptable spaces and offers the perfect venue to hire for conferences and exhibitions, private drinks or canapé receptions, and corporate gala dinners. The stage at Watford Colosseum has seen performances from Elton John, The Faces, Marc Bolan, One Direction, Jools Holland, Sarah Millican, Melanie C, Oasis, Ricky Gervais and many more. Watford’s premier concert venue is world renowned for its acoustic qualities. Julian Lloyd Webber described Watford Colosseum as “The finest recording venue in the world” and it has been used to record the soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings and The Sound of Music. The BBC Concert Orchestra are residents of Watford Colosseum and rehearse, record and perform at the venue for 90 days of the year.