Roll up, roll up, time is running out for your chance to WIN free tickets to a host of attractions and activities across the Garden of England as part of this year’s Herts Big Weekend…
If you’re a Hertfordshire resident, now is the perfect opportunity to take a look at some of this year’s fantastic offers and free tickets, available right on your doorstep. All you need to do to get involved is enter the online ballot before 16th March, and you and a lucky friend could be heading off for a Herts Big Weekend adventure on 4th and 5th April, as part of Visit Herts’ annual celebration of the county’s tourism industry.
Some of the county’s biggest attractions have signed up to take part in this year’s event, including Warner Bros. Studio Tour – London, Paradise Wildlife Park, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, St Albans Cathedral, Knebworth House, Hatfield House and The Grove.
And, it doesn’t stop there with the Big Weekend also giving residents a chance to uncover a wide range of smaller, hidden gems throughout the county, including Rye House Karting, Pump House Theatre Watford, Aylett Nurseries, Weston Auditorium, Natural History Museum Tring, Hertfordshire County Show, Ware & Hertford Waterbus and Royston Cave.
In fact, over 50 Hertfordshire tourist attractions and businesses will be opening their doors or offering special gifts to lucky ticket holders this year, with experiences on offer ranging from visits to magical studio tours and stunning stately homes, to close encounters with wild animals, delicious meals, and relaxing afternoon teas for two. With hundreds of pairs of tickets up for grabs in this year’s ballot, the Herts Big Weekend is the perfect excuse to get out and discover (or rediscover) exactly what makes this charming county so special…
Registration for this year’s ballot opened on 20th February, and interest in the event has been brilliant so far, with a whopping 30,856 applications for tickets to date.
One of the most convenient and sustainable ways for residents to get around Hertfordshire is by train with Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern Railways all servicing the county. Book direct and you’ll pay no booking fees. Look for Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets to save money when you travel outside of Peak times.
Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief executive of Visit Herts, said: “The Big Weekend marks the start of the tourist season and is a fantastic way to celebrate all that’s on offer across Hertfordshire. Over the last five years, the Herts Big Weekend has given our residents some brilliant opportunities to discover, and rediscover, what’s happening in their home county and this year is no different!
“Once again, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support from attractions and businesses across the county, and the range of visitor experiences on offer. We would encourage all of our Herts residents to get involved and discover the amazing things to see and do right on their doorstep.”
Residents can apply for as many pairs of tickets as they like at https://www.hertsbigweekend.co.uk/ until 16th March. Following this, two tickets (one pair of tickets) per household will then be allocated at random by ballot (some family tickets are available).
This year’s event will once again support The Family Holiday Association, with a range of attractions also donating tickets to the charity, giving great days out to families that are normally unable to take holidays together.
The Herts Big Weekend 2020 will also form part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture, which sees a multitude of cultural activities, special events and experiences taking place across twelve themed months. In April the theme is ‘Go Somewhere Local’, with this celebration providing the perfect opportunity for residents to become a local Hertfordshire ambassador.
For further information inspiration on things to do in Hertfordshire, head to www.visitherts.co.uk.
Sting: My Songs World Tour heads to Bedford Park this Summer
Sting is bringing his My Songs World Tour to Bedford Park for a sensational outdoor show.
The rock icon will play on Saturday June 24. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday November 18 via bedfordparkconcerts.co.uk
Sting’s ‘My Songs’ concerts are an exuberant and dynamic show featuring his most beloved songs, written throughout the 17-time Grammy Award winner’s illustrious career both with The Police and as a solo artist.
Following a sold out six-night residency at the London Palladium, My Songs was hailed “a masterclass” by The Times who said “Sting remains an undeniably skilled performer with a gold-plated back catalogue.”
A musical journey taking in hits like Fields of Gold, Shape of my Heart, Roxanne and Demolition Man, the concert was described as “a rare treat” by The Telegraph and saw Sting praised as “near peerless” by The Guardian with “sublime pop alchemy”. Fans can also expect to hear Englishman In New York, Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Message In A Bottle and many more.
For more dates and information about Sting’s My Songs World Tour – visit sting.com
Bedford Park Concerts 2023
Sting joins George Ezra as part of the ‘Bedford Park Concerts’ series of shows next summer. With three UK No.1 albums Wanted On Voyage (2014), Staying At Tamara’s (2018) and Gold Rush Kid (2022) under his belt, George Ezra has toured the world, toured it some more, then met himself coming back the other way. He’s felt the green, green grass under his feet and the blue, blue sky on his back. A traveller, an entertainer, he’s a man in pursuit of happiness, and of sharing that happiness. Other headline artists include Sister Sledge and The Jacksons.
A brand new Bingo Brunch experience is coming to Watford’s Barrio
On 5th November, the newly opened Barrio venue will launch its bingo brunch concept, La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch, in Watford. Translating to ‘The beautiful island’, La Isla Bonita Brunch aims to recreate that perfect tropical holiday feeling, with food and cocktails galore, bingo mayhem and 80s music all afternoon-long.
Already a popular party experience at Barrio Shoreditch, the 80s themed musical brunch is scheduled to run every Saturday from 12pm, and will include a two-course brunch, welcome cocktail and a variety of bottomless drinks (prosecco, spiced rum sangria and Sol beer).
Once guests have finished tucking into a menu of delicious burgers, including Queso Libre as a vegetarian option and Saint and Sinner as the vegan burger plus Barrio Churros, the musical bingo commences, brought to life by a captivating host and nostalgic 80s tunes by Barrio’s best DJs. Brunch goers can expect witty bingo calls, group singalongs and impromptu tableside performances. Prizes for winning the brunch also include a very tasty £100 bar tab.
For £35 per person, over-21s can enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless drinks and then eat, bingo and party until 5pm.
Those interested can book the first La Isla Bonita 80s Brunch at Barrio Watford for a special launch price of £25 (valid for 5th and 12th Nov brunch dates).
More about Barrio Watford
On 20th October 2022, Barrio Familia opened its first out-of-London venue in Watford, bringing Latin-inspired cocktails, authentic Mexican eats, a killer happy hour offering, live entertainment and DJs, plus an immersive 80s Bingo Bottomless Brunch.
Following the announcement of the group’s flagship site, and world’s largest tequila bar, in Covent Garden which is set to launch in early November, Barrio Familia has opened Watford’s first Tequila bar this month.
Bringing the spirit of the Latin Quarter into Watford, the new venue will have space for up to 200 guests to enjoy a brand new, freshly crafted cocktail menu, delicious Mexican inspired food creations, including their signature tacos, and famous Latino party vibes.
The outside terrace is also being turned into Barrio’s popular tropical yard, offering the perfect space for another 80 guests to gather with like-minded ‘amigos’ and sip cocktails, enjoy a meal and experience a fiesta like never before.
Barrio Familia was acquired by Nightcap in November 2021 and has since gone from strength to strength. New venues; Barrio Watford and Barrio Covent Garden will add to their growing portfolio of sites in Shoreditch, Soho, Angel, and Brixton. After opening the first Barrio site in 2007, the group’s vision was to have a Barrio in every big party neighborhood in the UK and Watford will play a huge role in that exciting expansion.
Each of the Barrio Bars sites offer a full-colour, full-flavour experience, and of course, plenty of Tequila. The group plans to open seven days a week and be the perfect new spot in Watford for all occasions, from lunches and daytime drinks to brunches and late night partying.
Jim Robertson, Managing Director of Barrio Familia, commented:
“We are incredibly excited to be taking our Latino party outside of London for the first time. This is a fantastic venue and we can’t wait to welcome the residents of Watford into the Barrio familia and bring the party! I believe Barrio will be a fantastic addition to Watford High Street that will suit all types of occasions and bring a feel good bar that welcomes everyone. We have some amazing things planned for Barrio Watford, so watch this space and get ready for the biggest fiesta in town!”
Christmas at Hatfield Park trail opens with amazing fire garden
A beautiful Fire Garden has been revealed as one of the spectacular works in the new Christmas light trail at Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire, between 25 November and 31 December 2022.
The installation will be part of a spectacular collection of illuminations which will transform the 42 acres of gardens and parkland where Queen Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood.
Designed by Culture Creative, the Fire Garden at Hatfield Park is made up of hundreds of flame heads interspersed with Lantern Trees by Mandylights, which echo the timeless beauty of old Victorian-style street lamps. The brass-effect shades shimmer in bright gold, with electric flames inside the lanterns to inspire a feeling of warm firelight.
Matthew Findlay, Head of UK Trails for Sony Music/Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said: “We are hugely excited by the plans for this fantastic new trail, with artists creating beautiful installations which will cast an entirely different light on a beautiful, historic property.”
Visitors to Hatfield Park can look forward to some precious time with friends and family as they discover sparkling tunnels of light and walk beneath glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour.
Hatfield Park lights are choreographed to a soundtrack of much-loved seasonal music, transforming Hatfield’s majestic park into an instant winter wonderland.
Independent street food vendors bring a delicious twist with tasty treats on offer. Complete your walk under the stars with a *spiced winter warmer or *hot chocolate shared with friends and family. Everyone loves toasting a marshmallow over an open fire and the artisan *marshmallow stall gives visitors the chance to warm their hands and enjoy this sweet outdoor tradition.
*separate charges apply
Christmas at Hatfield Park is brought to you by Sony Music. The trail is created by Culture Creative.
What is happen at Hatfield Park?
Christmas at Hatfield Park – The after-dark illuminated trail through festive gardens. Discover a Christmas illuminated trail for all the family set within the beautiful landscape of Hatfield Park
When is Christmas at Hatfield Park?
From 25 November and 31 December 2022. Open from 4.30pm, last entry 8pm and closes at 10pm. Trail closed on 28, 29, 30 Nov; 5, 6, 24, 25 Dec.
Admission: Limited capacity with timed entry, early booking advised
Advanced From: Adult £24, Child £17, Family £78 (2 adults & 2 children).
Free entry for carers and children aged 2 & under.
Parking £7 per car.
Hatfield Park Address: Great North Rd., Hatfield AL9 5HX