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.
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Regardless of lockdowns and coronavirus, people want food. Fans of Five Guys could be getting a late Christmas present with a new Five Guys in Stevenage. A recent job post on the Five Guys recruitment page for a General Manager in the Stevenage area has got locals excited about the possible arrival of the much loved American Chain.
Could this be the biggest clue for a Five Guys in Stevenage?
Spotted by an eagled eyed member of ‘Stevenage Chit Chat‘, the advert for a General Manager drops a few clues at a possible opening of a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.1 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – The perfect scene
Nothing cements a clue in a mystery more than a location. The recruitment team have placed a X on the spot and that is 51°54’02.4″N 0°12’33.7″W. For all the normal people reading this, that is Unit 10 in Stevenage Leisure Park. This was home to Pizza Hut since late 2002 but this recent Google treasure map shows the unit is currently empty.
Clue No.2 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A job for an ‘accomplice’
Did we mention there is a second job advert for a ‘Assistant Manager? If one job advert was not enough proof, two should be enough to convince you that plans are afoot for a Five Guys in Stevenage.
Clue No.3 for a Five Guys in Stevenage – A motive
What more motive do you need than hungry people in Stevenage in need of a good burger? A Five Guys in Stevenage is well overdue. It could even tempt Sir Lewis Hamilton back to Stevenage.
Hertfordshire’s Paradise Wildlife Park sets out reopening plan
Family run Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne is set to reopen later this month with a social distancing strategy that will see a staggered entry system put in place. Less than a week ago, the team were in despair not knowing when they would reopen.
The good news is Paradise Wildlife Park’s official opening date is the 27th of June 2020 for the general public. As one of Hertfordshire’s top destinations, Paradise Wildlife Park’s re-opening will be a godsend to families across the Three Counties and beyond.
You can book tickets for 27th of June 2020 and onwards on their website. Please note you will need to select a time of your arrival so that staff can ensure staggered numbers of visitors entering the park, thus complying with social distancing rules.
The management team at Paradise Wildlife Park are keen to highlight they are working hard to follow all of the government’s advice to ensure social distancing and safety measures are in place to keep all visitors on site safe.
“We have implemented a one-way system, put up regular hand sanitizer stations on site and much more to give you and your family peace of mind that you are safe. We are also limiting the number of tickets available each day to allow plenty of space.”
“We are so excited to finally welcome our visitors, members and supporters back to Paradise Wildlife Park after a long 12 weeks of closure. We are truly grateful for all the support and donations we received and cannot wait to give you the family day out you have been sorely missing.”
Further details on the safety procedures that have been put in place at the park can be view here. Paradise Wildlife Park is a family run wildlife park based in Hertfordshire. It is also a fully registered charity under the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire (charity number 1108609). Paradise Wildlife Park is rated Hertfordshire’s No.1 Attraction and is Europe’s leading zoo for animal experiences. Paradise is home to over 800 animals including tigers, white lions, snow leopards, jaguars, penguins, red pandas, lemurs, monkeys and reptiles, including the largest anaconda on display in the UK.
Henley Festival goes Digital with Will Young & Beverley Knight
For 2020 Henley Festival has announced that it will be going digital, presenting a 2-hour evening concert, streamed on the Henley Festival website with performances from the Hurley House Hotel.
Popstar Will Young will perform some of his classic hits including Love Revolution, Joy and Light my fire. He says: “It’s a pleasure to be able use a home filmed show, the band and I have been working on during lockdown for Henley, a place I’ve performed in and loved. I grew up not too far from there, so it is almost a virtual home-town show.”
Soul singer Beverley Knight will perform a 40 minute concert of her top hits. There will also be performances from classical pianist Hao Zi Yoh, and number one Jazz musician Joe Stilgoe. Comedy will be provided by Rory Bremner who will perform some new topical material whilst being interviewed by cricket commentator David Gower. David Gower who has said “As a guest in previous years I have grown to love the atmosphere and diversity of the many talents on show at the Henley Festival so it is a great pleasure to add a little something back with this year’s digital event”
Festival goers can watch the digital concert from the comfort of their own homes, with tickets starting from £10.10 each and available from www.henley-festival.co.uk.
All ticket sales will help to support the not-for-profit festival to continue in 2021. Established 38 years ago as a classical music charity event, Henley Festival continues to be run on a not for profit basis. supporting charitable projects at both a national and local level.
Henley Festival announced back in April that this year’s five day black-tie Festival will be postponed in its entirety to July 2021, moving the full 2020 line up to next year including headliners James Blunt, Madness, and Sophie Ellis Bextor. Anyone who holds tickets to the 2020 festival will be able to use them in 2021.
Henley Festival CEO Nick Mattingley said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer a digital version of Henley Festival for 2020 with some of the UK’s best loved performers. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the festival from the comfort of their homes.”