As a local resident of Hitchin, I have a deep affection for its captivating heritage, charming cobblestone streets, and unique character. Nestled in the heart of Hertfordshire, Hitchin is a delightful market town brimming with rich history, scenic landscapes, and plenty of activities to suit every visitor. Whether you’re a local or planning a visit, here’s a handpicked selection of the best things to do in Hitchin.

Hitchin Lavender Fields

Venture into over 30 acres of breathtaking Hitchin Lavender Fields. As you wander amidst the purple blooms, the calming scent of lavender surrounds you, offering the perfect photo experience. Above you can find photos of my son taken at least 5 years ago!

Don’t leave without picking some fragrant lavender to carry a piece of this serenity home. Before you depart, visit their two shops, both brimming with their signature lavender-infused products, alongside a curated selection of locally-sourced gifts.

The field is open: 9am-8pm everyday (last entry 7pm). Adult tickets from £7. Located 10 minutes drive from the town centre.

Hitchin Town Centre

Step into the vibrant heart of Hitchin at its bustling town centre, where historic charm meets modern flair, offering a delightful array of shops, cafes, and cultural delights.

Hitchin Town Square
Hitchin Town Square

Hitchin Town Square

Where cobblestone streets lead you on a journey through the heart of this charming town. Here, you’ll find a delightful array of local food offerings, from quaint cafes serving up artisanal brews to freshly made tapas. Take a seat at one of the outdoor cafes, where you can savour your treats while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for local artists, whose talents often grace the square, adding an extra touch of creativity to this bustling hub of community life.

St Marys Church

Experience the rich history of St. Mary’s Church, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, evident in its magnificent roofs and intricate carvings. Don’t forget to gaze upwards as you explore, and be sure to admire the medieval door and sundial, symbols of gratitude for the church’s restoration and the enduring legacy of Charles II. After your visit to the church, meander through the picturesque cobblestone lanes leading to the central square.

Hitchin Market

Experience the Hitchin Market, set by the river. Held on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Look out for their craft and farmers market that is held monthly for those looking to sample some fresh, locally-sourced foods.

The Hitchin Priory

The Hitchin Priory has now converted into a hotel, offering beautiful gardens and architectural wonders. Look out for their afternoon tea options. The venue which is often used as a wedding venue also hosts social events like Cheese and wine evenings, national celebration days, murder mystery nights and summer bbqs. Keep an eye on Hitchin Priory Events for the perfect date night in Hertfordshire.

Hitchin Pubs & Bars

My go to cocktail bar in Hitchin is Hermitage Road as seen below with my best friend, but read my Hitchin pubs and bars guide for more ideas.

For a night of live music, check out the events at The Vic, where you’ll often find bands playing. They have a great garden space with seriously good Pizza from the outdoor hatch. For a touch of weekend elegance, swing by Speak Easy for some soulful live jazz performances. Yes the telephone box really is the entrance into the upstairs Speak Easy Venue on Sun Street.

Chicken George Hitchin

Indulge in the mouthwatering delights of Chicken George Hitchin, where the aroma of succulent chicken strips, juicy burgers, and delectable wings beckons diners from all around. With a legacy dating back to 1985, this beloved establishment promises a dining experience well worth queuing for! (And believe me, there’s always a queue on Friday and Saturday nights!)

North Hertfordshire Museum

Dive deeper into local history at the North Hertfordshire Museum. I had the pleasure of attending the BFG in pictures, an exhibition from Quentin Blake centre for illustration recently. My son enjoyed learning how to draw the famous character, there was a dress up area for children and it was a joy to witness work from my childhood.

Hitchin Town Hall

A cornerstone of the town’s cultural scene, Hitchin Town Hall offers more than just its historic charm. While it’s a popular destination for energetic Zumba and Salsa dance classes, it also hosts a series of great events, including special tribute nights or throwbacks to 80s and 90s.

Hitchin Theatre

The Market Theatre offers a diverse range of performances crafted to cater to and inspire the community’s theatrical interests. Its mission is to make live theatre more accessible to everyone, regardless of age or background.

Things to do around Hitchin

Explore these ideas of things to do around Hitchin:

Hitchin Swimming Centre: Perfect for families and solo travellers alike, offering both indoor and outdoor pools, ensuring a refreshing experience year-round.

Image Credit: Hitchin pool

Hitchin walks: Looking for scenic walks, refreshing cycle rides or trail runs? AllTrails have a large selection of stunning trails in and around Hitchin that promise a range of experiences for every outdoor lover. I highly recommend taking a walk through HitchWood Trail that is filled with stunning views of bluebells in the Spring.

Walk along the River Hiz: This tranquil river meanders through Hitchin, presenting scenic pathways for walkers and serene locations for peaceful reflection. The Hicca Way traces the path alongside the River Hiz Valley.

Hitchin Massage: Explore the range of massage salons nestled in the Hitchin area, each offering a unique blend of relaxation and rejuvenation to soothe your senses and invigorate your spirit.

Get Creative in Hitchin

Unleash your creativity and design a pottery piece that’s uniquely yours. If you’re celebrating a birthday, or special occasion, Pots of Art allow you to bring your own refreshments and snacks. They’ve even got wine glasses ready for you!

Pottery making: Why not indulge in a new experience with a clay class? For those with a flair for the arts or simply the curious at heart, pottery wheel throwing is a unique skill to explore.

Hitchin Days Out with the Kids

Here’s 5 days out with kids ideas in Hitchin:

British Schools Museum: Step back in time and discover the Victorian era’s educational system gaining insight into the evolution of British schooling.

Space to play: If the unpredictable British weather has you searching for indoor activities for children, then Space to Play is an excellent soft play area tailored for little ones. Believe me, I’ve taken my child there countless times – it’s a hit!

Bancroft Splash Park: There is a small splash park for children that is free to use. Located 5-10 minute walk from the town centre.

Ransom’s Recreation Ground: If you’re traveling with children, the park features play areas, sports courts, and spacious grounds for picnics.

King George V Recreation Ground: A fully-equipped play space featuring a towering tunnel slide and a thrilling zip wire. Additionally, there’s a distinct fitness section with various outdoor gym apparatus. Recent enhancements include an expanded metal skate park, complemented by a tennis court and a floodlit multi-purpose games area.

Hitchin, with its unique blend of historical sites and vibrant local scenes, offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, or someone seeking a laid-back escape, this town in Hertfordshire promises a great day out.

Where is Hitchin

Hitchin is a historic market town located in the county of Hertfordshire. Surrounding towns include Letchworth Garden City (5 miles) and Stevenage (6 miles). Luton airport is just a 15 minute drive from Hitchin (9 miles).

Hitchin to London

Hitchin is easily accessible by train from London King’s Cross station. Fast trains take only 20 minutes. Alternatively, it is roughly a 35 miles drive.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed our Hitchin roundup, get ready for more local gems! For foodies, we’ll be dishing out the ‘St Albans Restaurants‘ guide and sharing our experience at ‘The Florist, Watford‘. Plus, we’re covering all bases with ‘Things to Do in Hertfordshire‘ for those looking to widen their adventure horizons.

Stay tuned and get ready to explore the best of Hertfordshire with us!

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