Hitchin, nestled in the heart of Hertfordshire, is a charming market town that boasts of rich history, picturesque landscapes, and an array of activities for every visitor. If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting destination, here’s a curated list of the top 12 things to do. Check out my best Hitchin pubs and bars guide too!
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. 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
St Mary’s Church: A symbol of Hitchin’s rich history, this beautiful church has been standing since the 14th century. After your visit to the church, meander through the picturesque cobblestone lanes leading to the central square. There, you can pick up a coffee and relax at one of the numerous outdoor cafes and enjoy the frequent live performances.
Hitchin Market: Experience their local small 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.
North Hertfordshire Museum: Dive deeper into local history, art, and archaeology by visiting this modest but engaging 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, the 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.
Pots of Art: 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!
The Market Theatre: This intimate professional venue 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.
Hitchin Swimming Centre: Perfect for families and solo travelers alike, offering both indoor and outdoor pools, ensuring a refreshing experience year-round.
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.
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.
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.
Days out for 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.