What’s on in Hertfordshire in August

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 28 July 2020

Knebworth Classic Car Show returns to Knebworth Park and Gardens

Knebworth Classic Car Show returns to Knebworth Park and Gardens


Our pick of the best cultural (and socially-distanced) events across the county this month.

Glorious gardens

With summer in full bloom and restrictions relaxed, the National Garden Scheme is opening up gardens by appointment. Whether you are a complete beginner or established gardener, there’s plenty of ideas. 

If you can’t get to one of the open gardens, there are also virtual garden tours and talks on the charity’s website. Chelsea winner Tom Stuart-Smith gives a tour of his Serge Hill garden, The Barn, near St Albans, talking about his work and the exotic and interesting plants he has incorporated. And Julie Toll discusses her designs mixing country and contemporary at Manor House, Ayot St Lawrence. 

For details of open gardens and booking, plus the virtual tours, go to ngs.org.uk


Get me out of here!


Who hasn’t felt like escaping over the last few months? With this in mind, Royston Museum has created a time travelling puzzle online. Your time machine has crashed into Royston Museum. If you want to escape, you’ll need to find your crew, who have all landed in different eras in Royston’s history. Search social media and the internet for clues, solve the puzzles, and see if you can escape the museum.  

A great family-friendly activity and free too. 



Foraging fun

August is a great month to get out and about foraging with the family. Blackberries are plump for picking – and can be made into crumbles, jam and even wine. Crab apples make a lovely jelly, and pick elderberries for a delicious cordial or fruity wine. Greater plantain leaves can be used in salads, or collect hazelnuts – get them before the squirrels do. The Woodland Trust has lots of information about edible plants and berries accompanied with pictures of what is safe to pick and tips on where to find them. 



Favourite things


Stevenage Museum is inviting townsfolk to choose an object from the collection, explain why they’ve chosen it, and what part it has played in the story of the town. There’s also the chance to nominate objects treasured at home. The stories and objects will be recorded to bring the past alive for an online exhibition, The Story of Stevenage in 100 Objects. What will be chosen? A hoard of Roman coins uncovered in Chells? Or the model of Henry Trigg’s coffin tucked up in the rafters of what was a bank on the High Street? 

The museum will be opening for prebooked tours starting each Thursday from August 6.



Online art

Lea Valley

Like so many others, an exhibition by Lea Valley Art Society due to be shown at Cedars Park in Waltham Cross has been cancelled due to social restrictions, but works by the group can still be seen online on YouTube. Each week from June the group has created work around a theme – such as textured paintings and English beauty spots, white-on-black, book title illustrations and summer holidays. 



Let’s go fly a kite


The annual Royston Kite Festival had to be cancelled but you could still head to Therfield Heath with a picnic and do a bit of kite flying. 

The elevated position of the heath  near Royston makes it an ideal place, and the large expanse means there’s lots of room.The Heath Cafe Bar is now also open for takeaway refreshments  ordered online or by phone, Friday to Sunday.


Love Shakespeare

With Pendley Manor’s much-loved Shakespeare Festival on hold until next year, there’s still ways to enjoy the Bard. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London offers the chance to attend performances virtually. You can rent and buy productions through globeplayer or watch free content including The Tempest with YouTube Premiers and BBC iPlayer. There’s behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, experimental interpretations and a storytelling and workshop section for youngsters. Do take a look at LoveinIsolation – actors reciting favourite Shakespeare sonnets and soliloquies during lockdown.



Meteor shower

August 12-13, Watford

Take a flask, a deckchair and a camera to Watford’s Cassiobury Park and enjoy a light show of the celestial kind. The Perseid meteor shower happens every year and can be quite spectacular, peaking between August 12-13. Photographer Andrew Lalchan will be on hand to give tips on getting great shots of the meteors.

‘Back in 2016, there were 80 to 100 an hour,’ he says. ‘Hopefully, the weather will do its part and give us clear skies.’ 

If cloudy then the event will be cancelled and tickets refunded. Tickets to join the photography group cost £4 per person.



Bat night

August 14, St Albans

Fancy a bat night? Get to know these remarkable nocturnal creatures at Highfield Park in St Albans. The evening begins with a talk on which species might be encountered, then its out to search for them with the park’s bat detectors. Past events have found both pipistrelle bats and noctule bats in the park. Remarkably, there are 17 species of bat to be found in the UK. Tickets £4.



Big cat showcase

August 22-23, Broxbourne

Paradise Wildlife Park has opened its doors once again and during August is showcasing its magnificent jaguars and snow leopards. Snow leopard Jessie came to the park as part of the European endangered species breeding programme to be paired with Panja. She is known for her funny antics, even going viral for her excited wiggle in front of a camera fitted in her habitat. Learn more about the park’s stunning big cats over this weekend. 

Tickets: adults £22, children £20. 



Record days

August 29, various 

Downloading songs is just not as much fun as spinning a disc, and the annual Record Store Day celebrates all that is great about vinyl. This year it is being spread out over three dates: August 29, September 26 and October 24. There are special releases to buy and many shops have events to mark the occasion. Last year David’s Music in Letchworth sold more than 1,000 records and loyal customers were queuing  outside for 24 hours. Empire Records in St Albans and The LP Cafe in Watford are also participating.





Classic car show 

August 30-31, Knebworth

Held in the grounds of Knebworth House, this annual classic event showcases up to 1,000 classic and collectable vehicles each day. See glorious sports cars, beefy American models, commercial and military vehicles as well as classic motorcycles. There’s static displays as well as an arena hosting parades. The event also includes The Herts Motor Show which has the latest models from a range of manufacturers.

Once you are all motored-out, enjoy the park, 28 acres of formal gardens and the adventure playground. Tickets: children £12.50, adults £13.



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