Spend a day in Harpenden
PUBLISHED: 21:29 30 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:12 20 February 2013
This month, why not spend a day discovering Harpenden? Public art, farmers' markets, Christmas fairs, beautiful green spaces; the town has an abundance of delights for visitors looking to make the most of a free day, as Damion Roberts learns
Harpenden Farmers Market
There is something rustic about a good old-fashioned and well-stocked farmers market with eager shoppers looking to taste their way to a bagful of delicious bargains.
Taking place on the fourth Sunday of the month, Harpenden Farmers Market accommodates more than 70 stalls and is well-attended.
The market takes over the lower High Street and is an energetic place full of wonderful aromas and tasters that tickle the tastebuds especially when there are tempting nibbles on display for shoppers to try before they buy.
Novembers Harpenden Farmers Market takes place on Sunday, November 28, from noon.
Hit the shops
A wealth of independent retailers makes shopping in the high street a treat. From stylish boutiques and excellent florists to charming antiques and delightful jewellery, there is a real timeless feel to a day out in Harpenden where you can pick up some real gems.
And after a spot of shopping then make time for cup a of coffee in one of the cafes or opt for a lavish meal in one of the many restaurants eager to tempt you with their wares.
Christmas Gift and Craft Fair
The Harpenden Charity and Christmas Gift and Craft Fair is an annual event now in its 36th year, taking place on two days in November.
This year there will be more than 50 stalls on display including a number of new ones, giving shoppers who come from all around the county a chance to stock up on presents for Christmas in a bubbly and vibrant environment. The event is run on an entirely voluntary basis and all profits will go to charity, with this years recipients being Refuge, LAMP and the Harpenden Trust. The fair takes place at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, on November 26 and 27 from 9.30am until 4.30pm.
Relax in Rothamsted Park
Dont let the wintry weather stop you exploring just pull on your coat, scarf and boots. There are plenty of parks in and around Harpenden, which makes shopping in the town that much more enjoyable if you are able to take a break among the lush greenery.
Top of the parks is Rothamsted which covers an area of more than 56 acres and is close to Harpenden town centre.
Among its attractions is a childrens play area and the districts only purpose built skateboard park. The area also includes Harpenden Sports Centre, Harpenden Swimming Pool and acres of wide open spaces which are ideal for walking and relaxing in.
The park is also adjacent to the Rothamsted Experimental Research Centre, which itself holds public open days throughout the year.
Other green areas include the three-times Green Flag winning Harpenden Common which stretches for two miles south of the town and is a place of natural scientific beauty and includes a picnic area and a nature trail.
Public art on show
Dotted around Harpenden are a number of works of art by the sculptors John R Brown and Simon Hebdich. Brown is a popular artist who has some high profile fans in the form of Elton John, Simon Cowell and Lesley Ash, and his work deals with human relationships and emotions.
His work 120cm high Tete a Tete one bronze body looking up to another perched on a brick wall is in Church Green, Harpenden.
Hebdich has two works of art in the town, both fashioned from cherrywood. The first, Salmon Leap, is in the grounds of the Rothamsted Park Sports Centre, while Nightingale Valley stands in the same grounds.
Join in some sports
Rugby, football, golf...Harpenden residents take their sports seriously and there are plenty of sports to either watch or participate in when visiting the town.
Harpenden Town Football Club plays matches on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings at Rothamsted Park, Harpenden Rugby Club plays matches at Redbourn Lane while if its a round of golf you are looking for there are a number of clubs located in and around the town. These include Harpenden Common Golf Club, Aldwickbury Park and Redbourn.