Spend a weekend in Watford
PUBLISHED: 12:40 21 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:31 20 February 2013
From shopping and walking to theatres and eating, Watford really does offer something for all ages and tastes...
Start your day with a spot of shopping at The Harlequin Shopping Centre, a relaxed and friendly place to shop right in the heart of the town.
Look out for the fantastic free events taking place over the next few months, from arts and crafts with The Harlequin Secret Agents kids club in the summer to fashion shows and styling events in the autumn.
With more than 140 stores, including department store John Lewis, fashionable high street brands such as River Island and Next and independent boutiques such as Repertoire and Per Lui, plus plenty of food treats as well, youll be sure to while away the hours.
People the world over have been enchanted by the Harry Potter films for nearly a decade and at Leavesden Studios fans can go behind the scenes at the place where it was filmed.
The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour has been wowing visitors since opening at the end of March with its full size sets, including the Great Hall, costumes, props, creature workshop and, of course, the iconic Night Bus.
This walking tour lasts around three hours, finishing with the chance to purchase a memento or two in the gift shop but be sure to book your tickets as tours are strictly timed and tickets are selling fast.
Fancy a night at the theatre? Watford can offer not one but two top venues sure to have a show to suit you.
Watford Colosseum is home to some of the best live music and entertainment outside London with recent acts including One Direction, Level 42 and Jimmy Carr. A recent 5.5million refurbishment means the venue also has a caf, restaurant and a number of bars as well as the main auditorium.
A stones throw from the high street, Watford Palace offers a vast array of theatre, dance, films and more, and many of its productions have enjoyed critical acclaim. Panto season at the Palace is always popular and the theatre is also now offering the chance to watch 3D screenings of films.
Time your visit for the end of June and you can drink in the atmosphere at the Imagine Watford Festival 2012, back following fantastic success last year with more than 25,000 visitors.
From June 21 to July 1, Watford town centre will be transformed by incredible world-class performance on our streets in this free outdoor festival. From newly commissioned outdoor work produced by some of the UKs most exciting up-and-coming theatre companies, to world-class international spectacles from around the world, Imagine Watford guarantees to be unlike anything youve seen before.
If the sun is shining what better way to spend an afternoon than with a stroll and a picnic in the park. Cassiobury Park is a 190-acre green oasis that is a haven for wildlife and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Home to the Grand Union Canal and the River Gade, it is a glorious place for a towpath stroll, a spot of fishing or a picnic. It has an adventure play area, an under-14s paddling pool, and the popular miniature railway. Why not stop off at Cha Cha Cha, the popular tea pavilion for a cup of tea and a slice of one their delicious homemade cakes.
FOOD AND DRINK
The High Street running through the town centre is full of pubs and restaurants offering a range of cuisine for all the family from chains like La Tasca and Pizza Express to cosy bars like Bar Bodega. Or if you fancy a bite to eat while shopping, The Harlequin Centre has a number of cafes to tempt your tastebuds.
Watford has excellent transport links with the A41, M1 and M25 giving easy access to the town centre, while two mainline railway stations Watford High Street and Watford Junction mean getting here couldnt be easier.
For help planning your visit to Watford, visit the Watford For You website at www.watfordforyou.org