England is currently living under a second national lockdown and there are only a number of limited things we can do to actually leave the house.
One of them is exercise which is known to both stimulate the mind and give people the perfect escape from the four walls of their home.
Despite what many people think and the at times, severe change in weather, this time of year is the perfect time for an autumnal walk.
Unlike other counties across England, Hertfordshire residents are blessed to have countless options of fantastic parks on their doorsteps, including one of the top ten parks in the UK in Cassiobury Park, Watford.
These parks cater for everyone’s needs, whether you fancy a peaceful stroll around a park or walks with views across the county – we really do have it all.
With this in mind, we have got together the best parks across Hertfordshire and more specifically in your neighbourhood:
Avenue Park is designed for people of all ages and abilities and is a large enclosed park. It is surrounded by mature trees which was originally developed back in the 1950s.
It has limited on-site car parking and is only a 10 minute walk from the town centre.
Within the park are beautiful tranquil spots which are perfect for getting out of the house for some alone time.
But there is also play areas and a football pitch which may be closed or out of use due to the current lockdown restrictions.
Nearby the park is Ivel Springs and Weston Hills. These are both local Nature Reserves and are also great to walk around to get some fresh air. Both areas are also popular with dog walkers.
Southern Country Park
This award-winning Green Flag Park has something for everyone.
It is ideal for anyone looking for a peaceful stroll on their own, in their own household or even just to take the dog out.
There are plenty of routes you can take and all of them show the wildlife in the area whilst also boasting peaceful and beautiful views.
Dogs are also welcome in most parts of the park.
The River Lee Country Park
The River Lee Country Park is one of Hertfordshire’s biggest parks and it stretches between Waltham Abbey and Broxbourne.
This 1,000-acre park has a huge variety of activities and sights to enjoy all year long.
The park is a great setting for walks, runs or cycles and is on the river so you’ll likely spot some wildlife on route.
You can even bring along your dog as it is frequently used by dog walkers all year round.
Borehamwood and Elstree
This small park is perfect all year round and has great facilities which are shut due to COVID but make the park even better.
Nevertheless, the park is still great and is very peaceful and stunning.
The park has received a high level of investment in recent years, which funded a skate park, climbing boulder, teen shelter and the electronic DJ booth to play and mix songs straight from your mobile.
There is a number of lakes that are home to a variety of wildlife including swans.
Bushey Rose Garden
This park, found in Bushey, is a beautiful early 20th Century garden on the site of a former art school.
The small garden is divided into three sections which are the Sunken Garden, the Lawn and the Rose Walk.
Hundreds of beautiful roses – including 40 different varieties – and flowers fill the gardens and it is an absolute delight to witness.
It is an award-winning garden originally designed by Thomas Mawson for artist Hubert von Herkomer and now owned by Hertsmere Borough Council. It has been restored with Heritage Lottery funding and is open to all.
In Cheshunt and Waltham Cross you have Ceders Park which is great for people looking for anywhere for a nice stroll.
The grounds are beautiful, with a number of small ponds and war memorials too. It only takes around 20 to 30 minutes to walk around and is frequently used by dog walkers.
Also in the grounds is Cedars Nature Centre which is a small community zoo. This is however shut at the moment but is perfect for people of all ages.
Cheshunt Park is massive and can be found on Park Lane. The park is easily accessible with plenty of parking and other outdoor sports facilities which are currently closed.
It is also home to Cheshunt Golf Club which is too closed. However it is perfect for people wanting to go on a stroll and enjoy the views.
Close to the town centre, this park covers an area of 56 acres. It includes plenty of sports facilities in the sports centre which will be closed during the current lockdown but there are plenty of peaceful routes you can take throughout the park.
It is much loved for its wide open spaces which are perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed walk with good views.
It gained Green Flag Award status in 2008. The Green Flag Award Scheme recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.
Found on the northern edges of Hemel Hempstead, the park is divided into two areas by the Leighton Buzzard Road and is around 79 acres in size.
To the west of the road lies the biggest part of the park and it includes a listed excavated and re-interred Roman archaeological site, a play area and the Field of Hope which is a lovely daffodil display.
To the east, is the main area of the park which is used extensively for recreation.
The park offers the unique experience of exercising outside with its very own outdoor gym which is likely to be closed due to COVID.
If you would like to go on a walk filled with good views, wildlife and open space then this 1,000 acre site situated between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford.
It is a registered Grade II park and garden by Historic England and is made up of a mosaic of habitats including woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and reedbeds.
During the whole year, you’ll catch sights of beautiful wildlife using the park as their home and there’s even a large number of ducks who migrate to the park from the further north to spend the winter on the lakes.
Bancroft Recreation Ground
With its pleasant surroundings, the park has many great trees, shrub and has plenty of beautiful flower beds.
The park also has a toddlers play area which is likely to be shut due to lockdown restrictions and there is also other facilities like a band stand which is used by Hitchin Town Band in the summer months.
It has been in there since before the Second World War.
Nearby Oughtonhead Common is simply stunning. It is a Local Nature Reserve with a wide variety of wildlife habitats and The River Oughton flows alongside the common.
Purwell Meadows is also another area people can escape to during lockdown.
Letchworth Garden City
Howard Park and Gardens
Letchworth is home to many parks and wonderful green spaces.
Howard Park and Gardens is in the heart of the area and is surrounded by mature trees and with formal gardens around the bowls area. It also has quiet areas perfect during this lockdown.
It was created as a central part of the world’s first garden city in Letchworth. The council say it is vital for nearby residents and ‘makes a significant contribution to the quality of life of those who live and work in or visit the town.’
It is near Letchworth Railway Station and a bus stop and is only a 10 minute walk from the town centre.
Broadway Gardens is another fine example of the quality green areas in Letchworth. It has a fountain and is a civic open space perfect for dog walkers too.
Howard Park and Gardens can be found at Norton Way South, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1NY.
Rickmansworth Aquadrome is another massive area which covers 41 hectares and is home to beautiful wooded walks, lakes as well as huge open and green spaces.
It’s a local nature reserve so is home to a variety of plants and wildlife making it another great place for nature walks with the whole family.
Walks around the lakes can be enjoyed which will really help take you away from any urban life and bringing you at one with nature.
This park is in the heart of St Albans and is so big you’ll easily forget where you are and may end up walking round the same place twice.
On a summers day it is perfect and attracts plenty of locals and other residents in the county.
With stunning views of the cathedral and lake, no matter what the weather, you’ll be blown away by it’s beauty.
As well as this, the park has ancient Roman remains which are fascinating and there is a museum which is closed due to lockdown but is one to visit after restrictions have been lifted.
For the summer and the children, there is a splash park where they can play and cool off during the summer days and there is a park cafe.
Fairlands Valley Park
Located in the heart of Stevenage, it covers 120 acres you’re likely to feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside.
The park is renowned for its water leisure facilities and the lake provides a beautiful setting for walk.
As well the lake there is beautiful woodland which is home to a vast amount of wildlife.
It is perfect for dog walkers too with the views and lovely grassland making it a great spot for locals.
Hampson Park is also great for locals.
Great Ashby Woodland and District Park
This area is full of wonderful wildlife and is the perfect place to go in the area to get out the house.
It is owned and managed by Stevenage Borough Council and has a variety of facilities like car parking, areas of grassland and a number of walking routes.
There are also tree plantations and meadows to provide habitats for wildlife which are also beautiful too.
Also in Great Ashby is Serpentine and Thirlmere Woods which is home to a great woodland walk which would also suit people looking to exercise.
Brooches Wood, located on the northeastern edge of Stevenage is also another good spot.
This park is a another important nature and ecological area in Hertfordshire and is the perfect place to go for locals this lockdown.
There are stunning open views from within the park which are so peaceful you will forget where you are for a second.
While the park does attract visitors from far and wide, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere far away from your normal life.
Watford is proudly home to one of the top 10 parks in the UK according to Keep Britain Tidy public poll.
It is more than 190 acres and was originally built around the Cassiobury House which was demolished in 1927.
The park is filled with green grass fields and trees including American oak trees, there’s a nature reserve and the River Gade and Grand Union Canal both flow through providing beautiful scenes all year round.
Welwyn Garden City
Stanborough Park, in Welwyn Garden City, is the perfect place for a walk or exercise all year round. It features two lakes that were opened in 1970.
The whole of the park is completely man-made from an old quarry site which helped create the lakes and hills around them but you’d never even be able to tell.
The lake is home to many different water sport activities and you can even hire out a rowing boat to really get away from everyone which is the thing to do in the summer when not in lockdown.
Not only is it great for walking, but the views are picturesque and will blow you away in some spots.