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Venues Listed in Parks And Gardens

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Butterfly World Project

Butterfly World Project

Butterfly World is now permanently closed [Nov 15]

Butterfly World re-opens for its seventh season on 23 March 2015.

Butterfly World, St Albans springs into life for its seventh season with an all new Music Meadow. New features such as the British Butterfly Garden, Bee Zone and a whole range of new activities will be coming throughout the year, making this season the most exciting yet.

Discover the new Music Meadow in a secret corner of the antennae walks. Children will love to bash out a tune on one of seven giant instruments made from recycled and household materials. Try a bamboo xylophone, wind chimes made from metal table legs, huge drainage tube air pipes or a corrugated tube scraper.

The much loved tropical butterfly house is home to clouds of over 600 beautiful tropical butterflies. There are 27 acres of specially created gardens and spectacular wildflower meadows. Younger visitors will enjoy Bug World an interactive exhibition in the Insect Study Centre. Here kids can get closer to nature than ever before with hissing cockroaches, stick insects, fat caterpillars, ant colonies and African snails while observing Leaf Cutter Ants in their natural habitat cutting leaves and taking them back to their nests via rope walkways.

Children can also run wild and free in the Natural Play Area complete with willow tunnels, slides and swings and meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar™ in his edible garden while others can relax by the Chrysalis lake, browse the specialist plant shop for butterfly and bee attracting plants or refuel in the cafe.

For garden enthusiasts: a Through the Flowerpot Garden allows visitors to see the world from an insect's eye view; the Spangle Gall Garden engages children in ten different mini-installations and the Theatre of Insects Garden shows how even the strangest of man-made objects can create an ecologically sensitive habitat for insects. Visitors can also enjoy a spiral Proboscis walk and Antennae paths lined with south-facing chalk banks and wildflowers to attract native butterflies and insects.

Butterfly World is served by local buses, St Albans train station and is situated just off the M1, junction 6a and M25, junction 21a. View our photo gallery from Phase 1 (2009).

Admission (2015): Adults, Concessions (over 60s or students with ID) and Children (£7.50 / £6.50 / £5.50 / Family - 2 adults & 2 children £22.50 from 1 May). Under-threes are free.

Seasonal memberships available - please visit their website for details.

14 reviews

Hatfield House

Hatfield House

The main entrance of Hatfield House, opposite a bustling urban railway station, gives little clue to the size and splendour of this Jacobean mansion and its beautiful gardens, set in 1000 acres of tranquil parkland.

Built in 1611, and still home to the 7th Marquess of Salisbury, Hatfield has sumptuous state rooms full of paintings, fine furniture, tapestries and armour. The adjacent Old Palace, dating from 1485, was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth 1 who famously learned of her succession to the thone while walking in the park (at a place now marked by an oak tree).

Outside are the West Garden's fountains, terraces, scented plants and wilderness area dotted with unusual sculptures. Keen horticulturalists should note that the East Garden is open only on Thursdays. There are three marked walks to enjoy in the park (ranging from one to three miles) while children can climb, swing and slide in the Elephant Dell Play Area, which has shady picnic tables for a packed lunch.  Light lunches, cream teas, cakes and a good selection of hot and cold drinks (including speciality beers) are available from the Coach House Restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating. New in 2011 is Hatfield Park Farm (traditional breeds) and Bloody Hollow (adventure playground).

Highlights

  • Fascinating history, architecture and interiors
  • The beauty and tranquillity of the gardens and surrounding park
  • Good quality restaurant catering and service
  • Great children's play area with equipment for all ages
  • Entry fees tailored to the scope of your visit

Note: the model soldiers exhibition is up a flight of steps and is not wheelchair accessible.

2 reviews

Verulamium Park

Verulamium Park

Purchased in 1929 from the Earl of Verulam, and named after the Roman city on which it stands, this 100-acre park has year-round historic, cultural and sporting attractions, including Verulamium Museum, the Abbey Theatre and Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.

Its central ornamental lake is home to remote control boating enthusiasts, a heronry and a wide range of waterbirds, including coots, moorhens and pochards. Water voles and rabbits live in and alongside the river Ver.

A popular place for a leisurely walk, the park also has a 9 hole golf course, tennis courts, crazy golf, a basketball/netball court, the 'adizone' outdoor gym and sports pitches with changing facilities. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy the swimming pool, gym and athletics track at Westminster Lodge. The children's playground is a popular place for little ones to climb, swing and slide before cooling off in the splash park (May to September).

Refreshments are available from two cafés: Inn on the Park and the Westminster Lodge cafeteria, as well as ice cream stands during the summer months.

The local voluntary group Friends of Verulamium Park help to support, preserve and promote the park. See their website for news, talks and special events. 

0 reviews

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