A1, Junction 3; 10 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
Built in 1611 by the Earl of Salisbury and once the childhood home of Elizabeth I, Hatfield House is a breathtaking Jacobean mansion, well worth a visit for its rich history, exquisite decoration and tales of Tudor intrigue.
The horses have long since been evicted from the Stable Yard, which is now host to a range of boutiques – gunmaker, dog-grooming salon, goldsmith – as well as a year-round programme of events, from the monthly antiques and farmers markets to face painting and buskers. River Cottage has taken over the coach house restaurant, where large windows give onto the paved courtyard. From either side of the glass, depending on the weather, you can enjoy light bites or full meals, cooked from scratch using the best local ingredients chefs can get their hands on.
Entertain the kids at the farm (you’ll need to buy a ticket) where they can play in sand pits, visit animals grazing in the paddocks and enjoy tractor rides, which are free, just like the parking.