More Information about Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England

Hatfield is on the eastern edge of the A1(M) not far north of the M25, has a railway station, and so is easy to get to by car and public transport. The railway station is within walking distance of Hatfield House and Old Hatfield.

The town has Saxon origins and grew up around the gates of Hatfield House and Old Hatfield retains many historic buildings, notably the Old Palace, St Etheldreda's Church and Hatfield House.

The rest of the town is modern and will have little of interest for the visitor apart from shopping.


Hatfield House

The main visitor attraction is Hatfield House which is one of the Treasure Houses of England and there is plenty of free parking. When you buy your ticket to visit the house and/or gardens you will be given a 'Visitor Guide' leaflet which includes a plan of the grounds. This plan also shows all the roads and paths but doesn't differentiate between those paths to which the public have access and those paths which are private. This means, as we discovered, that you might plan a route from A to B only to find that part of that route is private and you will have to find a different route.

Visitors to Hatfield House are also prohibited from using a camera within the house so as well as being prohibited from photographing the rooms you are also not permitted to take photographs out of the windows. This is unusual in Stately Homes so I don't think that it is connected with security but more in the hope that visitors will buy the publications on sale instead. It didn't work with us. The house interior, however, is spectacular and is certainly worth a visit.

The restaurant is housed in a pleasant modern building which is light and bright. We decided to have lunch there and had cooked main courses. The cooked food is kept in a glass-fronted hot cabinet and is put onto plates for each customer. Unfortunately it isn't really hot enough and after collecting your meal it has then to be carried to another counter where coffee and tea is available and where you will pay. By the time you get to your table the food will have cooled off even more and I found that by the time I ate the last morsel it was cold. Room for improvement there.