Local places to visit in Welwyn Hatfield
Welwyn Hatfield Borough, situated in the middle of the county, has much undulating farmland, woodlands and the Lea and the Mimram chalk rivers.
As with all our ‘local places to visit’ these are free and open all year round.
In the middle ages Mardley Heath was common land used for collecting fuel and grazing animals. Now it is a large nature reserve with a mixture of old gravel workings, heathland, ponds and woodland and is home to some of the county’s finest old hornbeam trees. It contains a network of paths which can be explored on foot, horseback or by bicycle. Read more about Mardley Heath.
Tewin Orchard and Hopkyns Wood
This is a traditional village orchard with local varieties of apples and pears which attract large numbers of birds in the autumn and winter. The adjacent woodland is mostly oak and hornbeam with bluebells and wild garlic in the springtime.
It is also home for a wide variety of wildlife. There is a mammal hide facing a sprawling badger sett, and there are foxes and owls here as well. Read more about the orchard and wood.
The site is best approached on foot from nearby Tewin Village, where you can find refreshments at the not-for-profit, community-owned Tewin Stores which was recognised with our CPRE Hertfordshire Chairman’s Award in 2020.
Northaw Great Wood
This 121 hectare woodland just west of Cuffley is made up of oak, birch and hornbeam, with areas of ash, sycamore and sweet chestnut along with a variety of flora and fauna. It was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1953 and as a Country Park in 1968.
Part ancient woodland, the wood has several times in its history been cleared and replanted, in addition to the regular traditional practices of coppicing and pollarding. There are some open spaces along with plenty of trails meandering throughout the wood. You can find out lots more about Northaw Great Wood on the Friends of Northaw Great Wood webpage.