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Alban Pilgrimage, Credit: emma collins photography Alban Pilgrimage, Credit: emma collins photography
20 January 2020 Written by 

Things to look forward to in Hertfordshire in 2020

With all the excitement January 1st brings, you'll want to continue 2020 the right way – with lots to look forward to and plenty of exciting plans. With any luck, our round up of the best events taking place in Hertfordshire this year will help to make it your best year yet.

Not only is it the Hertfordshire Year of Culture, there are several birthday celebrations and a good dose of landmark events you just won't want to miss. The best way to keep up with the events happening near you and countywide, throughout the year, is to regularly check back on the Visit Herts Events calendar where you'll find all the latest events.

HERTFORDSHIRE YEAR OF CULTURE

If you haven't already heard, 2020 is the Hertfordshire Year of Culture, which means there'll be plenty of creative and cultural experiences taking place across your favourite attractions and local businesses. The 12 months of 2020 are split into themed months including The Big Outdoors, Cultural Olympiad and Celebrate and Illuminate, so whether it's about re-discovering your local museums or trying a new course, Hertfordshire will be immersed in culture! Remember to keep an eye on the HYOC2020 social media for all the best events and news on the Year of Culture – Twitter and Facebook.

100 YEARS OF WELWYN GARDEN CITY

With the first house being occupied shortly before Christmas in 1920, Welwyn Garden City is 100 years old in 2020. Being the second garden city in England (and yes, Hertfordshire is also home to the first garden city in Letchworth), the town was designed for healthy living which is exactly what the programme of events planned for this year aims to do. Kicking things off in January is the Centenary Year Launch where the town will be lit with illuminations, continuing through 2020 with events such as the launch of the Centenary Walk which takes in the whole town and attractions including Tewin Bury Farm and Brocket Hall. However, every month has a string of events happening so be sure to keep a close eye on the Welwyn Centenary calendar.

THE ALBAN PILGRIMAGE

2020 sees the annual Alban Pilgrimage taking place on Saturday 20th June. Known locally as the Pilgrimage day, the streets of St Albans come alive with a carnival atmosphere chronicling the times of Saint Alban. An event known across the country, the city brings people on the pilgrimage through its streets and attracts Roman chariots, centurions and lions – all of course in flowing textile form! After the Pilgrimage, there are additional cathedral services including Festival Eucharist and Evensong. This however is only one day, so if you wish to head out on a pilgrimage of your own, then the St Alban Pilgrim Way is a five stage, 35 mile route from St Paul's in London to St Alban's itself, partially by Tube and with the odd tea room stop on route too!

WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR, LONDON – THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER

If you thought that Warner Bros. Studio Tour couldn't get any bigger or better, you'd be wrong! Hogwarts in the Snow brings in the winter in 2019/20 and 2020/21, transforming the sets with a covering of snow to recreate scenes in a different light. In February, Introducing the Art Department gives visitors the chance to see the various drawings and technical aspects that went into bringing the franchise's magical details to the screen. The biggest event of the year is A Celebration of Slytherin – get dressed and ready to celebrate a Slytherin victory – all the while discovering secrets behind the house. To top it off, if we dare talk of Halloween so early in the year, in late September to November the ever-popular Dark Arts event returns!

PARADISE WILDLIFE PARK

Being the only zoo in the UK to hold five different big cat species, you're sure to catch a glimpse of the big cats at Paradise Wildlife Park this year. To continue to offer an experience like no other, Paradise is currently building a brand-new tiger habitat to be opened later this year. Be sure to follow the park's social media channels to find out when you can see them in their new environment. Outside of the reserve, the grandsons of Paradise's founder, the Whitnall brothers, are driving a modified Land Rover for Drive 4 Wildlife to Uganda raising awareness of conservation but also delivering the vital tool for anti-poaching to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre – follow along the journey here.

WATFORD

Bringing Watford to life is what the events calendar for 2020 is all about. Kicking off the string of 'goings on' in April is Record Store Day on 18th, a nationwide celebration brought to Watford with a series of live music events. In June, the music continues with the return of the Big Bandstand that runs from the start of the month to 30th September with hordes of concerts. If, however, a variety of performances is more your viewing style, keep an eye out in August for Imagine Watford, importing carnival festivities to the town. Finally, making its blockbuster return for just under two weeks in July/ August is the popular Big Screen showing a multiplex of films, and a speciality for landlocked Hertfordshire, the Big Beach in August. Phew (but there's still more – check out the calendar!).

For further information inspiration for places to visit in Herts this year, head to www.visitherts.co.uk.



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