Car-free adventures aroundHertford and WareHertfordshire

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Our Hertford and Ware car-free adventures start with two scenic market towns beside the pretty River Lea. You can stroll between them along the water and go on to visit Amwell Quarry Nature Reserve, with its reed-fringed, flooded gravel pits. You can take a bus through the Hertfordshire villages and walk to the sculpture-filled grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green. With so much to visit, it's a surprisingly good area for a staycation holiday too - scroll to the end for more tips if you're staying longer.

  • County: Hertfordshire
  • Great for: arts | birds | historic houses | riverside walks | scenic bus | sculpture |
  • Refreshments: lots of lovely riverside pubs
  • Please note: researched/updated November 2023. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 4. Henry Moore by bus

    Henry Moore’s monumental sculptures, scattered across 70 acres of rolling countryside at Perry Green, are one of Hertfordshire’s cultural highlights. Hoglands, the house where sculptor Henry Moore lived for nearly 50 years, and the studios he worked in are open to the public too and the Henry Moore Foundation have added a new visitors’ centre and cafe.

    • Henry Moore’s studios and gardens are open seasonally.
    • This twenty five-minute walk from the nearest bus stop takes you on public paths around some of the most scenic parts of the estate and definitely adds to the pleasure of visiting. And the bus ride itself is a delight, running alongside the New River, through some lovely villages and winding wooded lanes. You could also catch the bus from St Margarets station.
    • Turn left out of Ware railway station left again over the railway, and right without crossing the road ahead to find the bus stop opposite the college. Bus 35 leaves this stop a few times per day.
    • Get off the bus after twenty minutes at the stop called Bourne Lane, cross over and walk along Bourne Lane (ignoring Woodland Road). After about 150m, fork left through a gate onto a track that says private property (don’t worry – it’s a public path).
    • Keep straight on a surfaced path through trees, fork right up to a kissing gate and follow the posts with arrows across a huge rolling sheep field towards Moore’s Large Reclining Figure on a hill on the horizon. Follow the map below to emerge in Perry Green near the Hoops Inn. The entrance is nearby and there are lots more sculptures (and often exhibitions too) to see inside the grounds.
    • To get to the Henry Moore studios and garden without any walking, catch a train to Bishop’s Stortford station instead (trains from Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale in London towards Cambridge or Stansted Aiport) and take a taxi from outside the station.
    • Buses back to Hertford and Ware from Bourne Lane, where you arrived, currently run a few times per day. Or you could choose the lovely two-mile stroll to Much Hadham (see 4 below), following signs for the Hertfordshire Way (OS Explorer map 194 will be very handy). It’s especially beautiful in spring, when the woods are full of bluebells, or autumn, when the beech trees all turn gold.
  1. 5. Much Hadham

    Hertford is a great hub for bus journeys into the surrounding countryside. You can catch the 724 from stop 5 at the bus station: east towards Harlow or west towards Hatfield and beyond. Bus 351, which passes close to the Henry Moore foundation at Perry Green (see 3 above), takes a 1½ hour scenic tour through the rolling Hertfordshire fields on its trip to Bishop’s Stortford. On the way it passes through lovely villages like Widford and Much Hadham.

    • Much Hadham also has Henry Moore connections. He carved stone heads for the door of St Andrew’s church and the west window there is based on his tree designs.
    • Don’t miss the Forge Museum. Housed in a medieval building, with a small café and changing exhibitions, it has a working forge, a collection of local finds, and amazing Elizabethan murals. Revealed in the 1990s, under layers of paint and wallpaper, these rare domestic wall paintings include a lively Judgement of Solomon, complete with curved sword, dangling baby, and figures in classic Elizabethan outfits.
    • With distractions like this, Much Hadham is a great place to wait for a bus and the local pub, the Bull Inn does fabulous food too.
    • Check when the last bus leaves, and for the bus stops throughout the long village, with its half-timbered houses and Georgian mansions.
  1. 6. Have a walk around town

    Don’t overlook the centre of Hertford itself. Hertfordshire’s county town has centuries of varied history. The tourist office has town guides that can lead you to the castle and its riverside grounds, the stag-topped war memorial, and the town museum.

    • The museum, in the middle of town, is five minutes walk from Hertford East and three minutes from the bus station. As well as some great collections of local pots and stuffed birds, the museum has Britain’s biggest collection of toothbrushes  – relics of the old Addis factory nearby. It’s open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday and is housed in a 17th-century building with a Jacobean-style knot garden.
    • Two doors down from the museum, look out for the Hertford Coffee Lab, serving irresistible cakes, hot chocolate and – yes – great coffee.
    • Follow the Hertford Historic Walk to discover the Georgian Shire Hall, the 15th-century, orange-painted Verger’s House on St Andrew Street, with its half-timbering and carved figures, and the world’s oldest purpose-built Friends’ Meeting House in Railway Street.
    • Ware has its own museum and treasures too, including the open-air Priory Lido in summer.
    • There’s a trail round local sites relating to the famous Great Bed of Ware, on show in the Victoria and Albert museum; or you can follow the sculpture trail constructed by a local primary school.
    • And don’t forget the pub crawl possibilities of all those riverside pubs, like Waterside Inn, just over the bridge from Ware station, with a garden overlooking the river.
  1. Buses, bikes and places to stay


    Here’s a bit more practical info if you’re planning a staycation in the area.

    • If you’re taking several bus rides, it’s worth investing in the the Intalink Explorer ticket, giving unlimited trips across the wider area. It’s particularly good value for a group of four.
    • If the bus journeys are local and on the same day that you arrive by train, the PlusBus ticket is a bargain for unlimited bus rides around the whole urban area.
    • The Hertford Cycle Hub hopes to provide bike hire in the future and is a good supportive resource if you’ve brought your own bike with you and need help.
    • There is a Premier Inn hotel very close to Ware railway station.
  • Henry Moore sculpture - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • Sunrise - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • Hoops Inn - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • Church - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • Stained glass window - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • Hertford statue - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures
  • tea & cakes - Hertford and Ware car-free adventures