The estate that housed British codebreakers during WWII is now a museum, and it's less than an hour's drive from the hotel. At Bletchley Park there's a recreation of Alan Turing's office, and fascinating exhibitions on the ace codebreaker's life and work. You can discover what wartime life was like, see original 1940s toys and hear how the Bletchley team cracked the famed Enigma cipher.
In warm weather, the parkland surrounding Knebworth House, less than two miles from the hotel, comes alive with visitors. The house has impressive gargoyles, turrets and ornate period furnishings, but it's the grounds, complete with a dinosaur trail, an adventure playground and extensive landscaped gardens, that attract intrepid families. Watch out for special outdoor events throughout the summer.
Discover an enchanting world of wizards and magic at the home of the Harry Potter movies, half an hour's drive from the hotel. Book tickets for a Warner Bros. Studio Tour to see original props and costumes, peer through the windows of the Hogwarts Express, or explore Dumbledore's office. You can ride a broomstick and drink frothy butterbeer too, but watch out for lurking goblins and giant spiders.
Don't Go Home Without:
Take the 30-minute drive to St Albans to see what London mayor Boris Johnson called 'a miniature Britain'. You can see medieval wall paintings and climb the tower at 1,000-year-old St. Albans Cathedral, or discover a Roman theatre and mosaics at the Verulamium Museum. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can pick up tasty local produce at a traditional market that dates back hundreds of years.
If your kids love animals, you can take them to see lions, penguins and zebras at the Paradise Wildlife Park, 25 minutes' drive from the hotel. Hunt for tortoises in the tropical rainforest, catch a show at the Jungle Theatre, or watch the animals being fed and learn all about them from their keepers. For a special treat, book early for the chance to feed the tigers or meet the meerkats.