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Things to do in Hertfordshire

Your stay with us might be for pure relaxation with lots of time spent lounging, sleeping and soaking in our outdoor tubs. However, for some it's important to mix in relaxation with exploring the local area. We've compiled a list of our favourite places in and around Hertfordshire so you can relax more and research less. 

Eating & Drinking

Fox & Duck, Therfield

If you love the countryside, fine food and the warmest of welcomes; you’ve come to the right place.

Described often as a well-disguised gastropub, the Fox and Duck have evolved to represent, support and enhance its rural surroundings.  Located on The Green in a beautiful Hertfordshire village called Therfield. Dog friendly.

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The Bull, Cottered

Our 'local' in Cottered, just 500m up the main road in the village. A highly regarded gastropub with beautiful gardens.

Dogs are allowed in the garden only.

Please note that The Bull closes between their lunch and dinner service, and we highly recommend booking.​

The Bull

The Sword Inn Hand, Buntingford

Just around the corner from the West Mill Tearoom. Fabulous food, friendly staff, dog friendly, lovely pub garden.

The Fox at Aspenden, Buntingford

Great food and lovely beer garden. Particularly lovely in the winter with open fires + cosy tables.

The Sunday Roast is very good. Dogs welcome. 7 mile walk, 10 minute drive.

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Moon & Stars Rushden, Buntingford

Recently reopened with new chef. Lovely little pub. Somewhat Sporadic opening hours so do check before going. Dog Friendly. Modern menu. Big garden and cosy inside. Sunday Roasts are good. 45 minute off road walk, 10 min drive

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The Jolly Waggoner, Ardeley 

Lovely pub. New chef - good food! Dog friendly. Cosy fires and large outdoor gardens in Summer. Roasts are great! 45 minute off road walk, 10 minute drive.

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The Peppermill Bar & Kitchen, Buntingford

Peppermill bar and kitchen is the perfect place for all-day eating and drinking & unwinding. Stay a little longer and the evening vibes kick in. Great food. Dog Friendly. Lovely outdoor space in the Summer too. Great for Brunch

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The Cheese Plate, Buntingford

For both cheese purchases and as a spot for lunch head to Buntingford. They stock over 200 cheeses and you can sample and be educated - a MUST if you love your cheese!

You will find information on a special offer for Bethnal&Bec guests in your retreat on arrival.

The Cheese Plate

Buntingford Coffee Shop, Buntingford

Opened in May 2009 by Kay Hamilton-Cook who believed that all Buntingford needed to make it the perfect place to live - was a high quality coffee shop serving excellent food and drink, all day everyday. They believe in delivering excellent food & drink sourced as locally as possible.

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Westmill Tearoom, Westmill

Absolutely stunning village a 10 minute drive away

(the walk is fabulous but it’s a good 1.5-2 hours, incorporating Aspenden too). A quaint village and tearoom, check opening hours before visiting.

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Church Farm Cafe, Ardeley

Sandwiches / cakes and dog friendly. A nice stop during a walk around the farm, or up to Ardley and back from us.

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Batch 52, Baldock

Wonderful new independent baker with delicious coffee. Dog-friendly and open 7 days a week.

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Walking & Cycling

Explore Herts

We are so lucky to be surrounded by the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. 

You will find many routes which start from Bethnal&Bec...some ending at fantastic local pubs (bonus)!

Download one of the walks here...

And find out more about active things to do in Herts here.

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Komoot App

From ready-built routes that reveal all of nature’s best-kept secrets, to superior route planning and navigation tech that lets you decide what you want to discover, komoot makes it easy to explore more of the great outdoors—wherever and however you want.

Download the Komoot app here...

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Herts Walks App

We highly recommend that you download the Local Walks - Hertfordshire App.

Find more details here!

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Hertfordshire Walker

growing collection of free walks suitable for all ages, from an hour-long potter to half-day hikes.


There are walking tips for those new to rambling and a comment box beneath every walk for feedback.

You can download the Cottered Loop here.

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Cromer Windmill 

Take a walk to explore what your retreat over looks - Cromer windmill can be seen from our retreats and is Hertfordshires sole surviving windmill.

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Electric Bike Hire 

We have purchased 2 electric bikes which can be hired for a fixed fee. With a 40 mile range we hope this will  allow you to explore more of our neighbouring towns and villages without the need to use a car. The electric bikes can be reserved when booking. 

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Out & About


Cambridge is a city on the River Cam in eastern England, home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, dating to 1209.

We are just a 30 minute drive from this beautiful city.



Just 25 minutes away on the train, or just over an hour in the car from the nation's capital.

London Big Ben

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Imperial War Museum Duxford is a branch of the Imperial War Museum near Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England. Britain's largest aviation museum, Duxford houses the museum's large exhibits, including nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibition buildings.

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Knebworth House, Stevenage

The romantic exterior of Knebworth House with its turrets, domes & gargoyles silhouetted against the sky does little to prepare the visitor for what to expect inside. 

Please check the website for opening season.

Knebworth House

Harry Potter World, Watford

Warner Bros. Studios Tour – The Making of Harry Potter is a public attraction in Leavesden which is just a 30 minute drive from Bethnal&Bec. Read more about Harry Potter themed short breaks here

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Audley End House, Saffron Walden

Explore this decadent Jacobean mansion house and meet the staff in the Victorian Service Wing.  Enjoy stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside and wander the tranquil gardens created by ‘Capability’ Brown, gold winner of Anglia in Bloom Awards 2017. Then gallop across to see the horses in the Victorian stable yard.

English Heritage - Audley End House

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Lee Valley White Water, Broxbourne

You will find gallons of fun at Lee Valley White Water Centre, from white water rafting on the Olympic course to family paddling on the lake. Choose from a range of activities or sit back and watch the action at The Terrace Bar & Café; you’re guaranteed an unforgettable day out at this London 2012 venue.

Go White Water

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Wimpole Estate, Royston

A working estate still guided by the seasons, with an impressive mansion, parkland, gardens and Home Farm.

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Royston Caves, Royston

Royston Cave is an artificial cave located in small local market town Royston. It is protected both as a scheduled ancient monument and Grade 1 listed building.

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Hitchin Lavender Fields, Hitchin

Absolutely stunning village a 10 minute drive away

Pick your own lavender and sunflowers at this family run farm. Pack a picnic or eat from their new Field Kitchen Menu. Dogs are also welcome to explore the walks surrounding the scenic fields.

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Hatfield House, Hatfield

Hatfield House is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England.

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St Albans Cathedral, St Albans

St Albans Cathedral, officially the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban but often referred to locally as "the Abbey", is a Church of England cathedral in St Albans, England.

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Henry Moore Foundation

The Henry Moore Foundation is a registered charity in England, established for education and promotion of the fine arts — in particular, to advance understanding of the works of Henry Moore.

It operates from two sites, including Perry Green in Hertfordshire.

Henry Moore Foundation
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