UK 15/01 | Old Hatfield

So, for my first week exploring the UK, I thought I’d give the local attractions in my little town, Hatfield, a chance and check them out. There was also the fact that I had no friends (yet, i’m not a complete loser) to explore London with, so I thought I’d just go somewhere nearby. The day started out with me walking along a road parallel to the railway, for about half an hour before I saw any sign of civilisation.

The place I finally arrived at was Old Hatfield, a pretty historic village that hosts two of Hatfield’s main attractions: Hatfield House, which was once a palace and is currently a filming location used in a number of popular movies (Wonder Woman, Paddington, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 etc.) and St Etheldreda’s church, which dates back to the 13th century. Perfect- I thought- I’ll visit both at one go! (Spoilers- someone didn’t do their research)

The town is really aesthetically pleasing, with rows of small houses lining either side of the curved roads. These roads eventually lead you uphill, where the church stands. And so, I started my ascend up the narrow street.

Seeing the church made me quite excited. I’m not a Christian, but I enjoy the beautiful stained glass and art often preserved in these old churches. I first walked around its perimeter to get a better view of the clock tower.

Then, I walked up to the door and, surprise surprise, it was locked. I was so confused, as I had thought the church was popular among visitors. After a quick google search, I realised it was only open during the morning communion. Damn, my delusional ass thought, maybe if I go grab lunch and come back it would open by then? It was worth a shot, so I popped by a nearby cafe where a nice man held open the door for me. I contemplated asking the cafe staff if the church would be open that day, but was too embarrassed to say anything while the man was ordering, so I waited for him leave. “Oh, I don’t know. The man who left was the bishop though, you should have asked earlier!” the staff informed me. Great.

No matter, I thought, there’s still Hatfield house! when I walked there, the main gate was open, but there was no one at what I assume is the ticket counter. If you think that’s odd, you’re right- everything inside was closed for the winter. The only people who were there were just visiting the pet grooming services with their dogs. Apparently, Hatfield house only opens on the 6th of April, which I of course found out after another google search. GREAT.

It wasn’t all disappointing though, as I saw this fat squirrel. I do, of course, intend to go back once the house is open, so look forward to that! Moral of the story: do your research kids. But hey, at least I got some pretty photos.

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