Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
When to go
Any time's a good time: this is England, where there are no weather guarantees, so you never know whether you're going to get a bright, sunny day or a picturesque sprinkling of snow. That said, late spring's bluebells and early Autumn's turning leaves can be a revelation. Just try to avoid travelling at peak commuter times if you're travelling by car.
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PlanesHertfordshire's handiest take-off spot is London Luton Airport (www.london-luton.co.uk), which handles regular international flights to Europe and North Africa. London Heathrow (www.heathrowairport.com) is also pretty convenient and has international flights to and from almost every destination around the world.
TrainsThere are plenty of national rail connections in Hertfordshire: Watford Junction station is served by various services from across and around London, as well as providing links to Birmingham on London Midland trains (www.londonmidland.com) and other cross-country destinations via Virgin Trains (www.virgintrains.co.uk). Stevenage and St Albans stations have rail links to the North and the Midlands respectively (www.nationalrail.co.uk).
AutomobilesA chunk of Hertfordshire falls within the M25, making it a relatively hassle-free drive from London's 'burbs and boundary counties; the A1 or M1 will take you up into its northern reaches. A car is handy for exploring Hertfordshire's stately homes and county parks.
TaxisYou won't be able to hail one – arrange minicabs through your hotel, or look for ranks outside train stations in bigger towns.