An Introduction to Whippendell Wood, Hertfordshire
Whippendell Wood is a unique and historic old woodland on the periphery of Watford, England. It covers an area of about 165.3 acres, it is privately owned and managed by Watford Borough Council. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest,and has maintained this status until recently. In fact, it is one of only two places in Great Britain where a Great British forest is located, the other location being Biddestone. So why do I recommend this location?
The main reason I urge people to visit Whippendell Wood (which is also referred to as Woodbridge) is the unique wildlife which can be found there. Many visitors are surprised to find a variety of flying insects, birds and mammals, as well as squirrels and moose. These all share a communal feeding site at Whippendell Wood. And what’s more, many of these animals actually migrate through the nearby national park Oldkin’s Farm! A fantastic site for bird watchers and for a short walk. Also, in the area there are two popular open air museums: The Dinosaur Museum and the Ancient Things Museum.
The second reason I recommend visiting Whippendell Woods is its location. Located south of Watford-on-Avon, it is on a major international route. The nearest major town to the area is Hinkley, which is about half way between London and Norwich. Therefore, it is perfectly accessible from London all the way through to Norwich, and from Hinkley it is only about a couple of hours drive. The location of Whippendell Woods makes it an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside.
The other main reason to visit Whippendell Wood, is that it is home to several prominent World Heritage Sites. The two most important are Cassiobury Park and Whippendell Forest. The former is one of the few places in England where you can catch a glimpse of wild elephants and reindeer, while the latter is home to a large variety of bats and resident populations of rare wildlife species. It is also important to mention that the ancient woodland of Whippendell is home to two prehistoric rock quarries; Longdon and Cressingwood. To the north of the park you will find the impressive Whippendell Cave, whilst the south of the park has long been identified as being the site of the rockcuttery tradition. And if you are keen to try your hand at prehistoric cave painting, then you should head over to Rutherglen.
One of the best things about visiting Whippendell Wood and Watford is that there is so much to see and do. Indeed, the parks are very different to each other, being surrounded by beautiful fields and woodlands with streams running through them. This gives an outstanding environment for bird watching, nature walks and horse riding. Meanwhile, if you want to be a little more adventurous, you can explore the area’s caves, which are rich in history. Of course, the real attraction of the area will always be its wonderful woodlands, which are home to a wide variety of rare plants and wild flowers.
There are some excellent restaurants in Whippendell Woods, including two Michelin-starred establishments: The Ritz and The Courtyard. However, if you really want to experience a real British pub, you should go for the traditional “pub” in the form of the famous “bluebells”. You will find them just a stones throw away from the hotels, and are often a little cheaper. Moreover, if you want to enjoy the scenery a bit more, try the northern section of the woods, which is not as crowded as the south: you will get more natural beauty this way.