Pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas

Hertfordshire village

Family friendly pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas

I’m always on the look out for a family friendly pub in Hertfordshire where my kids can enjoy playing in the garden while my husband and I have a relaxing drink so I decided to put together this list. I must admit, I hadn’t realised I’d been to quite so many – but there are plenty more I’m looking forward to trying now that I have this collection to hand. I was also surprised that there are so many pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas.

No doubt there are many more family friendly pubs in Hertfordshire which I’m not familiar with yet. However, the Hertfordshire pubs detailed below have all come recommended by local families, or they are pubs I have eaten at with my own family. I have included several pubs which do not have a children’s play area but they are very good for families despite this.

If you’re looking for the best gastropubs in Hertfordshire, there are some cracking options on this list. Just because a pub has a climbing frame in the garden, don’t assume it can’t offer outstanding food too! From first hand experience, I’d say some of these establishments are the best pubs in Hertfordshire… although research is ongoing in this regard.

If you’ve reached this website looking for country pubs near London, I’ve included with each pub whether it’s within walking distance of a train station – we have some brilliant family friendly country pubs in Hertfordshire which can be reached by rail from London.

By the way, as I live near Hertford, you’ll notice that most of these Hertfordshire pub recommendations are in the east of the county. My knowledge of west Hertfordshire is rather patchy so I haven’t attempted to cover the whole county. However, some of these pubs in Hertfordshire are definitely worth travelling to – and many of them are close to brilliant family days out in Hertfordshire. I have listed some of our favourite local attractions and woodland walks in case you’d like to combine the two.

The White Horse in Burnham Green

Pub in Hertfordshire: The White Horse Pub at Burnham Green

Photo credit: the White Horse Pub at Burnham Green 

Looking for the best Sunday roast in Hertfordshire? I think this country pub would be in with a running. After a long bike ride with hungry children, my appetite was rather huge so this might have something to do with my appreciation of the food at the White Horse. It’s not a cheap option but you do get a very fine roast. There’s a spacious garden with a play area and there’s a section of covered seating outside too.

  • Children’s play area (and the village has a little play area too)
  • Village location
  • Gastropub
  • Postcode: AL6 0HA
  • Find out more: White Horse

The Bull in Watton at Stone

Set right on the High Street in the pretty village of Watton at Stone, the Bull is a popular local family pub which does excellent Sunday lunches to rival the White Horse. It also offers a good range of pub classics along with an extensive burger menu. There’s a children’s play area in the garden and plenty of outdoor seating. If you need to work up an appetite beforehand, try a stroll along some of the village lanes with a circular walk in Watton at Stone.

  • Children’s play area
  • Village location
  • Gastropub
  • Postcode: SG14 3SB
  • Find out more: The Bull at Watton
  • Walking distance to Watton at Stone train station (half a mile)

The Plume of Feathers, Tewin

Family friendly pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas: the Plume of Feathers garden views

Evening views at the Plume of Feathers in Tewin

The Plume of Feathers has one of the best pub gardens in Hertfordshire – at least it does on a beautiful summer’s evening as the sun sets over the surrounding fields. I visited this pub with some friends during the easing of lockdown restrictions and it was a real treat after months of being stuck at home. I’ve only drunk here so I can’t comment on the food, yet.

  • Children’s play area
  • Village location
  • Postcode: AL6 0LX
  • Find out more: Plume of Feathers

The Horns, Bulls Green, Datchworth

The Horns Datchworth country pub in Hertfordshire

The Horns pub at Datchworth

Although this 400 year old pub near Datchworth doesn’t have a proper garden, it’s a place we visit regularly with our kids – it’s really cosy on a winter’s day. There’s a good value menu including popular options for kids and the pub is said to have a resident ghost – a local highwayman. I love the wooden beams and old farming equipment hanging from the walls. The Horns is close to Bramfield Woods which is perfect for long walks and bike rides.

Incidentally, some friends and I did some extensive research into the best Pimms served in the area this summer and the Horns won first place.

The Grandison in Bramfield

This pub is not far from the Horns at nearby Datchworth. The food at the Grandison is slightly more upmarket and the prices reflect this. It has a modern interior and a small garden. It’s location is what sells it for families, it is directly opposite the village playing field where there is play equipment for children.

  • No play area at the pub but it is opposite the village play area
  • Postcode: SG14 2QL
  • Find out more: The Grandison

The Red Lion Welwyn

Autumn at Sherrards Park Woods in Hertfordshire

Sherrardspark Woods

The Red Lion has a good kids menu with more than just the usual burger and fish fingers selection. There’s a large garden and plenty of space to spread out. And the best bit? It’s just across the road from the beautiful Sherrardspark Woods which is the ideal place for a long walk to work up an appetite.

  • No play area
  • Postcode: AL6 9AJ
  • Find out more: The Red Lion Welwyn
  • This pub is approximately 1.5 miles from Welwyn Garden City rail station.

The Woodman Pub in Chapmore End, near Hertford

Another summer of 2020 discovery for me – I cycled here with a group of friends one evening. The Woodman feels truly hidden away in the tiny hamlet of Chapmore End. There’s an attractive garden with a play area for children. The menu is an unusual mix of Spanish tapas and Thai dishes but I’ve noticed a few dishes that would appeal to picky kids just in case anyone reading this is unsure if their child’s “delicate” taste buds will appreciate such a menu.

  • Children’s play area
  • Postcode: SG12 0HF
  • Find out more: The Woodman

The Galley Hall in Hailey, near Hertford

Pub in Hertfordshire with play area: the Galley Hall

Pub in Hertfordshire with play area: the Galley Hall (photo credit Galley Hall)

I’ve not visited the Galley Hall but I’ve heard good reviews about it on a local Herts Facebook group which I’m a member of. Located midway between Hertford and Hoddesdon, just off the A10, it’s not far from the Broxbourne Woods Sculpture Trail.  It has a good sized garden with play equipment for kids and the menu features generous portions at sensible prices.

  • Children’s play area
  • Postcode: SG13 7NY
  • Find out more: Galley Hall

The Fox and Hounds in Hunsdon, near Ware

Although I’ve not visited this country pub near Ware, it’s definitely close to the top of my list of places to check out once lockdown is over. The food sounds delicious – a cut above your average pub fare, no doubt down to award winning chef and owner James Rix. I love the note on the kids’ menu “sorry, no chips on Sundays!” – luckily my kids will be more than happy with roast potatoes! Perhaps another contender for the best Sunday lunch in Hertfordshire… I’ll report back soon on that one I hope.

The Fox and Hounds has a lovely looking garden and it’s close to the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens – a brilliant place to introduce young children to art in an outdoor setting (and perfect for working up an appetite for a Sunday roast at the Fox and Hounds).

  • Village location
  • No play area
  • Gastropub
  • Postcode: SG12 8NH
  • Find out more: The Fox and Hounds
abstract bronze sculpture on lawn, Henry Moore Studios and Gardens in Hertfordshire: one of the best sculpture parks in the UK

Henry Moore Studios and Gardens is near the Fox and Hounds

The Farmers Boy in Brickendon

We ate here after several hours walking in nearby Broxbourne Woods. The Sunday roasts are huge so it’s essential to work up an appetite before you come here. There’s a spacious covered outdoor dining area and attractive gardens. Also, just across the road on the village green is a pretty good play area.

  • No play area but the pub is close to the village play ground
  • Village location
  • Postcode: SG13 8NU
  • Find out more: The Farmers Boy

The College Arms in Hertford Heath

Although this isn’t far from us, I’ve yet to pay a visit to the College Arms in Hertford Heath. However, having just noticed that they have a brunch menu, I’m sorely tempted to give it a try in the very near future. No play area but the garden does look pretty and the pub is next to Hertford Heath Nature Reserve.

  • No play area
  • Village location
  • Postcode: SG13 7PW
  • Find out more: The College Arms

The White Lion in Bengeo, Hertford

This popular local pub has a slide and climbing frame, and a big chalk board for kids to draw on. Locals have said its one of the best pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas. If you’re visiting in the summertime, I can highly recommend a dip in the River Beane which can be accessed via a path near St Leonard’s Church, not far from the pub.

  • Children’s play area
  • Village location
  • Postcode: SG14 3ET
  • Find out more: The White Lion
  • 20 minute walk to both Hertford North and Hertford East train stations (approximately one mile)

The Baker Arms in Bayford, near Hertford

The Baker Arms has an attractive garden with a children’s play area plus a large covered outdoor dining area. Bayford is a small village close to Hertford. It has its own train station with direct links to London and it’s also a short drive to Broxbourne Woods where you can enjoy a great walk – small children will love the sculpture trail.

If you’re looking for pubs with rooms in Hertfordshire, the Baker Arms offers several en-suite rooms.

  • Children’s play area
  • Village location
  • Postcode: SG13 8PX
  • Find out more: The Baker Arms
  • 10 minute walk to Bayford train station (half a mile)
Stag sculpture Broxbourne Woods

Broxbourne Woods Sculpture Trail

The Catherine Wheel in Albury, Ware

I’ve heard great reviews of this family pub with play area although I’ve yet to visit the Catherine Wheel myself. In the huge garden there’s a good play area for kids including a sandpit and there’s often a bouncy castle too. And if you’re looking to combine this with a day out somewhere with the kids, I can highly recommend Mountfitchet Castle which is a 20 minute drive away.

Woodman and Olive in Wormley West End, near Broxbourne

When we first moved to Hertfordshire we went for a walk in Broxbourne Woods and then needed to find somewhere to eat. We really struggled and I wish I’d had this very blog post to reference as I have since discovered that there are some great pubs surrounding the woods. The Woodman and Olive is a particularly great pub for kids – there’s an extensive play area in the garden and a good value kids’ menu. The main menu has a Greek Cypriot flavour which makes a refreshing change to the usual pub classics.

The White Hart in Puckeridge, near Ware

Dating back some 600 years, there White Hard at Puckeridge is a very characterful country pub in a lovely Hertfordshire village. There’s a play area for kids and the food is reportedly excellent – the landlord is the chef. The menu is extensive and includes pizzas as well as pub classics and gastropub fare.

The Crocodile in Cheshunt

I’ve had this pub recommended to me by several people: it’s popular with families due to its large garden with a good play area. This isn’t the most beautiful part of Hertfordshire but there are some fun things to do with kids near the Crocodile pub. Cedars Park is a lovely place to visit with young children and Broxbourne Woods is close by too.

  • Children’s play area
  • Postcode: EN8 9NQ
  • Find out more: The Crocodile

The White Horse in Wareside

The White Horse has a rather fun looking play area in its large garden and it’s in a really picturesque spot – Wareside is very rural and there are some lovely walks in this part of Hertfordshire. The pub is also close to the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens which is a great destination for families.

As well as traditional pub grub, there’s also a Greek Cypriot menu – I’m looking forward to sampling this!

  • Children’s play area
  • Village location
  • Postcode: SG12 7QX
  • Find out more: The White Horse

The Wicked Lady in Wheathampstead, near St Albans

This is another recommendation which I can’t comment on. However, I really like the look of the dessert menu on their website. I have driven past and the area is perfect for cycling so I’m hoping to visit it soon. There’s a huge field across the road and you’re just a mile from Heartwood Forest which is particularly lovely in spring and summer when it’s packed with wild flowers. The Wicked Lady has a large lawned garden and a patio and apparently there’s a tipi in the garden too.

The Sword Inn Hand in Westmill, near Buntingford

We ate Sunday lunch here several years ago for my birthday. It offers traditional pub fare in a characterful setting. The pub dates back to the 14th century and has spacious gardens and a patio area for outdoor dining. The location is particularly picturesque.

If you’re looking for pub accommodation in Hertfordshire, the Sword Inn Hand also has several accommodation options.

The Star at Standon

Pub playground in Hertfordshire

Pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas: the Star in Standon (photo credit the Star)

I haven’t visited The Star yet but I was immediately sold by the images on the pub’s website – huge garden, big play area. If you’re looking for pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas, this is definitely worth your consideration.

Standon is a really lovely village just off the A120 heading from the A10 towards Stansted. There are lots of lovely walks in the area and the river is a popular spot for paddling in the summertime. Standon is also home to a popular music festival, Standon Calling.

Woodman Inn in Nuthampstead near Royston

Pub play area in Hertfordshire

Pubs in Hertfordshire with play areas: photo credit: the Woodman Inn

You know a pub is going to be a winner with the kids when it’s website has a whole section dedicated to what it offers children. The Woodman Inn is a Hertfordshire pub which has been recommended by lots of local families and it’s easy to see why. There’s a good play area in the large gardens and it’s in a really rural location so there’s lots of great country walks close by.

  • Children’s play area
  • Postcode: SG8 8NB
  • Find out more: Woodman Inn

The Cricketers in Weston, near Stevenage

This is a real winner for families, it has to be one of the best pubs for kids in Hertfordshire. There’s a huge garden, great play area and there’s even a football pitch. Plus, the Cricketers sells pizza. This is a really great pub for a summer evening, that’s when we visited – there was a wonderful atmosphere in the garden, really relaxed and enjoyable.

The Cricketers is in a really rural location with lovely countryside but it’s also close to the A1 and not far from Stevenage – if you’re spent your day traipsing round DIY stores, reward yourself with a visit to this pub near Stevenage afterwards!

The Crown in Aston End, near Stevenage

Along with the Cricketers, if you’re looking for a great pub in Stevenage, the Crown is a good choice – Aston End is a small village on the outskirts of Stevenage but it feels very really rural. It has an attractively landscaped garden with lots of outdoor dining space. There’s a fun play area for kids and a table tennis table. There are some lovely walks and bike rides available close by.

Do you know of any good country pubs in Hertfordshire for families? No doubt there are plenty of other pubs with a kids play area which I’m not aware of. Where do you think is the best place to eat in Hertfordshire with kids is? Let me know in the comments below.

If you need to work up an appetite before your trip to the pub, check out my selection of Hertfordshire autumn walks and if you’re looking for a walk in spring or summer, my post about where to see bluebells in Hertfordshire is a useful guide to walks in the area.

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