Hertfordshire is a county in the South of England, a little to the North of London.
Largely rural until the 20th century, it contains some very pleasant towns and an ancient cathedral city.
Berkhamstead has the remains of a Norman castle, and is where Edgar the Atheling submitted to William I in 1066.
Bishops Stortford was the birthplace of the Empire builder Cecil Rgodes.
Hatfield is an old market town, on the outskirts of which is Hatfield House, where Elizabeth I lived before becoming Queen.
Hemel Hempstead is a postwar New Town.
Hertford is the county town, and contains the remains of the Norman castle where King John of France was imprisoned.
Letchworth was the first Garden City.
St. Albans is the cathedral city, where St. Albans Abbey, a cathedral since the 19th century, was founded on the site of the beheading of St. Alban, Britain's first Christian martyr. There are extensive remains of the Roman city of Verulamium.
Stevenage is another New Town.
Watford is almost a suburb of London and is famous as a brewery town.
Welwyn Garden City was added to the old town of Welwyn in the postwar years.
The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw lived in the little village of Ayot St. Lawrence, and Knebworth House was started in the 15th century, but is best known today for its rock concerts.
Rivers in Hertfordshire include the Lea, the Colne and the Stort.