Thousands of pairs of tickets for a host of attractions and activities across the county are up for grabs in the Herts Big Weekend ballot.

Registration for the third Big Weekend is now open, with 51 attractions offering free passes.

Watford Observer:

The lucky applicants won’t have to pay a penny to see behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films, get up close to the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park or see 500 years of Herts history at Knebworth House on the last weekend of March 2018.

The Big Weekend is designed to get people out and about exploring the destinations on their doorstep during one ‘big weekend’, on March 24 and 25. To be in with a chance of winning free tickets, residents must register at by March 11.

Places opening their doors will include St Albans Cathedral, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Paradise Wildlife Park, Knebworth House, Hatfield Park Farm, Willows Activity Farm, Vertigo Adventures, Natural History Museum Tring, and Henry Moore Studios & Gardens.

The event is also part of English Tourism Week, which highlights the importance of tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the national economy.

Watford Observer:

Two tickets per household will then be allocated to winners by random ballot (some family tickets are available). Last year, there were more than 19,000 applications for tickets to the big event, so make sure you bid for as many tickets as possible to be in with a chance of winning.

Attractions have also donated extra tickets to the Family Holiday Association charity, which helps struggling families to enjoy a day out for free.

Visit Herts chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE said: “The Big Weekend marks the beginning of the tourist season and is a fantastic way to celebrate all that is on offer in Hertfordshire. We are very pleased to be part of the national English Tourism Week celebrations, and to use the occasion to give our local resident the chance to explore their home county and discover something new – for free.

“Thanks to the generosity of the attractions and organisations taking part we’re looking forward to fun-filled Big Weekend, so make sure you get online, register for as many tickets as you like and keep your fingers crossed! And don’t forget to share your stories and pictures on social media using #hertsbigweekend.”

To register and to see the full list of attractions taking part, visit