The first leg of my 2005 County Challenge was a trip to Hertfordshire just north of London.

I had planned to visit Knebworth House but in an act of stupidity hadn't actually checked to see if it was open (something I'll have to remember for future trips). So instead the first destination shifted to be Berkamsted Castle a very old Mot and Bailey fortified castle. Even though the weather wasn't the best it was actually really very interesting and picturesque.

Last night I went to see National Treasure in Stevenage, a truly horrible town. Admittedly I only drove through but there didn't seem to be a single redeeming feature about the place.

The plan (which by now was pretty much out of the window) was to spend the day today at Elstree Studios but I had arranged to pick up my new car so I made an early start and had a long walk around Elstree village itself at about 7 o'clock this morning just as the sun was coming up. Very beautiful.

So the trip was nothing like planned but very nice nonetheless.