15th July 2020

Why not try one of these inspired ideas, for enjoying the many things on offer in the Colne Valley Regional Park?

The Grand Union Canal runs through the Colne Valley from West Drayton to Rickmansworth. It has miles of towpath on which you can walk or cycle, and offers beautiful, serene views of the countryside. Why not enjoy our circular walk along the canal, all mapped out for your here?

Or Discover Denham Deep Lock using this excellent activity sheet.

Following the Colne Valley Trail

2. Boat down the canal. 

Grab a canoe, a friend, a map and a flask of tea and you’re halfway to an amazing day out. Canoe users need to get a one off or yearly license from the Canal and Rivers Trust, and don’t forget a life jacket!

If getting directly on the water is not for you, then why not try a boat trip instead, with one of our local providers?

See here for the wide array of canal activities in the Colne Valley.

3. Picnic in a country park.

Not just for summer! Pack a flask of soup, a foil-wrapped jacket potato, squishy homemade flapjacks, a thermos of hot chocolate and a blanket or two, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the year-round delights of the Colne Valley. Use our website to choose somewhere new to visit.

4. Star gaze at night

What could be more intimate than a night-time walk to stargaze? Whether you come prepared with a telescope or just a blanket to lie on, getting away from the light pollution of towns and cities is a breath-taking and all too rare experience.

A private members-only nature reserve. It is perfect for a quiet day out among the wetlands. Check the Maple Lodge website for more information about open days and membership.

6. Harefield Marina.

The canal is visually pleasing, serene and scenic. But, in addition to the herons, coots, moorhens and mallards that grace its waters, the quaintest attraction must be the house-boats. Stop for lunch in one of many canal-side pubs, and take in the charm and ingenuity of these unique floating homes.

The current pubs in Harefield (June 2020) include:

the Bear on the Barge and the Coy Carp, as well as Jack’s Mill Café and Venue on Black Jack’s lock – Enjoy!

7. Drawing/painting.

Set up an easel, or bring a sketchbook, and capture the Colne Valley in different mediums. Why not take on a 365-day drawing challenge and make the Colne Valley your theme for a week? You’ll find plenty of wild life subjects if you visit one of our many nature reserves.

8. Cycle.

Bring your bike and go off-road in the Valley. One of the best ways to see the sights, and great for family fitness.

Technophiles can map their own route using an app like Strava or Komoot.

9. Horse Ride

Make use of the bridleways and local stables and enjoy a relaxing hack around the countryside.

Horse Riding
10. Golf

Pack your putter and choose from a number of fantastic golf courses.

Beat the post-roast, lazy Sunday snooze and take a drive to a part of the Colne Valley Regional Park you haven’t visited before. Forego a map and trust a hound to guide the way. We have 18 circular walks across the Cone Valley all varying in length and views. You could also try a short walk in farmland with a walk at Woodoaks Farm.

12. Fishing. 

A hugely popular activity for experienced and amateur anglers alike.

Click here to find out more about angling in the valley.

Angling at Broadwater
13. Play Pooh Sticks. 

Revisit your childhood. The wealth of canals and open water in the Park, provide opportunities to play some great games with children such as pooh-sticks or stone skimming. Be aware, though, that what starts out as a friendly game can quickly turn competitive .

14. Foraging.

See this brilliant guide from the Woodland Trust, and don’t forget to read  its guidelines for responsible foraging. Remember, if in doubt, don’t pick it!

Child foraging
15. Wildlife spotting/bird watching.

The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives have a huge variety of activities including spotter sheets for children, that can be downloaded and printed for free.

For other ideas and a full map of the Park, our visitor guide is available to download here. The guide has a detailed map of the whole Park, great places to visit and details of our very own Short Circular Walks.

A couple of gentle reminders when enjoying all these activities:

  • Please don’t forget to observe government guidelines on social distancing;
  • It’s always a good idea to check things are open before you travel, particularly in these uncertain times;
  • And help to keep the Colne Valley Park beautiful, by taking all of your rubbish home with you, as leaving it by bins can cause trouble for wildlife.

Winter walk in Black Park