Walk along the canal. 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.
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!
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.
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.
Maple Lodge. 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.
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.
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?
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.
Dog walk. 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 your hound to guide the way. Check on our website for
Fishing. A hugely popular activity for experienced and amateur anglers alike.
Stone skimming. With the wealth of open water in the Park, stone skimming doesn’t have to be something reserved for seaside visits. Be aware, though, that what starts out as a friendly game can quickly turn competitive . Swap a stones for Frisbees, combine with #11 and you’ll have an easy way to entertain the children; and wear out your four-legged friend!
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!
Wildlife spotting/bird watching. The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives have a huge variety of spotter sheets for children, that can be downloaded and printed for free. And for adults, come to the Colne Valley Visitor Centre (located in Denham Country Park) to purchase FSC guides for everything from birds of prey to woodland creepy crawlies!
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