Hello Hertfordshire

As you may have seen on social media, at the beginning of December I moved to Hemel Hempstead! I’m now living with James, my boyfriend, and am looking at renting out my flat in Croydon from January (let me know if you’re looking for somewhere!). It’s a very exciting move, and a little bit scary – commuting from Hemel Hempstead to Chessington where I work is definitely a bit more of a mission, as well as the fact that this is me sort-of-becoming-a-stepmum (eek!).

Anyway, enough of the serious stuff, once I’ve had a chance to unpack boxes, enjoy Christmas and feel a little more settled, I’m really looking forward to exploring my new local area. I’ve already discovered a few gems so thought I’d share them here, and ask for any other suggestions as well!

Gadebridge parkrun

Gadebridge parkrun is less than a mile from my front door, so I’m hoping I can make that into a Saturday morning habit. I ran it on New Year’s Day at the beginning of 2017 which was pretty muddy and cold, but as the majority of the route is on grass, I know that it will be a great course to do regularly to improve my overall running strength.

Gadebridge Parkrun

Ashridge Estate

This National Trust property covers 5,000 acres and is a fantastic place to go cycling, running or walking. The paths are mainly mud and gravel, although there’s an ‘accessible track’ that’s designed for pushchairs/wheelchairs etc. There’s also an outside cafe where you can warm up with a hot chocolate in the winter, and the carpets of bluebells in the spring are absolutely spectacular!

Ashridge Estate

The Nickey Line

Approximately 7 miles long, the Nickey Line is a former railway line (the Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Railway), which you can now walk or cycle along. It’s a really lovely way to get the miles in away from the traffic, and is a good introduction to cycling for younger riders too as it’s pretty much flat. You can also have a break on an old station platform complete with signal which is pretty cool!

The Nickey Line

Dunstable Downs

Ok, so technically Dunstable Downs is the highest point in Bedfordshire (not Herts) but it’s definitely one of my favourite places to visit. I love walking across the windswept ridge, watching the gliders and kites swooping overhead, or admiring the amazing sunset. Another National Trust property, Dunstable Downs has lots of tracks and trails to explore, and a fabulous cafe for cups of tea!

Dunstable Downs

Where are your local activity spots? Know any good ones in Herts? 

Beki x

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  • Reply Katie@TheseGirlsDo

    Welcome! I would definitely head over and do Tring parkrun – it’s the 14th hilliest (I think!) in the UK ha. And St Albans is good if you want one that is dead flat. Wendover Woods is also good fun for running/walking/cycling and the canal is perfect for tempo runs. I ran part of the Ridgeway from Ivinghoe Beacon (also good kite flying location) to Wendover a few weeks ago as well which was beautiful…
    Plus there are loads of wonderful local running races as well so shout if you want any inspiration or any directions – I’m just down the road.

    December 13, 2017 at 11:13 am
    • Reply misswheezy

      Thank you Katie, some great suggestions – will definitely check them out! Would love some inspiration for local races too 🙂

      December 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm
      • Reply Katie@TheseGirlsDo

        Ooooh, off the top of my head….

        Berkhamsted 5 mile or half at the start of March, Pednor 5 in Chesham (which is usually May Day bank hol – it’s run by Chiltern Harriers who also do some great trail runs at Shardeloes and Herberts Hole later in the year so have a look on their website)
        Ley Hill 5k or 10k is one of my FAVOURITE trail runs ever because everyone is so friendly (usually first weekend in October)

        Marsworth 10k, Two Arms Two Legs (along the canal at Wendover/Aylesbury), Beaconsfield 5 mile trail around April time, Tring running club do a great run along the Ridgeway in October (if you like trails, hills and mud…)

        Some pretty good bike sportives around as well.

        I could go on for ever….shout if you end up at any of them as a lot of these do feature pretty regularly in my calendar!

        December 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm
        • Reply misswheezy

          So many great suggestions there Katie, thank you so much! I’m off to do some Googling and will definitely let you know if I end up at any of them! I do love trail running so sounds like some fab options, and keen to check out the local sportives.

          December 21, 2017 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply Gill Bland

    I’ll have a think about Hertfordshire tips – I grew up in Hitchin and love Herts. If you ever go to hitchin and it’s dark, sit at the top of Windmill hill and look down at the church at the bottom. It’s so twinkly. Dunstable downs is one of my favourite places, especially in the winter. It’s beautifully bleak. You have to have a bracing walk and then get a Clanger from the cafe (a kind of pasty)

    December 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply Catherine

    Welcome to Herts! There are so many beautiful places to visit, you’ve named some lovely ones 🙂 depends if you’re after a place to run or just to explore… Tring park is lovely, especially when coupled with an explore of NHM Tring and the town itself. I’ve wanted to run the Nickey line for ages but not done it yet! The Chilterns in general are fab for running and exploring. I work at College Lake nature reserve in Tring which is a flat 2 mile lake loop, with lush cafe! A personal fave spot for views is totternhoe knolls right by the Downs, you can see everything! I really need to explore the local area more 🙂 looking forward to seeing where you discover and recommend!

    December 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm
  • Reply Maria @ Maria Runs

    Welcome! There’s loads of old railway lines in Herts- Cole Green Way runs along from Welwyn Garden City to Hertford. Lots of good parkruns too- Tring is beautiful (as someone else has mentioned) but also very hilly. Aldenham is a lovely flat (and quiet) one with a nice park to explore after (for kids too). And the Hitchin lavender farm is a wonderful place to visit in the summer- they even do yoga classes in the fields (not that I have tried those).

    December 15, 2017 at 6:55 am
    • Reply misswheezy

      Oooh yoga in lavender fields sounds amazing!

      December 18, 2017 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas

    Some great picks! I am based in Croxley Green (Rickmansworth) and love living in Herts too. Come and see me, or maybe we can run the St Albans half marathon together???? x

    December 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm
    • Reply misswheezy

      Would love to catch up! Will see when the St Albans Half is, but would def be up for it 🙂 x

      December 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm

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