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