Of course there are the usual winter walks in the local area – Forty Hall, Broomfield Park, Arnos Park and Groveland’s Park, we are really spoilt for choice but you fancy something a little more than just a walk around a park then wrap up in your cosy knitwear and enjoy some magical walks during the festive period. I have chosen these three as my top favourites and must-do walks this winter.
– Heartwood Forest, St Albans
It includes a public footpath, the kissing gates are pram friendly and there is a train linking to the carpark to Langley Wood. There is beautiful wildflower meadows, a community of orchard in the making and fantastic wildlife – for these reasons, dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
– Epping Forest
This is a huge park with many different carparks and entrances, you can stroll around whilst coming across all different trees, lakes, plants and some wildlife. It feels like a proper forest walk “we are all going on a bear hunt” type of vibes.
– Lee Valley White Water Centre and surrounding park
This is another walking hotspot but also if you have someone in the family that is an adrenaline junkie then it’s a family outing excuse to go and watch them Kayak. There is a very large cafe which does decent coffees/cakes and (good) canteen style food. Unfortunately you can only sit on the tables outside the outside seating area (it will make sense once you see it) but its comfortable enough and they provide high chairs. There is also an outdoor bar area for fast food and drinks. There is lots of other dogs and babies around to meet too.
– Kenwood House
Have a look around the grounds of a former stately home. Unfortunately you cannot enter the house with a dog but the beautiful tranquil gardens with spectacular views are worth the visit.
Also know as ‘Ally Pally’ has a mixture of woodland and grassland. The view is worth the journey alone with sweeping views across London it is stunning. Have a walk around the Victorian grounds, the history dates back to the first opening of the ‘Peoples Palace’ in 1873.
4. Eating Out
– Mudlark, Herford
Mudlarks is a Hertford based charity which supports adults and young people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. They provide projects in Hertford (read more here). The Garden cafe provides healthy nourishing food all freshly made. All food is vegetarian and they have vegan, gluten free and dairy free options available. They pride themselves on providing a welcoming community hub. Find more information here and of course is dog friendly!
– Thornes Garden Nursery, Letchworth Garden City
This cafe has it all for a day out – cafe for coffee and home made cakes, chicken centre, shop which provides fresh fruit and vegetables and of course eggs to take home. See more here.
5. Christmas Markets
– Under the Arches, Arnos Park N11 Sunday 25th November 10am-4pm
Set under the charming railway arches in the park. A carefully curated selection of art, homewares and gift ideas. Of course there will also be festive drinks and food available too.
– Primrose Hill Christmas Festival, Sunday 25th November 9.30am-5.30pm
This obviously clashes with the above so depending on location, time and what you fancy you can choose which one. This one includes a dog show, street food pop-ups, new rides, christmas craft fair, live bands and also Santa and his elf will be there too! I would say this will be perfect for older children (5+) where as the above is a nice easy local one with the younger ones.
– Forty Hall Christmas Fayre, Friday 30th November 5pm-9pm, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December 11am-4pm.
Start your Christmas shopping with a glass of mulled wine and look around the festive treats on offer. The adorned community gospel choir will be performing 7.30pm-8.30pm on the Friday.