15 Amazing Things To Do in the Colne Valley

  1. Walk along the canal. Within the Colne Valley, the Grand Union Canal runs 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.
  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 here, and don’t forget a life jacket!
  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 autumn and winter sights of the Colne Valley. Use our interactive map to find somewhere new to explore.
  4. Stargazing. What could be more intimate than a night-time walk to stargaze? Whether you come prepared with a telescope or just a blanket to lay on, getting away from the light pollution of towns and cities is aways a breathtaking experience, and one you might find you do less than you realise.
  5. Maple Lodge. A private, members only nature reserve, Maple Lodge is perfect for a quiet day out among the wetlands. Check here for more information about open days and membership.
  6. Harefield Marina. The canal is visually pleasing, serene and scenic. But, apart from the herons you’ll see overhead and the coots, moorhens and mallards that grace the waters, the quaintest attraction must be the house boats. Stop for lunch in one of the many canal-side pubs and take in the splendour of these floating homes.
  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 a theme for a week? Check out this blog for inspiration!
  8. Cycle. Bring your bike and go off road in the Valley. Arguably the best way to see the sights, and a great way for the whole family to keep fit. Bikewise, based in Ickenham, have a bike hire scheme, as well as selling a large selection of bikes and bike accessories.
  9. Horse Ride. Make use of the bridleways and local stables and enjoy a relaxing hack around the countryside.
  10. Golf. Pack your putter and choose from Buckinghamshire, Denham, Uxbridge, Rickmansworth, Gerrards Cross, Richings ParkIver or Thorney Park Golf Courses.
  11. Dog walk. Beat the post-roast, lazy Sunday snooze and take a drive to a part of the Colne Valley you haven’t visited before. Forego a map and trust your hound to guide the way. Don’t have a dog? Try Borrow My Doggy!
  12. Fishing. A popular activity for experienced and amateur anglers. Contact Uxbridge Rovers for licensing and where to fish.
  13. Stone skimming. With the wealth of open water in the Valley, stone skimming doesn’t have to be something saved for seaside visits. But beware, what starts as a friendly game can turn competitive quite quickly. 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!
  14. Foraging. See this brilliant guide from the Woodland Trust, and don’t forget to read their guidelines for responsible foraging. Remember, if in doubt, don’t pick it!
  15. Wildlife spotting/bird watching. The Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives have a huge variety of spotter sheets for children, which 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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