10 things to do in Hoddesdon
PUBLISHED: 17:22 11 August 2014
From river walks and lazy pub afternoons to children's adventure and the thrills of the race track, Hoddesdon makes for a fine day out. We pick 10 things to do in the Lea Valley town
1. Explore Adventure Castle.
With the long school holidays, parents and grandparents across the county will be looking at ways to keep young family members entertained (before they say ‘I’m bored’ for the umpteenth time).
Adventure Castle children’s activity centre could be the answer to their prayers.
Featuring top class play equipment, the site boasts three slides and an aerial runway.
And there is a café to enjoy while the brood run wild.
2. Watch daredevil action.
A mud track, 500 CC of power, acceleration faster than a Formula 1 car, and no brakes. Speedway is not for the faint of heart.
These spectacular motorbike races are billed as fun for the whole family at Ryehouse Speedway and the high-octane events take place throughout the summer.
Petrolheads have been flocking to the track since the 1930s to witness racers pushing it to the limit.
3. Back in time at the gatehouse.
Described as ‘medieval bling’ Rye House Gatehouse is an ancient structure that projects power, prestige and wealth. It is all that remains of a castle that stood for 450 years.
Built as part of one of the first brick structures in England, this imposing but beautiful Grade I listed building can be visited for free. Climb the winding stairs to the battlements for great views across the neighbouring parkland.
4. Speed round Rye House.
Fancy yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton, or do you know a youngster who could be a future track star? Then you should head down to Rye House Kart Raceway and put the pedal to the metal.
The track where F1 champ Hamilton learnt to race, it offers a challenging course, yet safe course, with experts on hand. For a full day of action, the site also offers laser combat and crazy golf.
5. Rye-Assic adventure.
Rye-Assic Adventure Park is a vast centre for young children and families with numerous activity zones providing year-round entertainment.
There is boat racing, a dino maze, bouncy trampolines, and an outdoor play area that is based around a pirate galleon.
It also has electric quad bikes, suitable for the over-threes.
6. Wetland wonder.
This RSPB reserve at Rye Meads is a wetland beauty spot that delights walkers, birdwatchers, photographers and family day-outers alike.
There are wheelchair-friendly trails, 10 hides, reed beds, wet meadows, open water and artificial sandbanks, which are a great place to spot the elusive kingfisher.
The reserve is of international importance, with a variety of hands-on and educational activities to help youngsters learn about our feathered friends.
7. History at Lowewood.
Historic treasures that tell the story of the borough of Broxbourne are on show at Lowewood Museum.
This historic Georgian building contains a delightfully eclectic collection, ranging from an impressive Bengal tiger to a fine collection of James Ward paintings and covering geology, archaeology, social history, costume, photography and art.
A constantly revolving series of exhibitions and family activities ensures as much of it is possible is displayed.
8. Go Italian.
It’s no accident that Zagara, a family-run Italian restaurant, has become the number one rated eatery in Hoddesdon on review site TripAdvisor. High quality steaks, pizzas and pasta dishes have won the hearts – and palates – of visitors.
For large groups there is a private dining area.
9. A pint by the river.
The Fish and Eels is a picturesque riverside pub with a rustic character.
It’ a great place to wile away an afternoon, taking in the beauty of the River Lea while enjoying fine cask-conditioned ales and top pub grub.
As well as imbibing you can soak up some Hoddesdon’s history - the buildings date back to the 1800s and was owned by the Christie family brewery which once sold ales brewed in the town.
10. Carry on camping.
Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park is on a beautiful site at Dobss Weir, and the perfect place to pitch up and explore the Lee Valley. There is children’s play area and dedicated facilities on site, and miles of cycling and walking routes and fantastic fishing spots.
It’s easy to relax and unwind here – or you can be more adventurous as London 2012’s Lee Valley White Water Centre is just down the road.