A day out in Shenley

PUBLISHED: 01:16 15 June 2011 | UPDATED: 21:34 20 February 2013

Kirsty Draper, Alex Black and James Townshend at the Cafe In The Orchard

Kirsty Draper, Alex Black and James Townshend at the Cafe In The Orchard

Situated between St Albans and Barnet in south-west Hertfordshire, Shenley stands on a plateau at the top of a hill and has plenty to offer its visitors, from guided apple orchard tours to walks with tremendous views...

Start the day

Begin your day at Shenley Park, a 45-acre open space for the public which boasts an orchard, a meadow, a walled garden with amphitheatre, play areas and a tea room.

Managed by Shenley Park Trust, it was once the site of a psychiatric hospital and before that a private estate known as Porters Park. It has been developed and maintained for the enjoyment of villagers and visitors, with the orchard and spinney preserved for walks and recreation, the walled garden landscaped to host a number of events throughout the year, the tennis courts redeveloped and the tea room and play areas established.

Take a gentle stroll in the park and enjoy some breathtaking views before stopping off at the Caf in the Orchard where you can drink fresh apple juice, pressed and bottled on site from over 100 different varieties of apples. The tea room is open from 8am -6pm 7 days a week. Under new management since April, it offers fresh food, handmade cakes and afternoon teas.

By arrangement, and for a nominal donation, the Shenley Park Trust can provide a tour of the orchard, accompanied by an explanation of the apple varieties used, demonstrations of juicing and sampling of the apple juice. For more information about this, and about Shenley Park in general, visit www.shenleypark.co.uk

Time for lunch

Take a wander around Shenley village, stopping at the war memorial on London Road and The Cage by the village pond. The Cage is one of the last remaining roundhouse gaols in England, and bears the inscription Do well. Fear not. Be sober. Be vigilant. The building served as a temporary cell for those accused of offences, until they were taken by police to Barnet Magistrates Court.

There are also some woods and spinneys around the village to explore, before heading to one of Shenleys pubs The Black Lion, King William IV and The White Horse for a bite to eat.

Before you leave

Spend the afternoon watching cricket at either Shenley Cricket Centre or London Colney Cricket Clubs ground.

The Denis Compton Oval at Shenley Cricket Centre was unveiled in 1997 by the Middlesex and England cricketer, Denis Compton, and has since become a centre of excellence. As well as county teams, national teams including South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and New Zealand have played at the venue.

Shenley Village Cricket Club is based at Shenley Cricket Centre and members play in divisions two, six, 11 and 13 of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, and friendly matches are played on Sundays. For more information, visit www.shenleycc.hitscricket.com

The London Colney Cricket Club, based at Green Street in Shenley, was established in 1994, and matches are played on both Saturdays and Sundays. For more details, visit http://www.londoncolneycc.hitscricket.com/ or email abristow@nibsc.ac.uk

It is also the base for Shenley Colts, which was formed by Mark Stear in 2003. The colts section of the club, whose members range in age from nine to 16, has continued to expand since its inception, with members now playing for the Hertfordshire and Middlesex county cricket clubs youth sides.

Members, who are both boys and girls, meet on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings and new members are always welcome. For more details email markstear@tiscali.co.uk

Diary dates

> The Shenley fete on the Harris Lane playing fields this year will be held on Sunday, June 26, and the community day promises plenty of stalls and attractions to entertain people of all ages.

> A village walk will be held in Shenley on Sunday, June 5, starting off from outside the White Horse pub at 11.15am. Organised and led by The Shenley Village Society, the monthly village walks, which start from outside the White Horse at the same time every first Sunday of the month, are intended to help keep local footpaths open and accessible, as well as giving people the chance to socialise and get some exercise.

> At Shenley Cricket Centre on Sunday, July 10, Shenley Village Cricket Club will play Marylebone Cricket Club in a 150th anniversary cricket match.

> The Hertfordshire Cycle Loops leaflet shows four popular routes, including one around Shenley. Call Countryside Management Service on 01727 848168 for more details.

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