Things to do in St Albans’ villages

PUBLISHED: 12:10 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:10 01 December 2015

Learn to ride at Chiswell Green Riding School

Learn to ride at Chiswell Green Riding School


From relaxing with a treatment or over lunch to getting active with a horse ride or rural walk, the villages on the southern side of St Albans offer many reasons to visit

The river Colne at London ColneyThe river Colne at London Colney

Fireworks display

Visitors to Chiswell Green’s Butterfly World are usually attracted by the tropical butterfly house, wildflower meadows and insect study centre but on Sunday November 8 the venue will be transformed by a firework extravaganza. Tickets cost £6 (£5 for Butterfly World members). Booking is essential at Gates open at 4.30pm, with the display starting at 6.15pm. Parking is free.

Miriam Lane, Chiswell Green, AL2 3NY.

Knit and Knatter at St Peter's ChurchKnit and Knatter at St Peter's Church

De-stressing massage

‘I want my customers to discover what it’s like to feel relaxed, stress-free and simply themselves again,’ enthuses Joanne Hammond as she celebrates the 20th anniversary of Appleonia Beauty Studio in London Colney. If that isn’t sufficient temptation, for Hertfordshire Life readers this month Joanne is offering a full-body massage for £46 and a free back and neck massage or eyebrow shaping when booking a Dermalogica facial. Just take along a copy of this article.

9 High Street, London Colney, AL2 1RE.

De-stress at Appleonia beauty salonDe-stress at Appleonia beauty salon

Traditional dance

Wicket Brood Border Morris dancers, with their painted faces and purple, green and black tatters, add a lively dimension to traditional folk dancing. Stirring music is supplied by the Wicket Brood band with some members dividing their time between dancing and playing. The mixed-sex side performs regularly at festivals and private events throughout the year and encourages new members to learn the vigorous ‘border style’ of this ancient art at sessions on Tuesday evenings throughout November.

St Stephen Parish Centre, Station Road, Bricket Wood, AL2 3PJ.

Fine village pub

An extensive menu of traditional dishes with a modern twist served in a cosy atmosphere of log fires and comfy armchairs is ample enticement to visit the White Horse in Shenley. For wine lovers, there’s also the opportunity to join the Grapevine Wine Club, which meets here on Wednesday evenings. As well as savouring seasonal wine selections and keeping abreast of wine news, the club organises special offers on wine purchases.

37 London Road, Shenley, WD7 9ER.

Heathland walk

The growth of mechanised industry during the Victorian era required extensive supplies of coal. With increasing trade by rail and canal, the erection of coal posts marked the Customs boundary where taxes were collected on behalf of the Corporation of London. Three of these landmarks still exist at Colney Heath, two on the common and one in nearby Coursers Lane — tangible reminders of local history to look out for while enjoying a heathland walk and amble alongside the River Colne.

Knit and Knatter

As the popularity of traditional crafts continues to grow, St Peter’s Church in London Colney is keen to engage with the local community by encouraging creativity. At the Knit and a Knatter session on Thursday November 12, knitters of all experiences and abilities can join in between 2-4pm in the parish centre’s lounge. There’ll be plenty of help available for beginners,while those preferring sewing or crochet are also invited.

Riverside, AL2 1QA.

Top golf course

At the 18-hole parkland layout of Porters Park Golf Club, visitors are welcome to play the picturesque, undulating course which has brooks, ponds and a backdrop of evergreen and deciduous trees. Set starting times are available throughout the day and, with a putting green, practise nets and a short-game bunker area, the club’s facilities cater for players of all levels. A clubhouse with panoramic views serves imaginative cuisine fusing contemporary and traditional favourites — a treat following a round at this popular venue.

Shenley Hill, WD7 7AZ.

Sunday lunch

As befits a country pub and restaurant oozing charm and rusticity, the Colney Fox’s roaring fire keeps out the chill while visitors decide between popular hand-carved family favourites such as turkey, beef or pork roasts, accompanied by the usual trimmings, of course. With other hearty dishes on the menu and a wine list guaranteed to reflect the season, the unhurried ambience of the London Colney institution encourages diners to spend the afternoon relaxing.

1 Barnet Road, AL2 1BL.

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