Time to visit Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 22:34 08 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:42 20 February 2013
If you are spending a weekend or just planning a day out in Welwyn Garden City, there is plenty to see and do, as Louise McEvoy discovers
Open air Shakespeare
At the Green Square open air theatre at Campus West, after the success of Romeo and Juliet last year, Shooting Stars Theatre Company is back with its version of the Shakespeare classic Much Ado About Nothing, performed in a modern context.
With the men returning from war in Afghanistan and an ever-present fiery relationship between Benedick and Beatrice, there are games afoot and plenty of opportunity for audience participation.
This energetic performance, which runs from Friday, August 17, to Sunday, August 19, will provide humour and heartbreak and promises to make Shakespeare accessible to everyone.
Tickets are 12 or 10 for concessions. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.hawthornetheatre.co.uk/muchadoaboutnothing
A shopping experience
Shop til you drop as well as the Howard Centre with its wealth of stores of all types, Welwyn Garden City has a John Lewis and a Debenhams.
The Howard Centre is named after Ebenezer Howard, who founded Welwyn Garden City in the 1920s after developing the worlds first garden city Letchworth in 1903. The shopping centre first opened its doors in 1990 and attracts about eight million visitors a year.
All under one roof are dozens of stores offering a wealth of variety to shoppers, from Monsoon, Marks and Spencer and Next, to New Look, Miss Selfridge and Topshop, and from Ernest Jones and Accessorize to Clarks and Boots. Rest your weary feet and refuel with refreshments from a choice of outlets, including Starbucks, Cafe Revive, Muffin Break and Shaken Cow Milkshake Bar.
The Howard Centre has a multi-storey car park which is 1 per visit on Sundays. For more information about what is on offer at the Howard Centre, visit www.howardcentre.co.uk
Head for the lakes
For watersports, fishing or a scenic walk, head to Stanborough Park a 126-acre park with two lakes, which has won the national Green Flag Award, which recognises the best green spaces in the country, year after year.
With a watersports centre, childrens play areas, model boating lake and nature trail, there is something for everyone. Follow the circular nature trail around the lakes and reed beds or, for a more energetic option, take on one of the Healthy Living walks the park has many way-marked trails for you to explore.
Learn to windsurf, kayak, sail or canoe, hire a rowing boat or pedalo, then have a bite to eat in the restaurant or a snack at the cafe, or perhaps a picnic.
See some art
Why not head to Campus West, which plays host to two art galleries - The New Maynard Gallery and the Dame Flora Robson Gallery - both with changing displays?
After a wander round the displays, settle down to a refreshing drink and a snack at Humphreys Coffee Shop on the first floor.
Selling a range of hot drinks, tasty sandwiches, toasties and cakes, and with a licensed bar, sit comfortably for a chat with family or friends, or sit quietly and relax.
With a front room feeling, Humphreys offers Starbucks coffee and there is free Wi-Fi available.
Have a browse through the stalls of Welwyn Garden City Fine Food and Craft Market, held on the first and third Saturday of every month outside Debenhams. Stalls sell crafts and produce, including bacon, eggs, black pudding, organic bread, cheese, cakes, fruit and vegetables.