Homegirl London’s Half Day Walk: Colne Valley Regional Park Walk. If you want to escape the city for half a day, this walk will be perfect. Located west of London, this Park gives you a countryside experience without having to travel far. If you’re looking for walks near London or free things to do at the weekend, then you’ll love the Colne Valley Regional Park Walk. This route takes you from Rickmansworth to Uxbridge but there are many variations to explore.
Lake and Swans
Start at Rickmansworth for the Colne Valley Regional Park Walk
We got on the underground and took the Metropolitan line to Rickmansworth in zone 7 so you can use your Oyster Card (or credit card) to travel. Rickmansworth is a small town in South West Hertfordshire which is approximately 5 miles from Watford and 20 miles from central London. It lies north of the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne.
Our Walking Route
The Colne Valley Park is over 40 square miles of farmland, woodlands and waterways (river, canal, wetlands and over 60 lakes). I’d never heard of it before but now I’ve been there, I’m smitten. This is the first taste of countryside to the west of London which is perfect if you want to escape the city for half a day. The Park was founded in 1965 and covers a vast area from Rickmansworth to Staines, Uxbridge, Heathrow, Slough and Chalfont. The Park facilities include guided walks, cycling routes, fishing, horse riding, golf and more. For full information visit the Colne Valley Park Website.
Start Your Colne Valley Regional Park Walk with Lunch
We reached Rickmansworth at lunch time so we headed straight to the Café in the Park. The café is located at The Aquadrome, Frogmoor Lane, Rickmansworth WD3 1NB. This means that you walk for about fifteen minutes before you reach the café. The food was delicious and made from good quality ingredients. I ordered a vegetarian falafel burger and a meat burger for my friend and we both had chips with the skins on. Other lunch options included mezze, salads, soups, sandwiches.
Our Meal at the Café in the Park
If you’re there in the morning you can order sweet or savoury French toast, full cooked breakfasts or something more interesting like Shakshuka. The selection of cakes was very tempting! This is a fantastic restaurant which is kid friendly and there is a separate room at the back if you want to eat somewhere a bit quieter. This eatery is open every day from 9am. They close between 4pm to 5pm depending on the season. There is a larger car park nearby which is free to use.
Colne Valley Regional Park Walk Route
After a delicious meal, you can start your walk which should take around two and a quarter hours from the café but really depends on how fast you walk. It took us much longer because we were chatting and taking pictures. There isn’t any point rushing because you should enjoy the scenery.
Before the lunch stop, we started the main walk at the entrance on Riverside Drive in Rickmansworth which takes you over the River Colne. You see Batchworth Lake in front of you. Carry on round to Bury Lake. Stop off at the Café in the Park for your lunch or breakfast. Past Bury Lake and Stocker’s Lake where you start walking along by the side of the Grand Union Canal which is managed by the Canal and River Trust.
Grand Union Canal
Then you pass Springwell Lake, opposite you will see a lovely property called Springwell Barn which is a stunning guest house. The Springwell Reedbed is also located here along with a sewage works behind so you might have a bit of a smell in the vicinity but it doesn’t last for long.
Springwell Reed Bed
Carry on past Lynster’s Lake, Rickmansworth Sailing Club, Horseshoe Bay, Broadwater Sailing Club and Savay Lake. Then you’re in Denham Country Park where you continue to walk along the path until you come to Oxford Road in Uxbridge. Then continue your journey onto Uxbridge tube station located at the High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1JZ. Here you can get the Metropolitan or Piccadilly lines home. The tube station is in the town center where you can enjoy a cup of tea and a cake as a reward for your walk!
Canal and Bridge
On the walk, you will see plenty of lakes with bird watching huts on the banks. On the canal path, you can admire the pretty painted canal boats lining the banks. You pass by canal locks and adorable waterside houses. I enjoyed this route because it’s always relaxing being near to water. We did this journey midweek and is was very quiet so you won’t be annoyed with cycles trying to get past. From start to finish the walk is two and a half hours according to Google Maps. If you’re eating and walking at a slow pace, allow four hours for a leisurely walk and lunch. Enjoy!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Rich for plotting the route and being the navigator.