Love The Outdoors

25th April 2014

With Easter over, as spring begins slowly to capsize into summer, it’s time to tear ourselves away from the tv and cyberspace and embrace the great outdoors, both in our own garden and further afield. Here are some great suggestions for making the most of the fresh air…

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What about spending some time messing about with boats? The Rickmansworth Festival, which takes place this year on the weekend of 17/18 May, is organised entirely by the volunteers of the Heritage Education charity Rickmansworth Waterways Trust with the support of Three Rivers District Council and the Canal & River Trust. More than just a ‘big canal boat gathering’, it combines music and performing arts, community displays and good food with a variety of traders and other exhibitors in the Aquadrome and on the canal towpath.

The 21st Festival will have all the above and more, with boats to see, boat trips running all day, the Trust's model canal system in full swing, and (hopefully) a Battle of Britain Spitfire fly-past on the Saturday afternoon. Head to www.rwt.org.uk/festival for everything you need to know.

There is nothing better than exercising outdoors in the fresh air, and it’s even better done in company. The professional guidance from Helen Stone of Stones Outdoor Fitness will take you across the fields and footpaths of Chorleywood Common with pace for calorie burning, education for posture, specific exercises for strength and conditioning and muscle release to move freely with improved performance. It’s a perfect way of using green space as your gym. To find out more, email helen@outdoor-fitness.co.uk or call 07973 890555.

Northwood Golf Club, ideally located just off Rickmansworth Road at Northwood, offers a fine test of golf over 18 woodland and parkland holes. The club is currently offering a ’90 Day Trial Membership’ scheme for lady golfers for only £150. This offer is for a limited time only, and includes access to the course without needing to pre-book a tee time, plus numerous other membership benefits. For full details email Stephen Proudfoot, General Manager, at stephen@northwoodgolf.co.uk or call him on 01923 821384.

Anyone for tennis? Northwood Lawn Tennis Club is a small, friendly club with a family atmosphere, catering for all standards of ability. Located in a quiet area (access via Kiln Way and Pines Close) there are four Astro-turf courts and floodlights enabling play until 10.30pm. The clubhouse has changing facilities, showers, a games room, kitchen and bar, and there are monthly social events.

Four club sessions take place each week, and the club also runs competitions and has several teams playing in summer and winter leagues. The fast-growing junior section has its own club and coaching sessions as well as matches.

For more information email susie.k.jones@btinternet.com about membership, simon@sgtennis.co.uk about coaching and sarah@sgtennis.co.uk about juniors.
Another great way to keep fit outdoors this summer is to join Gymophobics free walking club. Open to both members and non-members, every Thursday from 7-8pm, it is the perfect way to stay fit and healthy whilst enjoying the great outdoors. Walks take place around the local area including Bushey Mill Lane and through the local parks then end up back at the gym: lots of enjoyment without having to spend a thing. Perfect. To find out more, contact 01923 510117.

If you’d really like to relish the fresh air, Diogenes is one of the UK’s top naturist clubs based near Chalfont St Peter. It’s a family friendly club with great year-round facilities for everyone, including pools, sporting facilities, a sauna and a children’s play area and play room – all set in six acres of beautiful grounds around a country house.

Naturism is growing in popularity and is a most relaxing and liberating experience– perfect for stress busting and great for self confidence and body image.

If you’ve tried ‘skinny dipping’ or nude sunbathing on holiday, or are simply curious to try naturism, why not go and see the superb facilities on your doorstep? Warm welcome guaranteed. See www.diogenessunclub.co.uk to arrange a free trial visit.

If you’re keen to keep your outdoor appreciation closer to home, a pool of your own is a marvellous thing. Don't know where to start? It's time to talk to the team of leisure experts at Chiswell Pools, Kings Langley. They know things about pools you've never even dreamed of, so whatever your vision – don't hesitate to ask.

Jump into swimming pool luxury with top-of-the-range choices – or relax into your very own hot tub. Not just for celebrities, spa bliss is more affordable than you think.

Chiswell Pools have excellent after sales care, so that once it’s installed all you have to do is enjoy it. Take a lazy dip in the summer sunshine, relax with a warm hydromassage, or, come next winter, invite friends over to soak in your hot tub on a snowy evening. See www.chiswellpools.com for suggestions and inspiration.

Got a pool already, and need to bring it back to life? Family-run Aquaswim Services, based in Northwood, specialises in the maintenance and renovation of swimming pools and spas. They have an extensive range of chemicals, equipment, pumps, filters and heaters, plus items to help you have more fun in the water such as inflatables and games.

Aquaswim also offer a high quality maintenance service to suit your requirements; whether you need a weekly service call to keep your pool looking its best all year round, or a quick visit to get it in shape for that summer pool party they can organise a maintenance schedule to suit your needs. See their website www.aqua-swim.co.uk for more information.

Once you’re out of the pool, look around you... Pleased with what you see? If not, Carpenders Park Garden Centre, located in a pleasant open country setting on the outskirts of Watford, wants to help you make your garden work for you. Established over 20 years ago, growing shrubs and perennial plants to sell through the small retail shop on the site, it has expanded and improved, diversifying into other products such as barbecues, gazebos and garden furniture, but the focus still remains on growing and selling plants.

Whether it’s planting flowers and shrubs to create a romantic outdoor haven, or growing tasty fruit and vegetables to grace your table, or implementing a low-maintenance scheme so that you can simply relax, Carpenders Park Garden Centre, is there for all the advice and help you need to turn your garden dreams into reality. See www.carpenders.co.uk for more.

Planting too much for you? Fed up with mowing the lawn? Grasshaus is an independent supplier and installer of artificial grass with a range of products to fit any budget. School play areas, gardens, golf installations and even balconies are just a few of the multitude of possibilities for their grass, which is guaranteed, realistic, affordable, safe – and simply stunning. It won’t fade, tear, rot or discolour and it enables all year round access to the garden. No mud, no mess, no mowing.

Pets love it, and it is far more hygienic as animal waste can be easily washed off to allow children to play in safety. Grasshaus also offers a shock-pad system that protects children from falls from play equipment. Free up your time and your garden and concentrate on the pleasant aspects of outdoor living with a perfect, all year, all weather lawn. Email grasshaus@mail.com or call 0800 772 0069 for a no obligation quote and free advice.

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