If you travel to the Three Rivers District of Hertfordshire you will find, located around five miles to the west of Watford, the small historic town of Rickmansworth. Famous for its position close to the Grand Union Canal and having owned its own railway line, Rickmansworth now boasts a more contemporary attraction. The Aquadrome, which is a designated Local Nature Reserve, is to be found in Frogmoor Lane, off Harefield Road in Rickmansworth.
The Aquadrome has become one of the foremost attractions in the area, providing both locals and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely day out in a public park, a nature reserve, a river, a canal and experience some sublime scenery and lively activities. There are also water sports to be enjoyed on the two lakes that are located in the centre of the Aquadrome including: water skiing and sailing.
The Park and Local Nature Reserve at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome
The Rickmansworth Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve covers an area of around 100 acres of open grasslands, woodland, a dedicated children’s play area and two lakes. For ease of access, there is a system of pathways within the Aquadrome that makes it easy for wheelchair users to get around.
There is ample parking, including a number of disabled bays. Whilst dog owners are welcome to bring their pet pooches to the Aquadrome, there is also a dedicated dog-free area. There are refreshment facilities at The Café in the Park, which is open between 9.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. The Rickmansworth Aquadrome is open all year round and there is no charge for admission.
The major attractions of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome are its three centrally positioned lakes. These are man-made lakes which were originally gravel quarries. In fact, the gravel was used in the construction of the old Wembley Stadium in 1923!
The first of the lakes is Batchworth Lake, which is primarily used for fishing. In addition, it is the home of the local water skiing club, which hosts water skiing events throughout the year. The children’s play area is located close by this lake.
The adjacent Bury Lake is popular with sailors, windsurfers and canoeists. It is the host lake for the Bury Lake Young Mariners, a youth charity organisation that is run by over one hundred volunteers. Approved Royal Yachting Association Courses are also conducted on Bury Lake.
Anyone wishing to participate in the water sports on the lakes can do so by taking out an affiliation with one of the resident clubs. It is also necessary to obtain an annual rod license from a local Post Office if you would like to fish there.
The third and largest of the lakes is Stockers Lake, which is located on the west side of the Aquadrome. Under the management of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Stockers Lake is a popular bird and wildlife sanctuary. It is owned by Veolia Water.
The Local Nature Reserve at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome is a great place for a family walk. There is an Easy Access Trail of around thirteen hundred metres, which has surfaced pathways, taking the walkers along a nature trail that leads them to a picnic area and a viewing platform on the River Colne. Furthermore, as the Aquadrome’s boundaries include the Grand Union Canal and Stockers Lake as well as the River Colne, the walks really do offer some wonderful scenery and aquatic life.
A visit to Rickmansworth Aquadrome is a marvellous way of spending a family day out. Whether you enjoy walking, water sports or simply enjoying the scenery of a nature reserve, there will be something for you. With plenty of parking spaces, access for the disabled, a café and toilet facilities, as well as free admission, it is certainly somewhere to visit if you are in or around the town of Rickmansworth.