Friday, 17 July 2015

Walking with Wheelchairs - Stanborough Lakes

Today was one of those days when you have a double booking! (I had a triple booking actually, as I was supposed to go run with a friend!)
Heni had been given the opportunity to go on a trip (from college) with all of her pals.... but we had also been sent a wheelchair clinic appointment to attend. 
Dilemma....Which to chose?!
The temptation was to drop the clinic..... but over the last few months she hasn't been sitting quite as well in her chair so duty and necessity got the better of us and we felt obliged to attend the clinic. We traveled up to to Welwyn Garden City (about 40 minutes journey away), attended the appointment, and 10- 15 minutes later....after a few turns of a spanner and some minor adjustments to her chair, we were sent on our way.

The wheelchair clinic complete with bluebells!
 We thought it was a shame that Heni should miss out on her trip and seeing as we now had the rest of the morning off college we decided to go on our own little adventure with her.

Close by the clinic was a park that I hadn't visited for a very long time (probably a few decades!) and so we decided to park up and go for a walk and explore there. At least Heni  would be entertained and we would be out the house for a little bit longer....AND it was a lovely sunny day... a good opportunity to stock up on some vitamin D!

We parked in the North Lake car park near the children's play area, and went over the river to get to the lake. Heni enjoyed looking at the ducks in the river.

 We then headed past the boat house toward the north of the North Lake and went over the next bridge to cross the lake.

  ...and then walked down the lake side. I  found a heart shaped trunk and took a photo to add to my "heart" photography file (strange interest I know and its not that great a photograph!) We even had an entourage of ducks and geese following us around the lake... they probably thought we would feed them... but unfortunately we hadn't planned that far ahead.... Heni probably would have enjoyed that.

Towards the end of the lake there was an underpass beneath the road that took us over to the South Lake where there was another car park, restaurant and cafe. The North Lake was very murky and full of floating moss but when we got to the South Lake it was really clear and we could see the huge carp swimming around. The little river running by also had heaps of fish and there were multitudes of fishermen enjoying sitting lake and river sides with baited breath and lines.

As we walked around the south end of the lake I noticed that the Elderflower was in full bloom. Each year I usually have a go at making some elderflower cordial (or something with it in) and so made a mental note to self to put that on the to do list. I like to forage occasionally and take advantage of the bounty in nature that is all around... especially as elderflower has such great medicinal properties... (see the recent "Elderflower foraging - An immune boost" post)

 Heni enjoyed being outside and taking in the scenery... we stopped to watch a family of little ducklings for quite sometime and she was mesmerized and unusually quiet!

We were able to go all the way around the lake, back under the underpass to the North Lake and came back to the starting point near the boat house.  Almost a figure of eight?

The paths throughout the walk varied in smoothness... some stages we were on brick paths, other times it was  bumpy (a type 1 road base surface)...though it was easy enough flat pushing all the way. Her normal wheelchair handled it fine even though she was jiggled around quite a bit on some of it, however I think the all terrain buggy would have been smoother riding. She seemed quite happy regardless!

Once back over  the little river running adjacent to the lake, we decided to check the play area out to see if there was any special equipment for Heni to use.We can happily report that there was!  It was a good time to get Heni out of her chair for a stretch before going home.

She loved the dish shaped swing!  

So did I..... although dad had a tendency to push us a bit too high (for my liking)!
She then had a go on the "disabled" swing with dad (Sounds a bit weird to call it a disabled swing as it "enabled" her to have a fun time). Here is the Very happy bunny!

Stanborough lakes was a good "re- find". I'd forgotten that it had so much to offer. On the South Lake  apparently there are sailing lessons, canoeing, wild swimming lessons (according to the almanac of the local fisherman we struck up conversation with) and of course fishing (one man had his tent out and had been there over night). Oh and there was also the food and the information centre. The North Lake was purely  for rowing boats, pedalos and more wild life oriented. It's a shame that the outdoor lido which was there years ago has been demolished : (

Although we had not planned on going there, it was a pleasant morning spent outside with H in the sunshine. It's not the quietest of places (being right next to the motorway) but you kind of filter the traffic noise and feel like you are somewhere different... like when I go in to London amidst the hustle and bustle of the buildings, noise and traffic and come across a green space... a little oasis in the midst of chaos. 
Not quite the lake district type walks but lovely time well spent with H. A good stop off when we come back to the wheelchair clinic.


If you want to check out Stanborough Lakes you can go find out more here:-
Also, The beautiful stately "Hatfield house" is close by:-

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely place for a leisurely summer stroll! I was thinking how much I'd love to go there, then I got to the end and realized you are in the UK!! I guess I won't be visiting any time soon!! Oh well! It would be nice though!! Heni does look happy and content! Sadly we don't have any accessible park equipment like that around here!


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