10 things to do with mum in Welwyn Hatfield this Mother’s Day
PUBLISHED: 15:54 19 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:09 19 March 2017
It is Mother’s Day on Sunday, March 26. Here are 10 things to do with mum in the borough this Mother’s Day that you might not have thought of.
• ART LOVERS
The Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City is the most recent location for the Herts Jazz Club. Formed in 1969 for jazz lovers and musicians in Hertfordshire, the club has grown in popularity over the years and hosted performances from the likes of Ronnie Scott and Peter King. For Mother’s Day this year Herts Jazz is hosting the Alan Barnes and Gilad Atzmon Quintet. Uplifting and full of energy from beginning to end, it’s easy to wile away the night sipping a glass of wine and tapping your feet or being completely mesmerised by the pair’s lung capacity. The concert takes place on Sunday, March 26, from 7.30pm. Advance adult tickets cost £12 per person.
• Make the most of your evening by arriving early and having a wander around The New Maynard Gallery. The community art gallery displays work by professionals and amateurs from Hertfordshire for everyone visiting the Hawthorne Theatre and Welwyn Garden City Cinema. The current exhibition ‘Dirt’ is a series of paintings created from natural materials taken from the earth. The thought-provoking display makes a bold statement about sustainability and human responsibility. For any mums that love to mull over life’s big questions, this could be the exhibition for you.
• DOWNTON ABBEY FANS
Brocket Hall, Welwyn Hatfield’s answer to Downton Abbey’s grand estate, is the perfect retreat for a mum with a fondness for period dramas and all the allure of 19th century aristocratic living. You can book in for the whole family at Brocket Hall and be waited on as if you were the Crawley family. High ceilings, gilt-framed portraits of valiant knights and past monarchs, antique furniture and acres of glorious land make this the place for a lavish weekend. Every room in Brocket Hall has a colourful history; comical tales of Lords and Ladies, tales of heartbreak, treachery and scandal. Go for Mother’s Day lunch in the Oak Room with panoramic views over Broadwater Lake. Lunch is served from noon to 2.30pm at just £25 per person, though this will book up fast! Finish your stay with a country walk.
• CULTURE VULTURES
Whether it’s a group of you, or just the two of you, there is always something to see and do in the Mill Green Mill Museum. On Sundays the water mill is in action and visitors can use the viewing platform to see the machinery at work. It is fascinating to watch the domino affect of the water’s power on the various cogs and cranks, resulting in the freshly milled, organic flour that the millers sell to the public. There is also a museum that is full of ancient artefacts, telling a story of Roman history. Exhibitions are held in the three galleries on site, and the Mother’s Day showcase will be all about water, how it came to be and how it was later utilised by the human race. Be sure to check up on the museum’s workshop schedule because they regularly offer classes in bread and jewellery making, as well as a miller’s apprentice experience, where you can learn to use the mill yourself.
• Looking for more history? Deep below Welwyn’s A1(M) junction is a now not-so-secret underworld, discovered by archaeologists in the 1960s. The Roman Baths, part of the Dicket Mead villa, are believed to have been built around the 3rd century AD. Evidence has led historians to believe that there are at least another three buildings at the site. Step into another age and stand on the site that would have once been a thriving social space for our Roman predecessors.
• THRILL SEEKERS
There are plenty of places in Welwyn Hatfield to satisfy your adrenaline cravings. Try the Gosling Sports Park’s many facilities including the dry ski slope and the sports centre for racket sports and fitness classes.
• Stanborough Lakes offer exciting water sports such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding with an instructor for any experience level. Classes start in early-mid April so if you’re looking for a belated Mother’s Day trip this could be the one for a sporty mum. Or for mums that want to enjoy the scenery at a more leisurely pace, why not try pedal boating? Chat as you pedal and enjoy the sunshine. Here’s hoping for good weather!
• Vertigo Adventures in Stanborough Park is another great option for fearless mums that love the outdoors. Select a height preference and climb the high ropes. There are mini ropes for toddlers and children, working up to the dizzying ‘Hawks View’ at 40feet. If that’s not your bag, try the ‘Flying Fox’ zip wire and unleash your inner monkey as you career from the tower along the 50 metre line.
• PUB DASHERS
The Red Lion, on Digswell Hill, is the perfect location for a cosy meal for two, a big family get together or just a quiet drink with friends. There are cosy nooks, comfy armchairs, wooden beams and a log burning fire that all create an authentic country tavern ambience. The private dining room is airy and bright with plenty of space for a big party. The menu is extensive, with something for everyone, and the special Mother’s Day selection has been thoughtfully compiled to cater to mums that want a light meal or servings of rich, hearty food. I recommend the sticky toffee pudding! Whatever you choose the chefs at The Red Lion are always dedicated to using fresh, seasonal produce and everything is prepared on site. The three-course Mother’s Day meal here is £23.95 per person.
• The Crooked Chimney is another great option for a relaxed evening with mum. Located on the outskirts of Lemsford, near Brocket Hall, the pub was originally constructed as a farmhouse but became a brewery in 1777. Renamed The Crooked Chimney in 1968, the building has an extensive history with some of the original architecture still present today. The Mother’s Day menu is filled with delicious options and is great value for money, three courses from the Mother’s Day menu is £19.95 per person. After your meal you can easily access a local nature trail which is a popular site for bird watchers. The Crooked Chimney is also dog friendly so you can go for a long dog walk along the River Lea afterwards.
• ANIMAL LOVERS
A dream come true for animal lovers everywhere is The Cat Survival Trust in Codicote Road, Welwyn. Run entirely by volunteers that are passionate about wild cats, the trust is dedicated to ending the threat of extinction and conserving wild habitats around the world. By purchasing forests that are increasingly being destroyed, the trust protects the land and the cats that depend on it. Their plans are to purchase and protect land in seven other countries, benefiting the animals and the ecosystem. The Cat Survival Trust isn’t open to the general public, but is open to appointments made by membership owners. If your mum loves animals why not purchase a year membership for her? At just £7, or £12 for a family membership, you can arrange an appointment and be guided around the sanctuary by the experienced staff. There are several types of wild cat to see including leopards, pumas, jaguars and lynxes.
• Put your best foot forward for charity with your dog at Hatfield Park. Take your pet pooch for a stroll around the grounds of Hatfield House on Mother’s Day at the Dogs and Daffs Charity Walk. Organised by the Digswell Place Group Riding for Disabled Association, the event on Sunday, March 26 hopes to raise much-needed funds for the local charity. Registration opens at 9am. It costs £5 per adult, and children and dogs are free.
• For the classic countryside experience book a horse riding lesson with The Welwyn Equestrian Centre at Arnolds Farm. They provide private and semi private lessons for any skill level, plus they have good hacking routes and plenty of indoor and outdoor space.
• KEEN TO PREEN
Tulip Clinic, in the heart of Welwyn Garden City town centre, is guaranteed to spoil mums this Mother’s Day. Offering a variety of massage techniques, targeting problem areas or the full body, Tulip Clinic has received an excellent Trip Advisor rating with comments from people that can’t fault their experience. Book an appointment or walk-in and opt for a deep tissue massage for overworked muscles. If you want to try something different the Thai Yoga massage, combining yoga poses with all the benefits and relaxation of massage, is an interesting option. They also practice reflexology, an alternative therapy used on the feet to pin point areas of concern in the rest of the body.
• The Gosling Sports Park is home to Spa Experience, a luxury day spa without the price tag, providing treatments, finishing touches and therapies in a fully equipped spa. Therapists use prestigious products from Elemis and Murad to create the ultimate pampering experience that is also available for male clients. Want to try something interesting? The La Sultane De Saba Slimming Green Tea Tingler is a curious sounding body treatment that aims to slim the waist and improve the appearance of cellulite by removing toxins from the body.
• ANTIQUE ADMIRERS
Feel like being charitable on Mother’s Day this year? Still want to treat yourself? Buying a piece of renovated furniture from Recover does both. This charitable organisation offers those recovering from an addiction or mental condition a creative environment to learn new skills and stay active within their community. Each person has their own project to work on, some experiment with upholstery, some with woodwork and others with gilding. Have a browse in the warehouse at all of the unique items; the upcycled wing back chairs are particularly popular. Some of the members have embraced a minimalist ‘Scandi’ approach, great for ‘hygge’ mums, but there really is something for everyone. The work ethic of the organisation is inspiring and there are glimmers of creative genius everywhere.
• FITNESS FANATICS
There are a lot of quirky exercise classes available in Welwyn Garden City for mums that are fed up of their usual routine or regular gym sessions. Herts Dance and Fitness offers a completely unique fitness experience, guaranteed to give you a workout that’s full of fun and hard work. Anyone of any skill level is welcome to join for instructor-led classes. Their Circus Flyers classes will have you feeling like a Cirque de Soleil aerialist in no time with the use of static trapezes and ropes that are designed to test your strength and flexibility. The class isn’t usually available on Sundays, but if you have a big group you can book a private lesson with the instructor on Mother’s Day. They also teach aerial yoga which comes with a host of health benefits, plus it’s perfect for anyone that struggles with weight-bearing exercises. If you don’t want to commit to a course, you can pay for a one off session for £10 per person.
• For another alternative workout, Chilli Pilates offers a £10 taster session with a free friend which includes a 55-minute workout and a consultation. What makes Chilli Pilates different is the use of reformer beds. Constructed from a metal frame, a moving pad and cables with hand/foot straps, the reformer bed sounds like an instrument of torture but is ideal for those looking for improved core stability and better posture. The bed modifies the intensity of each position by adding resistance so that difficulty levels never plateau.
• Laughter yoga is a class that should be tried at least once! Created by an Indian doctor, known as ‘the giggling guru’, in the 90s the popular classes are made up of voluntary laughter, eye contact and fun. Laughing is supposed to have physiological and psychological benefits so take mum along for some much needed feel good fun. The You R Yoga Studio in Welwyn village provides the classes and a six-week course costs £36 per person. Classes are yet to be decided for 2017, so keep an eye out on the You R Yoga website for new dates.
• FAMILY FUN
If you have children celebrating Mother’s Day with you there are several places that accommodate all age groups. As previously mentioned, Vertigo Adventures offers children’s ropes, children are also welcome as part of the family membership for The Cats Survival Trust, for sports at Stanborough Park and the historical hotspots. RollerCity at Campus West is great for a family day out, children can skate on their own while adults grab a coffee in Humphrey’s Café, or adults and children can go all together. There is also Soft Play City for under-8s and a cinema on site. On Mothering Sunday Beauty and the Beast will be showing, the perfect watch for all the family.
• Looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present? Studio 86 Photography will take professional photographs of the whole family in an hour-long studio session. The photographers aim to capture genuine snaps that bring out the best in the group. Pick the photographs you love the most and have them printed onto a canvas and then they can take pride of place in your home.