Five ways to spend your Bank Holiday Monday

Kate Bretherton, the author of The Remarkable Trees of St Albans, poses with her work beside a tree

Kate Bretherton, the author of The Remarkable Trees of St Albans, knows all about the trees of St Albans Cathedral. - Credit: Donato Cinicolo

Doesn't the last year seem like it's been one loooooooooong bank holiday?

Boxing Day lasted for ever. Sofa, Netflix, roast dinner...okay. I'm bored. 

I almost cannot stand the thought of another day off...(if head office is reading this please can I have a pay increase?! Look how passionate I am)

Here in the Herts Ad office we have been wracking our brains for something different to do that isn't just the same old same old...

1. Clarence Park

After months of staring through wire fences at the construction work, the new playground has finally opened, offering parents a respite from trudging down to Verulamium to give their children a fix of swings and slides.

From a zip wire so fast it comes with a health and safety warning, to the highest rope bridge we've ever seen outside an Indiana Jones movie, there's loads of fun to be had for youngsters of all ages.

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And when you've run the little ones ragged, top up their sugar levels with an ice cream while you grab a mocha and Danish from Verdi's.

2. Tree Trail

If you've read Kate Bretherton's seminal book The Remarkable Trees of St Albans (and let's face it, who hasn't?), you'll be aware that there are stories behind many of the city's trees, and none more so than those at St Albans Cathedral.

Run as part of this year's Sustainability Festival, the Tree Trail is a 45-minute exploration of some of the most ancient trees in St Albans. Discover their history, learn to recognise the different species and find out all about their uses and symbolism, beginning with the famous cedar tree in Sumpter Yard and ending in the Abbey Orchard.

Find out more here.

3. Shopping

Yeah, yeah, you think you know what St Albans has to offer when it comes to shopping, but do you really?

Why not spend the day popping into those shops you've never explored before? Don't go out with any preconceptions or shopping lists, and just have a leisurely browse around George Street, Holywell Hill, Catherine Street and London Road. There are plenty of hidden gems just waiting for you to discover.

OK, this probably isn't an option if you're accompanied by hoards of screaming children, but is certainly something to consider if you're flying solo or with a partner, and why not grab a coffee from one of our indies to fuel your shopping with a decent caffeine kick.

A sunny Clarence Park.

A sunny Clarence Park. - Credit: Matt Adams

4. Make-your-own granola

Everybody's making it, so surely it can't be that difficult? Put the kids to work in the kitchen for a few hours under the pretence that it's "cooking" and sort yourself a healthy and nutritious supply of oaty goodness.

Grab some honey, oats, seeds, sultanas and any other ingredients from Eat Wholefoods in Hatfield Road, mix them up in a bowl and you're sorted for breakfast for the next month! It'll certainly make a decent alternative to Frosties. You can even shove it in the freezer to preserve that freshly baked flavour!

Or why not package it up for a post-lockdown gift for your family and friends?

5. Go litter-picking

What better way to spend your Bank Holiday than achieving a sense of enormous self-worth by collecting someone else's rubbish?

I mean, come on, who are these people who can't take their litter home or shove it in the nearest bin?

Grab yourself some rubbish bags and one of those special picky-uppy sticks and do your bit to clean up your local beauty spot, just in time for some thoughtless oaf to come along and spoil it again a few hours later...

Then give your ego a little stroke afterwards by posting pictures of your haul on social media!

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