St Albans Giant Monopoly is an annual event, and as I had the children (and their dog) this weekend I thought it would be a good way to keep them out in the open air after my training session with Regiment Fitness, and might actually use up some of their excess energy.
As we were already at Verulamium Park we walked over to the Adizone and registered at the giant silver car.
As there were two routes available, and we chose the shorter, yellow route for Team Chumley, before making our way to the Roman Wall to get our first yellow sticker on our Monopoly board. There were people at each of the locations on the board, and some of the locations also had activities going on. The Roman Wall was the location for the Wendy Gough Cancer Awareness Foundation, the chosen charity for the year’s event. The weather was overcast, but the rain was holding off, so that was good as we continued walking back the way we had come through the park towards the car park and came to the Abbey View Athletics Track, where the guys had not been provided with any shelter. We all hoped it would not rain on them, but it did start to drizzle as we walked away, heading towards the Abbey Theatre. We went across the car parks to get there, and their checkpoint was inside the theatre so that they could promote their upcoming productions. They will be doing The Railway Children at Christmas, so I will try to get the children (but not the dog) along to that. It was a very short walk from there to Westminster Lodge, so short, in fact, that I could not believe that was the checkpoint so I started to walk past it before the lady running it called me back. They had some activities going on inside for the children but as we had Chumley with us we could not do them, so instead we did the bike challenge, seeing how many metres we could ride on a static bike in one minute.
Stephen went first and rode it all the way through, and then I had a go and managed 759 metres, with the bike saddle at the same height Stephen had had it, which maybe did me no favours. My legs were dead at the end of it so I knew I had done all I could.
We walked across the grass to get to Holywell Hill, then walked up the hill past Cafe Rouge, which was on the blue route, before turning left into Sumpter Yard, with the Cathedral ahead of us, and right into The Vintry Gardens. We got our yellow sticker whilst watching others playing around on the mobility scooters which were the activity at this location, and the children got a chocolate sweet each. We went out of the top exit from The Vintry Gardens and through the passageway to the pedestrian crossing, passed the Clock Tower, which we would soon return to, and then went to the front of the St Albans Old Town Hall to see the giant silver dog playing piece. And it really was giant !
We did queue to get into the Prison Cells but the queue was not moving so we decided to move on, making our way back to the St Albans Clock Tower for our next yellow sticker. We crossed the road again and turned right, then left down George Street, before turning left into Romeland and the St Albans Abbey Gateway was infront of us. We walked down through the grass area in front of the Cathedral to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, which was on the blue walk, and into the park by the lake. We stayed on the near side of the lake so that we could see the fascinating exhibits along the sculpture trail.
Then I decided to take a detour so that we did not come back on ourselves, and we carried on to the end of the park and turned left so that we came up to St Michael’s Church. From there it was just across the road to Verulamium Museum, where we were too early for the Roman centurion, and next door to that was the Herts And Middlesex Wildlife Trust, where they did have an adventure trail but the children were feeling the cold and wet weather a bit much for us to stop for that. We walked along the track to the Inn On The Park, then walked up the hill to get to the Roman Hypocaust And Mosaic, which is a brilliant experience at any time. Then it was back down the hill to the Adizone And Beach Volleyball Courts and we had completed our board, so the children were able to get a badge and certificate each.
The event will happen again next year on Sunday 14 September 2014.
You can see more of my photographs here.