Get out of London to lovely Hemel Hampstead… the area is not the attraction but there are a few plusses. One of which is hurtling yourself down a 160m slope of real snow. Hemel Hampstead is home to one of this country’s indoor ski and snowboarding slopes, The Snow Centre.

The Snow Centre Slope

I was petrified even though I was a willing participant. As a Valentine’s treat I was whisked away for a night away and an hour introduction to snowboarding.

The trainers here are extremely experienced and comfortable and this translates in their teaching. You have a short time to get used to the board and then you are off up the hill, the baby hill that is. The two important bits are heel edge and toe edge that is your brakes and the most important thing when you are going down the hill. In order to dig your heel in you lift your toes to the top of your shoe and press down with your toes when you are going backwards.

The feeling I had was pure fear when I was told to go down a hill, with only a few simple instructions. Breath, relax and enjoy it…?

You do relax into it, and like giving a sigh of relief your heart rate drops and you are having a good time. This is such a great reason to get out of London and enjoy the winter.

Shendish Manor the perfect getaway

Shendish Manor the perfect getaway

Just 25 minutes out of Euston with a wide variety of hotels if you want to make a trip out of it. We were booked into Shendish Manor for the Saturday night; 3 course meal, and bottle of bubbly and box of chocolate on the bed. This hotel is truly lovely and made our stay very special by giving us an upgrade to one of the top floor rooms with stunning views. If snowboarding is not quit your thing, then Shendish Manor does have great golf course you can visit and let go of some of that city tension.