Open all year
The Aquadrome covers 41 ha on the edge of Rickmansworth. 18 points of interest
At least eight bat species can be found at the Aquadrome, including daubentons which skim across the water as they hunt for tasty morsels.
There are two bird feeding areas at the Aquadrome, one on each lake. Please feed the birds grains and seeds rather than bread as it really isn’t very good for them as it simply doesn’t contain the right nutrients to keep them healthy.
The Aquadrome is important for birds, especially overwintering waterfowl. Species recorded include goldeneye, smew, common tern, goosander, gadwall, great crested grebe, heron, tufted duck and kingfisher. Goosander can be seen during the winter. They belong to the sawbill family, so-called because of their long serrated bills, used for catching their favourite food, fish.
Site of historical interest
The two lakes are flooded former gravel pits. These operated between 1924 and 1926 and it is said that some of the extracted gravel was used to build the original Wembley Stadium. Once gravel extraction ceased the pits naturally filled with water. By 1928 the Aquadrome was owned by The Aquadrome Company, a group of London businessmen who profited from the recreational value of the site until 1941 when the Aquadrome was commandeered by the War Department for army exercises. Rickmansworth Urban District Council purchased the Aquadrome in 1960 and it now provides a variety of formal and informal activities.
To keep yourself safe, when you are in, on or beside water, always follow the Water Safety Code.
If you happen to see one of the swans in danger or hurt, please contact The Swan Sanctuary on 01923 240790 or 07940 183600 with the exact location and nature of distress. For further information, please visit www.theswansanctuary.org.uk.
White-letter hairstreak butterflies are quite rare but they have been seen flying high up in the canopy of the trees here where they feed on honeydew. They have declined since the 1970s when Dutch Elm disease killed off a huge proportion of elms, which are the butterfly’s foodplant.
Food & Drink
An independent café come restaurant serving great food and drink, made here by people who enjoy what they are doing. Good ethics are at the heart of all that we do from our sourcing to how we work with those around us. We choose our suppliers carefully and only buy from farmers who practise traditional, free-range farming methods without the use of unnecessary antibiotics. We believe that good food can unite a community.
Free car park, including bays for blue badge holders.
Common blue damselflys can be seen darting around the Aquadrome between April and September. This is the a common damselfly which is around 35mm in length. It loves to live around ponds, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
If it is a nice day why not stay for a picnic in the dog-free picnic area?
The Ebury Play Area is aimed at children of all ages and abilities with both modern and traditional play equipment. There is a 'purple' play tower, junior swing, toddler swing, inclusive swing, roundabout, zip wire and sand pit to name just a few of the items on offer.
Carp were originally introduced to the UK by the Romans and can now be found in ponds, lakes and slow flowing rivers. Carp mainly feed on the bottom of the lakes at the Aquadrome but they can been seen during the summer as the cruise just below the surface of the water feeding on fallen insects.
Health Walk Start Point
Meet outside Café in the Park, Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Frogmore Lane, WD3 1NB.
Tuesdays at 2pm
For more information on Healthwalks please visit there website;
The outdoor gym offers you the opportunity to have fun exercising whilst enjoying the fresh air. There are several items of equipment offering a range of exercise opportunities such as toning the upper and lower body and fitness to the heart and lungs. The gym is free to use and is open all year.
A large lake in the Colne Valley with nationally important numbers of wintering birds, including spectacular goldeneye and smew.
Stocker's Lake is one of the oldest gravel pits in the Colne Valley. Wintering ducks such as shoveler and goldeneye are common visitors in nationally important numbers. Over 60 species of breeding birds have been recorded here and the heronry is the largest in the county.
Nature Reserve managed by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. For more information click here
There is a whole world of plants and animals that live and feed under the water. Pike, for example, inhabit lakes and slow flowing rivers and canals. Young fish often lie close to the surface amongst plants whilst adults lurk in deep water, typically hidden in vegetation waiting to ambush their prey such as young fish and frogs.
Great diving beetles can sometimes be seen ‘collecting’ air at the surface of the water which is then stored under their wing cases. These beetles are around 3cm in length and are voracious predators eating anything that comes their way, even tadpoles and small fish.
The relic area of wet woodland (also known as carr) is important as it is locally and nationally rare, in fact there are probably no more than 70,000 hectares across the whole of the UK. Typical tree species you will find are willow, alder and birch. Wet woodland is rich in wildlife, especially insects. Many bat and bird species also make wet woodland their home or use it as valuable hunting ground. Wet woodland can look a little untidy but it is part of the natural regeneration process – as a willow limb falls to the ground, for example, it will take root and begin to grow in to a new tree.
The Aquadrome Local Nature Reserve became an award winning open space in 2009 and has retained the Green Flag every year since.
The Aquadrome has a vibrant atmosphere, shown by the wide variety of clubs and organisations that use the facilities at the Aquadrome, such as water skiing, sailing and kayaking (members use only).
Walks around Batchworth (1.6km) and Bury (1.4km) and an Easy Access Trail through the wet woodland (1.3km) are a great way to explore the site.
The Cafe in the Park and the dog free picnic area are a great place to refuel and handily located next to the toilet facilities.
There is a large children's play area with lots of exciting play equipment next to Batchworth Lake, with access off Riverside Drive.
Part of National Cycle Route 61 runs through the Aquadrome and this is marked on site by directional finger-posts. Visitors are welcome to use this route.
If you happen to see any wildlife who are in distress, danger or hurt, please contact our local RSPCA office on 0208 966 9688.
The Rickmansworth Festival takes place on the third weekend of May every year at the Aquadrome LNR. Celebrating canals, the community and the environment, the festival has been going for over twenty years and is the highlight of the town’s annual calendar and finale of Rickmansworth Week.
Visitor opinions are very important to Three Rivers District Council. Feedback helps to ensure that the Council works towards providing the quality and facilities expected by visitors. Would you like to have your views heard? Well now's your chance. Complete the online Aquadrome survey here and help the Council improve your local open space. Paper copies of the survey are available upon request by phoning the Council on 01923 776611. There is no closing date - results will be reviewed throughout the year and appropriate actions put in to place.
Off of Frogmoor Lane, Rickmansworth WD3 1NB. Car park is open 8am – 9:30pm 1 May – 30 September and 8am – 6pm 1 October – 30 April. Directions here
By tube: Rickmansworth Station is approximately 1mile away from the main entrance and car park at the Aquadrome but less than half a mile from the entrance in the play area if walking from the station.
By bus: for services from Watford, Rickmansworth, Amersham and Chesham contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233.
Families are welcome to cycle at the Aquadrome. Part of National Cycle Route 61 runs through the Aquadrome and this is marked on site by directional finger-posts.
Bike stands are available in front of the Cafe in the Park