04 Dec, 2009 - Jennie and Lala vist the Snow Centre
Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre: The Best Snow this Side of the Alps?
We embarked on the lengthy journey from London to Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre (the whole 25 minutes of it...) to see if the newest of the indoor slopes lived up to its claims. Thursday and Friday nights are the "Park and Ride" freestyle nights. Opting for a Friday so as to have the whole weekend to seek medical attention if need be, we prepared for our adventure.
Our office is based at Earls court and, thankfully, there is a train from Kensington Olympia direct to Hemel Hempstead thus we could avoid perturbing any more happy commuters by trying to squeeze our skis on the tube (hire equipment can't be used on the freestyle features so you do need to take your own). The train journey was pretty painless, and after a short flirt with a Hemel taxi driver we convinced him to transport us and our skis (he had a rather shiny car and was less than willing...) to the Snow Centre.
Once on the snow, there was definitely a lack of skiers. And, furthermore, a lack of females. We did feel vaguely self conscious at the outset, however all the other freestylers were super friendly and chatty and we were soon happily face planting mascara all over our cheeks.
To get a feel of how our night went - check out the amazingly professional video we made. Lala's sick front side board grab is definitely the highlight.
We got the train from Kensington Olympia to Hemel Hempstead which took 40 minutes (from Euston it's 25/30 minutes). A return ticket will set you back £9.70 and a taxi from the station to the Snow Centre was £6 each way. The freestyle session goes on from 7-11, riding for the full 4 hours will set you back £45, 2 hours is £35 and 45 minutes on the airbag (if it's out) is an extra tenner. Our View?
Great fun and a healthier Friday night option than the pub. Not the cheapest way to get your exercise (£45 for 4 hours is more than a full day's Portes du Soleil lift pass...), although, to be fair, you don't have to buy a flight to get there. Top tips: We would say that if you've got a car, drive. Taking multiple forms of public transport whilst carrying skis and boots isn't the most fun... And wear waterproof mascara boys!
by Jennie Excell and Lala Stewart