Havering is where I’ve been born and bred, but I’ve not really spent that much time in it over the past few years as I’ve always been so busy in London and travelling as much as I can. Lockdown has given me a chance to see what it right on my doorstep, meet some incredible new people and make me feel really grateful for where my roots are settled!
For those of you that aren’t local, Havering is made up of Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster, Collier Row and Rainham. We are the little Borough that’s sandwiched between the edge of East London and Essex!
I’ve pulled together a little list of things that are great to do in the Havering area so it gives you some ideas too!
There are a good few parks in and around the Romford area so there’s plenty of fun to be had; picnics, football, boot camps, or just taking the dog for a long walk. You’ve got the options of Raphael Park, Cottons Park, Oldchurch Park, Jutsums and Lodge Farm Park to name a couple!
Moby Adventure Golf comes complete with a HUGE whale, yes Moby Dick, a 60-metre lagoon, an 8-metre waterfall and even a pirate ship so it’s full-blown fun. Not only is a great for crazy golf, it’s not bad for snapping a few photos too!
Captains (age 12+) £9.95
Shipmates (age 5 – 11 yrs) £7.70
Rascals (under 5 yrs) £4.20
Family Group (2 Captains/2 Shipmates or 1 Captain/3 Shipmates) £29.95
Whalebone Lane North, Romford, RM6 6SB
Jump Evolution claim to be the coolest place to get hot, and I’m rather inclined to agree with them; I’m quite partial to a jump around on some trampolines! They have so many packages available from the ‘Standard Jump’ to ‘Baby Jump’ with ‘Tiny Tots’, ‘Jump Fit’ and even ‘Bounce & Bite’ so prices start from around £7 and increase from there.
Spilsby Rd, Harold Hill, Romford, RM3 8SB
Ever fancied going climbing? Well now’s your chance to do so in Romford with Rock and Boulder. Bouldering is a great functional exercise that challenges both your physical strength and agility. It also channels into your problem-solving abilities in a social environment while having fun, so they recommend if you’ve never climbed before you attend one of their free induction classes.
Single Entry £10.00 (£3 memberships fee)
10 Climb Punch Card £75 (valid for a year)
1 Month Pass £50
6 Month Pass £250
12 Month Pass £400
Unit 5 Brookland Mews, Brooklands Approach, Romford, RM1 1DX
Who doesn’t like to waste a few hours bowling? If, like me, you do, then Rollerbowl needs to be on your radar. I’ve been going to Rollerbowl for as long as I can remember and it’s recently had a swanky upgrade so it’s a lot classier than it used to be!
Prices start from £5 and increase from there.
Collier Row Road, Romford, RM5 2BH
Romford’s premier ice skating and leisure facility, the brand-new Sapphire Ice & Leisure offers a fantastic range of activities. At the forefront is the full-sized ice rink that, as well as being open to the public, is also home to the Everyone Active Raiders ice hockey team, who you can watch in action when they play at home!
Prices vary with a PAYG membership or a full Gym Membership with access to all on site.
24 Western Road, Romford, RM1 3JT
An afternoon out down the bingo, we all love it, and you don’t, you’ve clearly never been! Romford is home to Mecca Bingo which sees people of all ages through the doors on a daily basis.
Tickets legit start from £1 which is wild and increase from there with session in the morning, afternoon and evening.
The Mercury Shopping Centre, Mercury Gardens, Romford, RM1 3EE
A great opportunity for everyone to try their hand at shooting airguns or semi-automatic rifles or try out the crossbows or even the axe throwing! I’m not one for the use of guns, so I’m 100% backing the axe throwing as it’s a really fun activity to try. Target Sport World offer various packages depending on which sport you wish to partake in.
Live Fire (one hour) – £25
Archery, Cross Bow and Axe Throwing (one hour) – £23
Airgun and Air Pistol (one hour) – £23
Or there are options to mix and match from £50+
Unit 5, Avenue Industrial Estate, Bryant Ave, Harold Wood, Romford, RM3 0BY
If Virtual Reality is your thing, then there are few options at the Virtual Rising Gaming Studios that may take your interest. They offer Virtual Reality Games, Escape Rooms, Immersive VR Games and single and multiplayer for all ages.
Two Headsets – 60 minutes Session – £40.00
Two Headsets – 90 minutes Session – £54.00
Two Shared Headsets for 4 Players – 60 minutes Session – £45.00
Two Shared Headsets for 4 Players – 90 minutes Session – £60.00
60 minutes VR Escape Room for up to 2 Players – £45.00
60 minutes VR Escape Room for up to 4 Players – £60.00
You can also hire for private gaming from 60 mins upwards for up to 6 players
3C Danes Rd, Romford RM7 0HL
Again, there are plenty of parks in and around the Hornchurch area so there’s plenty of fun to be had; picnics, football, boot camps, or just taking the dog for a long walk. You’ve got the options of Haynes Park, Harrow Lodge, St Andrew’s Park, Hyland’s Park, Park Lane Recreation, and my personal favourite Langtons.
This Room Lockdown Escape Room has become a recent obsession for us and we’ve nearly completed all of the rooms and just about managed to escape some of them! There are some great themes from Prison Break to Pirates and currently Stranger Things and the Haunted Mines of Crisson, but these themes do change too, so there’s no reason to not go back more than once.
Rooms are £20 person up to 6 people due to Government Restrictions.
Crown House, 40 North Street, Hornchurch RM11 1EW
The Queen’s Theatre is a vibrant theatre with a rich heritage that has become a cultural hub with over 200,000 people enjoying the programme each year, including the best in homegrown theatre, visiting live entertainment and inspiring Learning and Participation projects. Tickets are so much cheaper than heading into London, but the quality is just as good, if not better.
Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT
The Pink Parachute is a ‘Paint your Own Pottery’ cafe, but you can also build your own bear, create silver jewellery, take part in Storytime Session, have your baby prints done and even take away pottery to make at home! The pottery painting instore is my favourite and their collection includes mugs, plates, bowls, vases, jugs, figurines, money banks, photo frames, animals, seasonal (Halloween/Christmas) ceramics and many more.
Prices start from £5.
6 North Street, Hornchurch, RM11 1QXL
Fairkytes Arts Centre is a community arts centre in the heart of Hornchurch offering a wide range of activities for adults and children, rooms for hire, a large number of clubs and societies, and occasional events and demonstrations. The Craft Gallery is an exciting and recent addition where you can view a wide range of different crafts on display, all hand-made by centre users, local craftspeople, or special guest artists. Every item is for sale, so why not pick up a rare and unusual gift for that person who is difficult to buy for!
Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1AX
The Essex Wildlife Trust’s Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre is a partnership project between Essex Wildlife Trust and Havering Council which has been built in Hornchurch Country Park. The centre overlooks the fantastic marshland and reedbeds of the River Ingrebourne Valley and makes it a wonderful place for long walks, learning about nature and spot the occasional cow!
Hornchurch Country Park, Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, RM12 6DF
There are a good few parks in and around the Upminster area so there’s plenty of fun to be had; picnics, football, boot camps, or just taking the dog for a long walk. You’ve got the options of Upminster Park, Clockhouse Gardens, Thames Chase and The Brickfields.
Hornchurch Football Club are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at the Hornchurch Stadium which is located just next to Upminster Bridge. The Urchins, as they are known, have a club shop, bar and burger stand within the stadium also.
Adult – £12
Concessions (65+) – £7
12 – 16 year olds – £3
Under 12s – Free
Hornchurch Stadium, Bridge Avenue, Upminster, RM14 2LX
Upminster Windmill is a Grade II* listed smock mill located in Upminster and it was formerly known as Abraham’s Mill and was in Essex when built! It is currently being restored due to damage upon the sails from some very high-speed winds. Once the restoration is over the windmill will be back open on certain dates to the general public to learn about its history.
The Mill Field, St. Marys Lane, Upminster, RM14 2QL
Tithe Barn took on a new lease of life in 1976 when it opened as an agricultural museum and is now home to almost 15,000 items of nostalgia! But the barn, originally part of the Home or Hall Farm of nearby Upminster Hall, is a large timber-framed structure clad in a mixture of horizontal and vertical boarding, capped by a thatched roof and dates back to before the 1900s!
Hall Lane, Upminster, RM14 1AUL
Thames Chase is looked after by the Thames Chase Trust who promote woodland creation and biodiversity, work to improve landscape including derelict land, and work to improve access to the countryside and they are doing wonders! Thames Chase is not only a great place to walk but the Activity Centre offers events, learning, a cafe, a tree nursery, and even a cute shop.
Broadfields Farm, Pike Lane, Upminster, RM14 3NS
Stubbers Adventure Centre has been around since I was a kid and I’m so glad to see it going strong still. Stubbers offers a range of activities for both adult and children including archery, 4×4 driving experiences, laser tag, canoeing, paddle boarding, abseiling and powerboating. There really is an activity for everyone.
You can ‘Pay and Play’ for a 90 minute adventure or you can have a bespoke adventure planned just for you, so prices do vary.
Ockendon Road, Upminster, RM14 2TY
If you’re looking for the ultimate in chasing your mates, getting outdoors and getting kitted up, then Delta Force Paintball is for you. They offer movie set style zones, state-of-the-art combat gear and guns, life-sized props and military vehicles and they always put safety first! There are six massive battle arenas, so plenty of action-packed scenarios and missions for you to try and conquer with your paintballs!
Junior day prices start from £9.99
Adult day prices start from £9.99 with an additional £9.99 for 100 paintballs.
1 Aveley Road, Upminster, RM14 2TN
Rainham Hall is a Grade II* listed Georgian house, owned by the National Trust, in Rainham, in the London Borough of Havering. Built in 1729 for Captain John Harle, the house was transferred to the National Trust in 1949; let to a number of private tenants, it remained closed to the public until late 2015.
Broadway, Rainham, RM13 9YN
Rainham Marshes is an RSPB nature reserve adjacent to the Thames Estuary in Purfleet, Thurrock and the London Borough of Havering. In 2000, the area of land was bought from the Ministry of Defence, who used it as a test firing range and it was meant to, before an endangered newt put a stop to it, be home to DisneyLand rather than Paris.
Also, more recently, the Havering Hoard was found there; that’s 453 late Bronze-age artefacts found at a site overlooking in 2018. It is the largest bronze-age hoard to be found in ‘London’ and the third-largest in the United Kingdom!
New Tank Hill Rd, Purfleet, South Ockendon, RM19 1SZ