Fitness freaks and nerdy geeks can unite at Ham Common
Do you fancy a wee bit of plane spotting, or perhaps some train spotting? Or are you more the active type? Whatever you are into, I have found the perfect spot for you. Out along the road between Windsor and Richmond you will find a park that contains a playground, a cafe, a cycle way, and an information centre that caters for the whole family - including the four legged members.
The very English sounding Ham Common Bicentenary Park and its neighbour the Hawkesbury Cafe are located opposite the RAAF base at Clarendon, adjacent to the Richmond train line. The park offers activities for all ages and abilities and it is easy to lose half a day here. There is a skate park and a secure children's playground to occupy your kids as well as plenty of space to run, ride or scoot. Dogs are also allowed in the park, as long as they are on a leash.
There is a cycleway/jogging path called the George Capper cycleway (I'm not sure if he is any relation to Warwick). They obviously love keeping fit in the Hawkesbury, as there are many different pieces of exercise equipment for you to work out on along the path. This pathway basically stretches the whole length of the park - from Clarendon Train Station to the beginning of Richmond, approximately 2.5km long. It is both pram and wheelchair friendly.
There are picnic shelters and BBQs if you would like to BYO, otherwise you can check out the Hawkesbury Cafe. The cafe has both inside and out seating. The inside is quite kitsch and small, so I would recommend that you sit outside and make the most of some plane spotting. You order and pay at the small counter inside. The menu is limited - loads of deep fried items, but hey, you've just had a massive work out along the path so don't feel too guilty for eating that battered sav! They have a decent selection of cool drinks, ice creams and their coffee isn't too bad. Most parents get take always and head to the park to keep an eye on their kids.
The Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre is also located right next to the cafe. In here you can pick up all sorts of maps, brochures and guides on the local area. There is a helpful tourism officer on hand to answer all of your questions (maybe I should have asked them if George is related to Warwick Capper). There are toilets available in here for you to use as well. Otherwise there is an amenities block just outside in the park.
If you decide to drive there is a decent size car park. However if you really want to make a day of it, why not jump on a train and alight at Clarendon Station? The station is located at the beginning of the park. If you walk all the way to end of the cycle way you will almost be at East Richmond station for your return journey. Take the family on a Family Funday Sunday and make the most of the cheap train fares.