Saturday, 2 October 2010

Onwards to Hertford

Today we decided to walk to Hertford along the River Lea and this time, we thought we'd take a photo at every lock we passed. We started our walk at 8.30am and the first lock we got to was Cheshunt Lock. Much to our amazement, after the truely terrible weather we've had this past week, at least it was dry!

Here's John at the second lock.

Me at the third.

It was an amazingly still day and we noticed some wonderful reflections of the trees in the water. I am beginning to find this walking lark to be incredibly addictive! It helps that the Lea Valley Park is a lovely area ...... and being blessed with yet another day with good weather helps! By 10am it was positively balmy!

I just love this image of a swan in the Lea ....... with its reflection in the almost still water. I think he was hoping that we had some food.

But when we didn't, he just swam past :)

Here's John at Dobbs Weir Lock. We've walked just north of here a few times before and twice have been rewarded with a marvellous sight. "Do you think we might see a kingfisher?", I said to John. No sooner were the words out of my mouth than a flash of blue darted across the water and briefly settled on the weir ...... and then it was gone! However .... a magical moment!
Can anything really beat the vivid blue of a kingfisher?

However, a swan was more willing to stick around long enough for a photograph. Aren't swans so graceful and elegant?

Here I am at Fieldes Weir Lock. Notice that it is at this point that you can walk along the River Stort navigation ....... that will be our next jaunt I think.

Here's John at Stanstead Lock.

And me at Hardmead Lock.

Because of where the tow path goes, we weren't in the right place to take a photograph of Ware Lock as the main path goes round the weir side rather than the lock. However, a little further north from Ware Lock, the New River spurs off from the Lea. Behind John in this photograph is the beginning of the New River.

Now, the New River is an amazing engineering achievement from the 1700's. It meanders south from this point, following the 100 foot contour, into the heart of London. It was built to take drinking water into the centre of London. Off hand I can't recall for how many miles it travels, but it is a lot!
And to think that it was entirely dug by pick and shovel. They definately knew how to work hard in those days.

Here I am at Hertford Lock. Above here, the Lea is no longer navigable. Hence this lock being number 1.
A short walk on from here and we reached the station at Hertford East at 12.40pm. A total distance of 12.4 miles and we took 4 hours and 10 minutes.
The strange thing was that, whilst waiting on the platform and then on the journey home, you could see the banks of clouds closing in. After lunch, by the time it came for me to drive down to see my Dad at 2.45pm, it was starting to rain and continued to do so for the rest of the afternoon. Even as I'm typing this at 9.30pm, it is absolutely pouring down!! We were certainly lucky this morning :)


joy said...

you certainly were lucky with the weather. my mum lives at theydon bois in essex, and a few of years ago we went over to the gunpowder mills at waltham abbey(?) - which were closed, so we walked along the lea instead. she also loves fishers green, and often used to go there when my stepfather was alive to see the kingfishers and hear the nightingales.
joy xx

Elaine said...

Hi Joy,
Firstly, if you get chance to go back to the Gunpowder Mills (and, you are right, they are at Walthan Abbey), it will be a worthwhile trip as it is a very interesting place. They run all sorts of special weekends that are worth going to.

Fishers Green is just down the road from us and is another lovely spot. Haven't seen any kingfishers there mind you :)

Rachael said...

Beautiful photos of the water with the reflections of the trees.
The walk looks really lovely.
I last saw a kingfisher down at Harnham in Salisbury, obvioulsy next to the river, a good ten years ago...beautiful, as you say, nothing like it.

Elaine said...

Thank you. I shall pass your comments about the photos onto John as he's the photographer.
It is a lovely walk. There are lots of beautiful spots all the way through the Lea Valley Park so you can almost forget how close you are to London.

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