Stage 2: Welwyn Garden City to Broxbourne — Lea Valley Walk
Dan Hobson planned a hike.
June 22, 2020
This hike explores a landscape that can claim the hardest lock in England, one of the first brick houses in the country, and some spectacular views.With 17.1 miles (27.5 km) of distance, this is another long hike. However, with 225 feet (69 m) of uphill and 350 feet (107 m) of downhill, it is level and leisurely walking throughout. (For a suggestion on how to split the stage, see below). You start by hiking through the suburbs of Welwyn Garden City before joining National Cycle Route 61, which takes you through a pleasant patchwork of fields and small woodlands to Hertford.In the town, you pick up the course of the River Lee Navigation — a canalised river incorporating the River Lea — into King's Meads Nature Reserve. One of the largest water meadows in Hertfordshire, the reserve is home to 265 types of wildflower and 119 species of bird, including many rare species. You follow the river through pretty countryside with great views. Just after Stanstead Lock, which has earned the reputation as the most difficult in England for barges to pass through, you find the Jolly Sailor pub, which makes a good choice for a pit-stop. The trail continues alongside River Lee Navigation for the rest of the stage, taking you past Rye House Gatehouse, one of the first brick houses to be built in the country. You find places to stay in Broxbourne and Hoddesdon, as well as plenty of pubs, shops and restaurants.If you wish to split the stage, Hertford has a good choice of accommodation.
June 24, 2020