Saturday 10 September: Harlow Town to Broxbourne (Herts) – Linear

The weather forecast was for heavy rain all day but this did not stop 6 Polyramblers and 3 of John’s friends from another group to come on this walk in the Stort Valley.  Children were having fun in canoes when we reached the Stort Nagivation Canal which we started to follow alongside meadows.   At Parndon Mill Lock, we started playing catch-up with a lady on a narrow boat and we helped her open Hunsdon Mill Lock.  We passed Hunsdon Mead Nature Reserve which is one of the finest surviving areas of unimproved grassland in Eastern England.  The river is a haven for nature, with wild flowers growing along the banks including Harriet’s nemesis, Himalayan balsam.  We saw on an information panel that there are otters in the area.  We stopped for lunch at Roydon in the New Inn.  The weather had stayed dry all morning but it started raining quite heavily when we were getting ready to resume the walk after lunch.  We were ready to take the train to Broxbourne for tea and cakes at John’s house when the rain stopped.  So we decided to continue walking.  However, the rain started again and did not stop.  We passed Roydon Marina and joined the River Lee, Rye House Power Station and Dobb’s Weir.  We cut across to join the New River and arrived at John’s house looking like drowned rats.  We were comforted by sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee before our return to London.