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28 Nov: Hatfield to Rye House

posted 29 Nov 2010, 06:09 by South Herts   [ updated 31 Dec 2016, 23:18 ]
I don’t normally venture out on icy roads and a good ride leader knows how to delegate.  It was minus 4 degrees overnight, but Judy was happy to take her three-wheeler up to Hatfield to collect the five stalwarts gathered there, while I went straight to Trent Park (all of 10 minutes from home)!  

It was a slowish ride from Hatfield to Trent Park following NCR 12 - caution being needed where icy surfaces were suspected.  You can’t always rely on pushing hard to keep warm and there’s no substitute for wearing plenty of layers on a prolonged ride.  Exposure to the cold had also caused brake and gear cables on the Trice to ice up, so a quick phone call led to me bringing a flask of boiling water to free them.
Arriving at the cafe in Trent Park
Trent Park Animal Centre
Taxidermy display
Good tracks in Trent Park

There are two cafes in Trent Park and we prefer the less-crowded Animal Centre in the middle of the park, with its taxidermy displays in the café.  The sun was providing some warmth as we followed good tracks through the park to Hadley Road.  Then it was a direct route across the northern edge of Enfield, past Forty Hall and along Turkey Street to Enfield Island Village.  Here we turned north to follow NCR 1 into the Lea Valley Country Park and through Fishers Green - no risk of ice on these well-surfaced tracks.  The biggest risk was from the low flying Canada Geese. 
Leaving Fishers Green
28/11/2010

Emerging on St Leonards Road there was a minor rebellion against doing any more off-road (as it meant a climb over Clayton Hill) and time was pressing, so we followed roads to Dobbs Weir.  Here we took to a deserted towpath, tranquillity briefly interrupted by a noisy race on the karting raceway, before reaching the Rye House Tavern. 
Partly frozen River Lea Navigation
Towpath near Rye House

Right opposite is a moated gatehouse, which is all that remains of a once extensive manor house, built in 1443.  Rye House became notorious in 1683 when it was the centre of a plot to assassinate Charles II.
Rye House Tavern
The ancient Rye House Gatehouse

We were reluctant to leave the warmth of the tavern, where we enjoyed the good value meals and friendly service, but the sun was still shining as we made our various ways home after an enjoyable winter ride of just over 40 miles.
Jon.

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