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02 Jan: Hatfield to Wormley West End

posted 3 Jan 2011, 03:39 by South Herts   [ updated 31 Dec 2016, 23:43 ]
The morning of 2nd January was not horribly wet (like the day before) or freezing or snowy, in fact it was slightly sunny.  This was already the second organised CTC ride of the year, following on from our New Year's Day ride to Berkhampstead the day before.  Eight of us set off from Hatfield heading for coffee at Crews Hill.  So, down through the uni. to Welham Green and passing the unique swallow holes at Water End to Potters Bar.  The swallow holes are the only ones in the country, I believe, where a river disappears underground without being on limestone.  At Potters Bar we turned left through the woods on Coopers Lane, then under the M25 to our coffee stop at Crews Hill, with its over the top selection of garden centres. 
Water End
Theobalds Park

From here, my original plan to take the bridleway north to Goffs Oak no longer seemed like a good idea - too muddy with the recent weather.  So Jon, who has an expert knowledge of how to avoid the dodgier parts of Enfield, took us through Theobalds Park (until recently the resting place of Temple Bar: now removed to the precincts of St Paul's) and onto a new cycle path and magnificent bridge over the A10. 
Connect2 Bridge over the A10
Getting our money's worth here

This is a recently opened Sustrans initiative, part of the £50M Lottery-funded Connect2 scheme, providing access to a new school for children living in Cheshunt.  However, completing the journey into the Lee Valley was hampered somewhat at the unmanned level crossing, which was extremely rickety with two very tight gates to negotiate, before we emerged onto Cheshunt Marsh and the Lee Valley Park.  A completely new route for me, and one to keep in mind for any future rides into Essex as it avoids the busy roads south of the M25. 
Dodgy level crossing south of Cheshunt
Pony & trap at The Woodman, Wormley West End

We continued north in the park for a while, then re-crossing the railway, we climbed out through Cheshunt, passing Cheshunt Park, to our lunch stop at Wormley West End.  Here we chatted for a while with the pony and trap riders gathered in the car park.  We had made good time, so a pleasant lunch lingered on a bit - why not?  We then went our different ways home.  Not a long ride, but a nice one for winter with some interesting new routes and a bit of reasonable weather for a change.

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Richard.
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