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17 June: Hertford to Matching Tye

posted 23 Jun 2012, 07:17 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Jan 2017, 23:25 ]
The weather may have been iffy for ages, but nothing to complain of for today's ride.  We met in the centre of Hertford and set off up the Bengeo hill to Stoney Hills.  Passing through Sacombe Park, with its fine views over the valley below, we were soon crossing the A10 and then the ford at Barwick.  Only one cyclist braved the ford itself, but as she was on a trike, she could hardly fall off!  

Entering Sacombe Park
Barwick Ford

Then on to Much Hadham, where the signs of recent flooding were well in evidence - masses of gravel washed down the hill into the road.  Climbing to Perry Green, we took the main road into Bishops Stortford - there are not that many ways into the town from the west.  Our coffee stop was the good value Bridge Cafe in the town centre.  It was going to be a fair way to lunch, so most stocked up on nourishment while the going was good.  We continued through the town, heading south.  Then passing round Hatfield Forest, we zigzagged through the surrounding lanes, to reach Hatfield Broad Oak.  A left turn here took us through more traffic free lanes to Matching Green and then our lunch stop at Matching Tye.  

Hadham Ford
Matching Green

The Fox is a pleasant pub with a nice garden to sit and chew your sandwiches. After lunch we still needed to head south to reach tea in Epping Forest.  Passing through Magdalen Laver, my knowledge of the local geography began to run out.  Jon suggested a more traffic free route than the one I planned, and, keeping to small lanes were soon crossed the M25/M11 junction to reach Theydon Bois.  Then it was a very long climb up through the forest to cross the main road, then a side road to the church.  

High Beach churchyard
Entering the Lea Valley Park from Mott Street

High Beach church is a new tea stop for us - would the teas be as good as the exceptional neighbouring Upshire Church?  Not quite, although the recital in the church added a bit of culture to our day.  Then, descending to the Lea Valley Park, we split into smaller groups heading for different homes - still a fair way for most.  A really enjoyable day out into the quiet countryside of rural Essex.

17 June 2012

Richard 17/06/2012