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|New River Path Part One: Hertford to Rye House|
|Author: thameswater, Published: 07 Mar 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 5 mile waterside linear walk along the first stretch of the New River in Hertfordshire. This is the most rural and perhaps the most picturesque section of the New River Path with chance to enjoy lots of wildlife plus several of the impressive brick-built pumping stations that continue to operate the river. The New River has an unhelpful name, being neither new nor a river! It is a water supply aqueduct, completed in 1613, to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to North London. Before this time, London’s water supply was limited to the Thames, local streams and wells which were often contaminated. Thames Water has worked with partners to create a 28 mile long-distance path that follows the river’s course. |
The walk is relatively flat and follows some paved paths, but mainly unmade paths which can be fairly muddy after periods of rain and in winter. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates along the way plus two stiles (with fence surrounds which should be open enough for most dogs to pass through). You will also need to cross the rail line at an unsignalled crossing so take care to look and listen for trains and take care with children and dogs. You will find a few large benches along the route which make a great place for a family picnic. The return leg can be completed by train (see the ‘Getting there’ section for details). Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours (plus a bit longer to walk to the start point from Hertford East station).
As this is a linear walk, you will need to arrange for both your journey to the start point, as well as your return journey from the end of the walk. You could use two cars, but we would recommend using trains. The start point of the walk is just a 15 minute walk from Hertford East Rail Station (which has a small car park), and the end point is Rye House Rail Station (note: this station does not have a car park). The trains between the two stations run about every 30 minutes and the journey takes less than 15 minutes.
|Start to White House Sluice|
Start point: 51.8067 lat, -0.0577 long
(Note: You will find directions from Hertford East Station to this start point in the ‘Getting there’ section of this walking guide.)
|White House Sluice to Viaduct Road|
Start point: 51.8069 lat, -0.0447 long
Follow the path left (in front of the White House) and then right through the kissing gate to continue on the grass path with the river to the right. You will pass a stone structure set across the river, Marble Gauge, which was built in 1770 to control the former intake of water from the River Lee. On the opposite bank is Chadwell Spring, the original source of the New River in 1609.
|Viaduct Road to Amwell Islands|
Start point: 51.8057 lat, -0.0263 long
Swing left for a few paces along Viaduct Road and then cross over the road with extreme care. Pass through the kissing gate to take the New River Path continuing on the opposite side. Be sure to glance to your right here to see the tiny metal sculpture of a man and dog which is set on the concrete in the centre of the river.
|Amwell Islands to Rye Common Pumping Station|
Start point: 51.7952 lat, -0.0125 long
This pretty lake feature has two islands. On one is a stone monument what has an inscribed poem from 1818 entitled Amwell, and on the other is a pedestal monument dedicated to Sir Hugh Myddelton. Following earlier financially failed attempts to begin the works to bring Hertfordshire’s drinking water to London, Myddelton, a goldsmith and merchant adventurer, was given the authority in 1609 to construct the New River. When the first New River Company was created in 1619, Myddelton was its first Governor. If you look carefully you’ll see another tiny sculpture in front of the Myddelton monument, this time depicting a couple of women sitting on the island bank.
|Rye Common Pumping Station to End|
Start point: 51.7821 lat, -0.0019 long
Beyond the pumping station, the path emerges via a kissing gate to reach a T-junction with Stanstead Road. Cross over with care and turn left along the opposite pavement. Just before you reach the A414 bridge overhead, turn right through the gap alongside a vehicle barrier into St Margaret’s Community Woodland.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author thameswater and may not be reproduced without permission.
Gabrielle P @gplala @ifootpath thanks for follow back. My friend and I are walking the #NewRiverPath using info on your site, very helpful so hope to do more!
|By Twitter on 2015-06-18 15:30:16|
Just did parts 1, 2 and three. If you are into industrial heritage then this is an interesting walk. But very noisy, you are never far from a road and while pretty for much of its length there are several grim litter strewn sections.
|By drummand on 2016-08-15 18:34:14|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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