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New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt

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New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt
Author: thameswater, Published: 07 Mar 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshuntstar1 New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshuntstar1 New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshuntstar0 New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshuntstar0 New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt
Hertfordshire, Broxbourne
Walk Type: River or lakeside
New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt
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A 6 mile waterside linear walk along the second stretch of the New River in Hertfordshire. You’re likely to have the company of swans, ducks, geese and coots along the whole journey as you follow the route of the river through central Hertfordshire. 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 route 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 a footbridge if you are walking back to Cheshunt Station at the end). The return leg can be completed by train (see the ‘Getting there’ section for details. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours.

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 Rye House Rail Station (note: this station does not have a car park) and the end point is in Cheshunt (about 1 mile from Cheshunt Rail Station which has a large car park). The trains between the two stations run about every 30 minutes and the journey takes less than 10 minutes. There are directions from the end of the walk to Cheshunt Station in the final section of this walking guide.

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Walk Sections

Start to Broxbourne Pumping Station
Start to Broxbourne Pumping Station

Start point: 51.7694 lat, 0.0052 long
End point: 51.7626 lat, -0.0041 long

Leave Rye House Station via the steps to the bridge over the rail line. Turn left along the pavement and, just before you reach the New River, turn left through the kissing gate to join the fenced riverside path. After a little distance you’ll emerge via a kissing gate to a T-junction with a tarmac road. Turn left and then immediately right to continue on the riverside path. (Note: the fenced section of path is very overgrown and so it is easiest to walk along the wider grass bank).

The history of the New River is a fascinating one. It was in 1606 that Parliamentary Act granted the Corporation of London permission to make a ‘New River for bringing water to London from Chadwell and Amwell in Hertfordshire’. More than 200 labourers were paid the equivalent of 4p per day to dig out the channel, whilst carpenters received the equivalent of 6.5p per day to wharf the banks and erect bridges. The total cost of construction was estimated at £18,500 and the project was completed in 1613. Today the New River remains an essential part of London’s water supply, providing 8% of the city’s water consumption.

Eventually the path swings right and you’ll emerge through a kissing gate out to Essex Road. Turn right for just a few paces and then (before crossing the river) cross the road to take the signed continuation of the New River Path. On the left you’ll pass Broxbourne Pumping Station, an ornate brick building with some of the old arched doorways now closed with bricks.

Broxbourne Pumping Station to Broxbourne Church
Broxbourne Pumping Station to Broxbourne Church

Start point: 51.7626 lat, -0.0041 long
End point: 51.745 lat, -0.0149 long

Soon you’ll be following a pretty grassed riverside path with the New River running on the right. A little way in, cross over a residential road and continue through the kissing gate onto the path opposite. On the left you’ll pass a very large flood meadow which is used as a large horse paddock and/or for grazing cattle. On the right you will see many private properties, several of which make full use of their frontage onto the river with terraced gardens. Also to the left you’ll see Admirals Walk Lake, a spring-fed lake which is home to a large population of dragonflies and damselflies.

Pairs of kissing gates lead you across the next two roads, each time simply continue on the left-hand riverside path. On the opposite bank you’ll pass another ornate pumping station with its distinct row of three circular windows adorning the front of the tower. You will pass Broxbourne Station down to the left. Do not take the steps down to the car park on the left, simply keep ahead on the riverside grass bank.

You will emerge via a kissing gate out to the road in Broxbourne. Turn right along the pavement and, when you reach the gates for Beech Court on the right, cross over the road with care to take the tarmac path heading diagonally across the park. On the left you’ll see Broxbourne Church.

Broxbourne Church to A10
Broxbourne Church to A10

Start point: 51.745 lat, -0.0149 long
End point: 51.7224 lat, -0.0331 long

As you emerge from the park turn left across the river bridge and keep ahead to pass the main entrance gate for the church on the left. St Augustine’s is a beautiful Grade I listed church built around 1460 by Sir John Say, but inside there is a marble font which dates to the 12th century.

After the church entrance, keep straight ahead on the path with the river running to the right. Continue along this tarmac lane passing allotments to the left. On the right on the opposite banks you’ll see the large local cricket field. You’ll pass a pretty section where the river widens with an island in the centre, before emerging out to the High Road in Broxbourne via a kissing gate.

Turn left along the pavement and then use the designated crossing point to cross the road to turn right into Cozens Lane West. Keep ahead to cross the New River via the bridge and continue ahead along the lane. Go straight on as the lane becomes a rougher track and then, when the railings on the left end, turn left through the gap in the fence to reach the corner of the sports field. (Note: this turn is unsigned, but don’t worry, you are going the right way!!).

Follow the left-hand edge of the sports field. In the far corner, pass through the kissing gate and you’ll emerge out into water meadows. Keep ahead on the wide grass path, keeping left at the fork. As you leave the meadow, go ahead through the kissing gate to join the woodland path with the New River once again visible (to the left). When you can, swing left to join the path immediately alongside the river.

At the end of the path, pass through the metal gate to reach Church Lane. Cross over and continue on the New River Path opposite. Follow this stretch of path for some distance, passing through several kissing gates along the way. The path leads you under the A1170 and, soon afterwards, you will cross over Vancouver Road via the pair of kissing gates. A little further along you’ll emerge up the slope to reach the A10 dual carriageway.

A10 to End
A10 to End

Start point: 51.7224 lat, -0.0331 long
End point: 51.7028 lat, -0.0463 long

Follow the path left over the river, down the slope at the opposite side and then turn sharp right to follow the path through the underpass beneath the A10. Keep ahead on the grassy bank with the river now running to the right. Follow this peaceful stretch, then use a pair of kissing gates to cross a small lane (the access lane for the service yard of a retail park on the left).

Some way further along you are forced to swing left away from the river and you’ll emerge out to Brookfield Lane alongside a bus stop. Cross over with care and take the concrete riverside path directly opposite. A long straight section of river leads you past a new housing estate on the opposite bank. After passing a petrol station to the left, follow the path through a pair of kissing gates to continue on the left-hand grass bank.

The next kissing gate leads you up a concrete slope to reach a T-junction with Church Lane in Cheshunt. Cross over to take the New River Path continuing opposite. Follow the path which leads you across the next river bridge and then continues along the right-hand side of the river. At the next junction of paths, go through the metal kissing gate to continue on the riverside path. Soon the path becomes a wider tarmac path with the landscaped gardens at the back of Broxbourne Council offices to the right. When you reach the arched wooden footbridge, turn left across it, emerging into the large council car park. This marks the end of this second section of the New River Path.

(If you need to make your way to Cheshunt Station (about a mile away), bear right to follow the access road out of the car park to the roundabout with College Road (with Cheshunt School opposite). Turn left for a few paces and then cross to the opposite pavement. Keep ahead to use the pedestrian footbridge to cross the A10. At the far side of the bridge, go down the steps and then turn right into College Road. Continue all the way to the end of this road where you’ll find a roundabout with a fountain at its centre. Turn left and then turn right into Windmill Lane. Follow Windmill Lane for some distance and you’ll reach Cheshunt Station on the right.)

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network New River Path Part Two: Rye House to Cheshunt Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author thameswater and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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