Stag beetles

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk311 walkicon sculpture

Pond with pylons

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk311 walkicon

DSCN3907

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk311 walkicon

Bird

Someone said it was a Great Tit. He was wearing binoculars Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

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Hat with Pylons

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

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Damselfly

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk311 sculpture

Pylons again

Cheshunt to Broxbourne

01-Jul-18 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk311

Cheshunt to Broxbourne walk

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Fri, 30-Oct-20

Date # Post
Fri, 03-Jan-20 10

Friday Walk - River Lee Country Park and Waltham Abbey: Cheshunt to Broxbourne

Length: 17.0 km (10.5 mi) [shorter, circular walk possible: see pdf]
Ascent/Descent: negligible; Net Walking Time: 3 ¾ hours
Toughness: 1/10
Take the 10.28 Cambridge North service from Liverpool Street (Tottenham Hale 10.40), arrives Cheshunt at 10.48.
From Stratford, take the 10.16 Meridian Water service to Tottenham Hale and change there.
Return trains are 4-5 per hour to Liverpool Street and 2 per hour to Stratford.
Oyster PAYG can be used at both stations but a simple return to Broxbourne (or Cheshunt for the Short Circular Walk) might be better value. Cheshunt is in TfL Zone 8 but Broxbourne is outside the numbered zones. Freedom Passes are not valid on West Anglia trains, but can be used on the Overground to Cheshunt.
The Lea Valley is a wide floodplain which has long been both an important transport corridor and a natural boundary (eg. between the Saxons and the Danes in the Dark Ages). Its rivers provided water and power for many mills and factories, although nowadays the journey out of London seems to offer an unbroken line of light industrial estates, warehouses and retail parks. This does not exactly lift the spirits when seen from the train, but on the Herts/Essex border just before Cheshunt the view abruptly changes to the tree-lined lakes of River Lee Country Park. There are good opportunities for bird-watching in this wetland landscape of rivers and filled-in gravel pits, and several locations where orchids can be seen in late May and June. A series of sculptures are dotted around the park and the walk route goes past many of them.
The lunchtime stop is in the historic market town of Waltham Abbey. In about 1030 a black crucifix was brought to the town and one of the pilgrims attracted by this ‘Holy Cross’ was Harold Godwinson, then Earl of Essex and later (briefly) King HaroldⅡ in 1066. He built a larger stone church on the site and this in turn was rebuilt in Norman style after the Conquest. It was extended again in the 12thC when Waltham Abbey was built by HenryⅡ as part of his penance after the murder of Thomas Becket. It was the last monastic house to be closed by HenryⅧ in the Dissolution of the Monasteries and most of the abbey was demolished in 1540. Fortunately, part of its medieval nave survived to become the present Church of the Holy Cross: reminiscent of a scaled-down Durham Cathedral, it is well worth a visit.
The walk route goes back past Cheshunt station so it is possible to complete a Short Circular Walk. The full Main Walk continues to head north through a less-frequented section of the Country Park, at first on woodland and lakeside paths following the course of the Small River Lea and then on the River Lee Navigation's towpath. An optional stretch through a water meadow leads into the Broxbourne Waterside area, a centre for boating and canoeing with a café and a pub for refreshment before the journey home.
Lunch: Pubs and Cafés in Waltham Abbey (7.3 km/4.5 mi). See pdf for details.
Tea: Old Mill Retreat Cafe (open to 16.00) or The Rose & Crown (open all day) near Broxbourne Station.

For summary, map, height profile, some photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.311
10 overcast then sunny
With about half the distance on tarmac or gravel and the rest on relatively firm earthen paths, this proved to be a good winter route: no deep mud and just small bits of standing water. With plenty of birds (lapwings, kormorants etc, but no herons or egrets) on the plentiful waterways (rivers, streams, mill stream, lakes, flood channels, river navigations and flooded grasslands) and some interesting wooded areas passed through, this is a varied walk never far from the trainline (and several stations) and with an interesting village for a lunch stop (1 abbey with its gardens, 5 6 pubs and 3 4 cafes: one is spoilt for choice). We stayed together to Waltham Abbey and dispersed there to the various lunch options.

1 moved on early, the other 9 re started as a group, soon passing enclosures with picturesque Old English Goats, employed there to be munching away at brambles and shrubs. 1 of the 9 walkers then finished at Cheshunt station, the rest marched on to Broxbourne. 5 of those got the 16.10 Stratford train, the other 3 had to wait a few minutes longer for the next Liv Street train.
Sat, 05-Jan-19 9

Saturday Walk Cheshunt Circular

Cheshunt Circular swc.311

Length 7.1 miles (11½ km). Two hours 30 minutes walking time. There an option to continue on to Broxbourne after passing Cheshunt station on the return leg, making a walk of 10.6 miles (17 km).

A walk on mainly surfaced paths among the tree-lined lakes of River Lee Country Park. There are good opportunities for bird-watching in this wetland landscape of rivers and filled-in gravel pits, and several locations where orchids can be seen in late May and June. A series of sculptures are dotted around the park and the walk route goes past many of them.
The lunchtime stop is in the historic market town of Waltham Abbey.

Travel: Get the 1010 Cheshunt train from Liverpool Street (Seven Sisters 1022) arriving 1039. Returns are xx15 & xx45. Note that there is a rail replacement bus service from Broxbourne to Cheshunt xx13 xx43. Buy a return to Cheshunt or Broxbourne, but you can use Oyster or contactless payments on this route.

There is also a London Overground service (0945 Liverpool Street arr 1026) which takes longer but would be free for Freedom Pass holders and may have better connections.

Lunch: There are various suggestions for lunch in Waltham Abbey in the directions.



I hear that North East London Ramblers are getting the same train and doing a Cheshunt circular on Saturday.

This is a heads up for those us who were NELR walkers that then moved to SWC best keep your heads down and be prepared for some opprobrium if you do get spotted
Curiously this walk (previously posted as a Tunbridge to Tonbridge) shared it's start and finish with a walk posted by the North East London Ramblers. Six SWC stalwarts extracted themselves from the melee of 40 or 50 walkers at Cheshunt station and were quickly joined by two from the NELR members who found their numbers too onerous. The walks writer joined later making a total of 9 on this dismal and dank day. The walk was a Birdie's delight with hides and other vistas to spot the wild fowl. Walkers had forgotten to bring fish to entice the otters out to play, however apparently there was some rustling in the reeds which may have been indications of same.
The recommended pub in Waltham Abbey "The Crown" was a delightful 20th Century time warp with friendly staff and well priced food and drinks.
After lunch, the walk continued visiting the Church, a small part of the original Abbey where a Church helper/warden gave a fascinating insight into the Abbey's history and it's connection with Durham Cathedral. The Romanesque architecture was stunning.
Back to the wetlands via Sun Street and the Greenwich Meridian for the afternoon leg, with more artwork/sculptures and a visit to the white water rafting centre for an afternoon cuppa before returning to Cheshunt station to catch the 4:15 back to the Great Wen
Seven Saturday Walkers were joined by two North East London ramblers to make 9 on this walk. A mile or so into the walk we came across Lea Valley information boards announcing the good news that otters have re inhabited the area. Would we see one? Further on we trundled, keeping our eyes eagerly peeled for otters. In a staffed hide we watched great tits and blue tits peck away at hanging bird seed while ducks hoovered up the residue underneath. No sign of any bitterns though, although they had been spotted further up the River Lea at Ware. Shortly after leaving the hide there was a wave of excitement as we all agreed we definitely, definitely saw an otter. It was a similar experience to definitely, definitely seeing the Loch Ness monster. Proudly continuing, after seeing the otter, we admired some of the excellent artwork around the lakes, the sculpture of a dragonfly being particularly good.
Passing the Olympic White Water Rafting Centre we headed into Whaltham Abbey for lunch. Fish and chips for a fiver, friendly staff and most importantly warmth. Refreshed, we all went off to explore the Abbey, the high street with its meridian line and the Abbey grounds which had poor King Harold buried in it.
Back in the nature reserve we admired more public art, before finally ending up watching the canoeists at the White Water Rafting Centre. Afternoon tea was taken there as well. A great day out in good company.
Sun, 01-Jul-18 10

Sunday Walk – A Country Park and a Norman Abbey (Cheshunt to Broxbourne)

Extra Walk 311 – Cheshunt to Broxbourne, via Waltham Abbey
Length: 17 km (10.6 miles), with the option of a shorter circular walk. Toughness: 2/10

10:28 Cambridge train from Liverpool Street (Tottenham Hale 10:40), arriving Cheshunt at 10:48. You can use Oyster PAYG or contactless at Cheshunt and Broxbourne but both these stations are outside the main TfL fare zones. You might well find that a simple return to Broxbourne is cheaper.

There are trains back from Broxbourne at xx:16 & xx:47 to Liverpool Street, and xx:25 & xx:55 to Stratford. All trains call at Cheshunt (4 minutes later) and Tottenham Hale.

A preliminary version of this walk had its début in February, so apologies to Sunday walkers for an early repeat. As much of it is on surfaced paths through River Lee Country Park it will doubtless get pigeon-holed as a winter walk, so this might be your best chance to see what the area looks like with leaves on the trees, orchids flowering in woodland glades and dragonflies flitting around the ponds.

Lunch is in the town of Waltham Abbey, which boasts a particularly fine Norman church: much smaller than in its heyday as an Augustinian Abbey, but well worth a look. There are plenty of possible watering-holes and two of the pubs are suggested – one in the western hemisphere, the other in the eastern. On the return route it's worth popping into the Terrace Bar & Café in the Lee Valley White Water Centre, either for some mid-afternoon refreshment or simply to watch the spectacle.

The route goes back past Cheshunt station so you could simply call it a day and complete an 11½ km Short Circular Walk. The full walk continues northwards through a less-frequented section of the Country Park to Broxbourne, with the reward of a nice riverside café (or pub) before the journey back.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Cheshunt to Broxbourne walk page. T=swc.311
Now I might do the Walk on Sunday. But I can't Guarantee I will. But if I do make it. I will take the Bus instead of taking the Train as I don't live far from Cheshunt.
10 9 at Cheshunt station and 1 catching us up at Waltham Abbey. Another hot and sunny day. No need to read the directions, the walks author took us on a whirlwind tour of the numerous ponds, lakes, sculptures, rivers, streams, and one orchid. Our disappointment at missing the orchid season was tempered by the profusion of pylons towering majestically over the park. Further compensation was provided by the numerous butterflies and dragonflies. No bitterns – we missed bittern season too. After a visit to the remains of Waltham Abbey and a nearby pub, we were off again.
This time the others managed to shake me off by pretending to go left but really going right. But they don’t get rid of me that easy. I used the directions (after a little help from Google maps). When I got to Broxbourne the others were still queueing for a drink at the Crown. Some gave up in despair but, after they left, the queue soon disappeared and I was rewarded with a well earned pint of cider. Thanks for queueing for me, guys.

Sun, 04-Feb-18 13

Sunday Walk – A Country Park and a Norman church (Cheshunt Circular)

New Walk – Cheshunt Circular
Length: Up to 15¼ km (9.5 miles). Toughness: 1/10

11:12 Cheshunt train from Liverpool Street (Hackney Downs 11:18, Tottenham Hale 11:25, etc), arriving Cheshunt at 11:40. You can use Oyster PAYG or contactless but Cheshunt is in TfL Zone 8, outside the main fare zones, so a simple day return to Cheshunt might be cheaper.

Freedom Pass holders hoping for a free ride will be disappointed since engineering works have scuppered the alternative London Overground service today. You'll need an extension from Zone 6 to Cheshunt on the West Anglia service.

Trains back to Liverpool Street are at xx:20, xx29, xx:51 & xx:59.

It seems to be obligatory these days to claim that a walk will be mud-free so I'll follow the trend and say that much of this new walk is on surfaced paths through River Lee Country Park. Even so, I expect you'll have to negotiate a few gloopy spots. You won't see all the wildlife advertised at this time of year (an abundance of dragonflies? masses of orchids?) but there should be enough features to sustain your interest.

Lunch is in the town of Waltham Abbey, which boasts a particularly fine Norman church: much smaller than in its heyday as an Augustinian Abbey, but well worth a look. There are plenty of possible watering-holes and two of the pubs are suggested – one in the western hemisphere, the other in the eastern. As always, any feedback on the ones you try would be appreciated.

A glance at the document's Walk Map will reveal that this is really a 10 km walk padded out with various loops and whorls, which does at least give you the opportunity to take some short cuts if the weather's poor. In due course it will probably acquire some longer options (northwards to Broxbourne or southwards to Enfield Lock), but as it stands it should make a decent enough walk for this time of year.

You'll need to print the directions from this temporary New Walk page. T=swc.311
Grateful to understand late start.
Re: start time. The chosen train does match the "train nearest to 11:00", a formula designed to get to the lunch pub around 1pm. There's usually a 10:57 train but with this Sunday's reduced schedule it was a toss up between one 15 minutes earlier or later. Anyone who knows me won't be surprised to learn that I plumped for the latter. It does at least give us the opportunity to see how many of the "more walks with a late start" brigade show up (not heard so frequently nowadays, admittedly).
13 walkers.
Sunshine during the morning and a light shower just after lunch.
Great walk.
Brilliant walk, so many interesting features.
Many thanks to Sean.

13 sunny morning with a shower in the afternoon