4 June 2017

04 June 2017: Hatfield to Hatfield Heath

Essex is easy.  Getting there isn’t quite so easy.  With the prospect of homemade cakes on the way back and some easy riding around Essex lanes, we didn’t mind tackling a few hills to get to our first stop in the Lea Valley. 

The route to Newgate Street had been fairly standard, but by way of a change we dived down St James’s Road in Goffs Oak, a lovely descent, passing some very large houses, then across the A10 and over the railway by using the big, blue cyclists' bridge in Cheshunt.  After this we followed one of the prettiest cycle routes in the valley, as we followed the River Lea to Fishers Green and our cafĂ© at Hayes Hill Farm.
The skies over Essex

We stayed on NCR 1 over Clayton Hill to Lower Nazing, then up to Nazeing and into Harlow.  The difficulty now was to find a way onto the cycle routes in Harlow. Such was the effort of the designers to keep cyclists out of the way of cars, that they did their best to prevent any cyclist transferring from a main road onto the tracks.
Picnic on Hatfield Heath
After some difficulty we found our way onto a cycle track and followed this from Great Parndon to Little Parndon, then followed a road and another cycle path to The River Stort.  Now it was an easy and pleasant ride out of Harlow, through Gilston, High Wych and Sawbridgeworth to Hatfield Heath.

All day the sun had been shining and it was quite warm sitting on the green watching the cricket pitch being prepared for a match.

It was now an easy route through lanes to North Weald and then the main drag through Epping Forest, avoiding Ivy Chimneys and arriving at Upshire quite early.  Despite this the queue for cakes was impressive and so were the cakes.

Back home in the dry – perfect cycle touring.

Jon C 04/06/2017

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