The famous journey of the River Lee from Hertford.
20th November 2012
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Welcome to the Hertford blog.


Being Hertford residents we all know the famous River Lee, flowing right through our historic town on its way to the Thames in East London.


Well before it joins our capitals river opposite the Millennium Dome, the River Lee flows through some of the most stunning parks, marshes and scenery that Hertfordshire and London has to offer. This blog highlights the best the River Lee has to offer starting just outside of Hertford.


Just 2 miles downstream from Hertford is Amwell Nature Reserve in Ware which is a flooded former gravel pit now. It’s part of a great stretch of wetland which stretches through Lee Valley Park and is home to some amazing wildlife including Kingfisher, Grass Snakes, Otters and Reed Warblers. There are lots of places for picnics and viewing the beautiful scenery and it’s really easy to get to on the well maintained towpath from Hertford by either walking or cycling.


Next up on our way into London is the Rye House Gatehouse. Built in 1443 by Sir Andrew Ogard, the gatehouse is one of the first brick built buildings in the UK and widely known as a great example of moated sites in Hertfordshire. Inside the gatehouse visitors are treated to great views across the Lee and a close look at the Barley Sugar Twist Chimney. To enter the gatehouse please visit for opening times.


Between Broxbourne and Waltham Abbey the Lee is known as the River Lee Country Park and is home to fun things for all to enjoy. With 4 access points stretching along its course and plenty of parking visitors will find it easy to enjoy the boating, angling, cycle routes and of course the world famous Lee Valley White Water Centre which played host to the London 2012 Olympic Games Canoe Slalom Event. This centre is now open to the public to enjoy at reasonable prices making for a great and affordable day out!


A few more miles down and across the M25 lies Tottenham Marshes. A huge expanse of marshland and paths giving visitors access to beautiful wildlife from birds and vole to butterfly and newts. The marshes have a distinct history attached to them too, once providing a food source in the 19th century for local people to feed their animals and a location for ‘The Tottenham Outrage’ which wasn’t Spurs losing to Arsenal again, but a chase across the marshes in pursuit of 2 robbers.


Next up is Lee Valley Marina, Springfield in Clapton. Being so close to the centre of London this 200 berth marina is a great place to start a cruise of the Thames or to pay a visit to some local attractions including sporting facilities and nature reserves.


For the more adventurous and active, a mile or 2 further down from Clapton lies Leyton in the heart of London’s East End and home to the Lee Valley Riding Centre and Lee Valley Ice Centre. These 2 facilities provide great chances to try at beginners level both pony and horse riding and ice skating. With these facilities only a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, the accessibility is second to none.


Finally on our journey down this famous river we come to the Olympic park itself. The river meanders its way past the now iconic sporting venues giving visitors a unique view of their beautiful curves and contours and awesome scale.


Not many towns can lay claim to being the start point of such an amazing journey like Hertford can with the River Lee. Why not round up the family one day and jump on the bikes and see how far you get, or make a short drive towards London and stop off along the way. There’s plenty more places to see too, we’ve only listed a handful of them above, so get out and explore!


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Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Victoria H

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi there, my name's Victoria and as owner of thebestof Hertford and Ware it's my job to find and promote the best information, events and businesses that Hertford and Ware have to offer!

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