Today we walked from Enfield Lock Station to Chigwell Station, a total of 8.5 – 9 miles. I took quite a few photos today so make no apology for perhaps more pictures than words!
The first section from Enfield Lock to Chingford followed the River Lea for a stretch. The spelling varies according to context and location, sometimes Lee, sometimes Lea. The river is one of the largest in London, and therefore an important waterway – once for trade, now mainly leisure, and always for water supplies.
The river looked clear and sparkling in the sun. It’s always very pleasant to walk along a river, and this was no exception. There were water birds, lots of reeds and water lilies, and the flowing water reflecting the blue skies.
The King George V Reservoir provides drinking water for large parts of London, as well as space for boating activities.
Just before this photo was taken we had been talking about how peaceful this whole area is, and then walked through a new burial ground, only opened last year, called The Garden of Firdaus. I have just looked this up, intrigued by the name, and discovered that it is a Muslim burial ground and the word Firdaus means Paradise.
Shortly after we reached the headquarters of the Scout Association in Gilwell Lane. A destination for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts all over the country, it is set in beautiful countryside. I cannot be sure but I think my youngest son celebrated the 19th World Jamboree there back in 1998..
Then we were in the famous Epping Forest. Like many of the forests we have walked through on this journey it was a hunting forest in the Tudor times (and probably before too). It was also a source of timber to build the sailing ships that were used for trade and wars.
At Chingford Plain we stopped for a drink, before setting off on the second section of the day towards Chigwell.
Although this area was very beautiful and peaceful to look at we soon began to hear more traffic noise and then crossed the M11, and walked along a busy road into Chigwell. There is an alternative route which adds a little extra mileage. In retrospect I think we would have been better off doing this quieter route, which goes through more of the Roding Valley Meadows Local Nature Reserve.
We really enjoyed these two sections. On the whole the walks went through quiet and beautiful places. As usual we saw few people except near car parks or shops. The weather was perfect too, sunny and warm with a cooling breeze. Even the travel was straightforward, just lengthy. We’re looking forward to sections 20 and 21 next week!