We have made some changes to the final routes of the 2014 season.
We leave the Thames on 12 September, entering the Grand Union at Brentford. The journey up the Hanwell flight takes us to a long level stretch, and our next lock will be at Camden, 27 miles away.
Turning at Bulls Bridge onto the GU Paddington Arm, we pass through areas of countryside, suburbia and industry. There are views of Wembley Stadium, Wormwood Scrubs, “colourful” housing on land and one water. Even as we reach Little Venice, it remains relatively quiet, considering we are only a stone’s throw from London Paddington railway station. This area always attracts walkers and onlookers and we often have conversations on the move!
We pass through Regents Park, seeing the Zoo Aviary and some of the roaming animals, as well as the grand mansions of Regents Park. Our mooring in this area gives us a chance to visit the London Canal Museum or go into London if preferred.
The busy Primrose Hill, Camden and Kentish Town areas follow. It is difficult to fully describe the scenes and atmosphere of the area. You really need to experience Maida Vale, Islington and Kings Cross. We turn onto the short Hertford Union Canal, then join the Lee Navigation.
Beyond Enfield and the M25 road bridge, the scenery becomes more rural and there are more opportunities for walking or cycling beside the river. We continue along the Lee, past Hoddesdon and Stanstead Abbots, passing beautiful green and uncluttered water meadows before reaching Ware, the fine old market town, where a visit is well worth the time.
For our next cruise we head back down the Lee Navigation and turn onto the River. This takes us to Bishop Stratford passing Harlow and Sawbridgeworth. The Stort is instantly different from the Lee; narrow, winding, totally rural along most of it and very beautiful. The cruise then returns to Ware. It is amazing what different things you see when going the other way!