Fifteen Polyramblers, in two socially isolated groups with the Ramblers rules for outdoor physical activity events in place, set off for a 17km circular walk.
Our gently undulating morning route took us through woods and open pastures, including Hillyfields Park and Whitewebbs Wood, to the medieval St Mary’s Church in the old part of the Hertfordshire town of Cheshunt. Our steepest climb was over a bridge crossing the M25 from which, despite a light shower, we had views of the Shard and Canary Wharf and spied our other group in the distance.
Following a lunch stop at the Crocodile pub’ 12 walkers followed the New River, neither new nor a river but an artificial waterway opened in 1613 to supply London with fresh drinking water, for 3.5km to reach Forty Hill. As time was pressing we followed the Turkey Brook along the east boundary of the park to renter Hillyfields Park and our route back to Gordon Hill station. We agreed it was a shame not to have visited the Forty Hill House estate, especially when Dominique told us it contained the only vineyard in London, and resolved to walk again in this area in the future.
A huge thank you to Dominique for stepping in to help lead this walk and to Ida for the photos.