City secrets: Discovering the New River Walk

On another sunny Sunday I thought I’d skip the gym and take a long walk down to Islington, little did I know that a tactical detour of a well-known bus route would lead to a hidden haven of nature and peace.  I soon found out that what I’d stumbled upon was the final part of the New River Walk, a 28 mile or so walk from Hertfordshire to Stoke Newington and a little bit of London history.

You see the New River is over 300 years old, built in 1613 to provide fresh water to London from the River Lea and other springs and wells on its course into the city.  In 1992 Thames Water brought the countryside and city together, working with local people and partners to create the walk you’ll find today.

The walk I did was obviously only a short part of the New River Walk taking about 15 minutes (I did slow to an appropriate stroll speed).  Even if you’re not tempted to discover the whole route or at least the London parts like me, if you’re in the area pop down on a sunny afternoon.  Here’s a handy map of the route I did.

It was a brief pause from the buzz of the city, rewarding the eyes with a bit of nature and some lovely houses (as you’ll see in these pictures).

My top tip – concentrate your eyes to the right as this is where most of the sight seeing is enjoyed.

If you want to know more about the walk itself and get some more detailed maps, I found all of my information and a few other maps in this booklet and at Wikipedia.  If you’ve done the rest of the walk and have any top tips, please share! I’d love to know whether it’s worth putting together a 28 mile mission out to the countryside!