Wildlife and villages
Starting your journey from the edge of Harlow at the CanalAbility base is your first lock, Burnt Mill Lock. Passing the huge climbing wall, the river meanders through beautiful meadows and wooded areas, onto Parndon Mill Lock.
The building you see nestling on the banks is Parndon Mill, once a mill which produced flour is now an art centre with studios and galleries -well worth a visit.
The site is one of the finest surviving areas of unimproved grassland in Eastern England and, in summer, provides a wonderful display of wildflowers.
Leaving nature behind for a short time we cruise along to Roydon Lock, and the pleasant village of Roydon. The village is worth investigating, with many period properties to see, restaurants and public houses to visit and the village hall holds a market every second Saturday in every month between 10am & 2pm. The village is on the main trainline to London Liverpool Street and, situated at the train station is the popular restaurant, Just… at the station. The restaurant is a Kitchen & Pizzeria serving locally sourced product, with a fine wine list and excellent craft ales.
Moving along the Stort, close to the junction of the River Lee, you will see Roydon Marina Village, an exclusive holiday lodge resort located in the Lee Valley Regional Park, with a private marina, hotel, restaurant and bar.
Next we come to Feildes Weir Lock, a weir on the River Lea located near Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire at the confluence of the River Lea and River Stort. The weir marks the start of the Lower Lee. A channel of the man-made River Lee Flood Relief Channel is incorporated into the weir.
The end of our journey is the next lock at Dobbs Weir, and stands close to the confluence of the Lynch Brook and the Old River Lea. Here you will find the The Fish and Eels riverside pub and restaurant dating from the 1800s, and the River Palace Café .
Fish and Eels pub (c) Christine Matthews
To the east of the lock is the Nazeing Mead complex of lakes which incorporates part of the River Lee Flood Relief Channel.
For further information about Harlow in Essex, visit Discover Harlow