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.

Ccanal boats on the River Stort, Harlow, Essex

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.

CanalAbility boat and Parndon MillContinue cruising and you will reach Hunsdon Mead, a superb 68 acre flood meadow owned jointly by Essex Wildlife Trust  and Herts & Middx Wildlife Trust.

Hunsdon Mead-by-Glyn-Baker

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. 

Feildes Weir Lock-by-Robin-Webster

Feildes Weir Lock-by-Robin-Webster

Next we come to Feildes Weir Lock, a weir on the River Lea located near HoddesdonHertfordshire 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.  

Hoddesdon has a number of high street shops, a theatre – The Spotlight, and museum – Lowewood Museum. 

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

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. 

Find out more about booking your own canal boat day trip or longer holiday on one of our specially adapted canal boats,  contact us and we will be in touch.

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For further information about Harlow in Essex, visit Discover Harlow