Regent’s Canal, Rivers Lee and Stort

After setting off from Paddington Basin, we make our way down the Regent’s Canal, parts of which are densely covered in weed
I rather liked the way in which the former gasometers have been incorporated into the design of the modern apartments
As we progress in our narrowboat, most of the users of the canal are residential or using it as something of a theme park
Safely moored in Limehouse Basin
Making a start the next morning, heading for the Limehouse Cut onto the River Lee Navigation
We have travelled up the River Lee a short way and then along St Thomas Creek and through the rarely used City Mill Lock onto the Three Mills River. Here the eye is caught by Strand East Tower, a 40-metre sculpture wooden lattice of 72 twisted, diagonal laths and 16 horizontal galvanised steel rings. It narrows in the centre to form a hyperboloid shape, just 6.3m wide, opening out to 8.3m at the top, all held together by 32,000 bolts.
We explored the Three Mills River and the Prescott Channel down to Three Mills Lock, and then the Waterworks River.
From the Waterworks River, we wait for the radial gate to lift to allow us to enter Carpenter’s Road Lock to regain the height we lost in City Mill Lock
As we leave Carpenter’s Road Lock, there is a good view of what is officially called the London Stadium but which I still prefer to regard as the Olympic Stadium. It was fascinating to see the Olympic Park from the water from Waterworks River, the Old River Lee, and later City Mill River.
Heading along the River Lee
We’re back into more familiar territory now since we lived for many years in Enfield. I’m not a fan of this “temporary” (seemingly becoming permanent) renaming of Pickett’s Lock. The name Pickett’s Lock is not just the name of the lock, but of a road, and an area of Edmonton, often being used as a synonym of the cinema and leisure complex too. A few vociferous boaters are overriding a long and deep history of the name in the area. And in all my visits to the lock walking, running and cycling over 13 years, I never met Alfie.
Continuing north up the Lee, and the weather is sunny and hot, so much so that I decided that an umbrella would be a useful sunshade while I was waiting for the lock. But, in calm conditions, it got itself turned inside out and made me look very silly.
Folly Bridge in Hertford is signed as the end of navigation on the Lee, though there is plenty of room to wind the boat beyond it.
The weir at Mill Road Bridge in hertford
Using the boaters’ facilities in Hertford before heading downriver back to Rye House ready to tackle the Stort
Passing Parndon Mill Lock and the eponymous mill as we continue towards Bishop’s Stortford.
From Bishop’s Stortford we retraced our travels down the Stort and Lee as far as the Hertford Union Canal which we then travelled up to the Regent’s Canal. We stopped there for the night and here are walking down the canal for a Saturday morning visit to Mile End parkrun. In the afternoon we had a visit to Buckingham Palace.
Tomorrow: the tidal Thames.

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