Herts Embraced 7.2: shadows of the great estates

1:30 pm: Border at North Mymms, having lunch.

Just before 9 o’clock starting – too late at the end of September. I knew I had to just go quickly and try to avoid diversions. South through the Lee Valley park for a mile, waved at Essex; waved at Middlesex across the M25, cut west straight through the bottom of Cheshunt and out into what had been the Theobalds Estate.

The great house is gone, alas, the King’s favourite house was demolished by the rebel parliament after the regicide.  Its remains are in what is now a public park, but much of the wider estate is still there, its name appearing in every farm and cottage for miles. Here the route is mainly on old estate roads and bridleways.

Much of this part of Hertfordshire was in, or still is in, the great landed estates, and I will look them up when I get home.

An advantage of heading west after so long is that I can take photographs without the sun glaring in  the lens, at least until the later afternoon.  I find I am following too a part of the Hertfordshire Way for some of this route, and earlier I was on a “Chain Walk”; these are a series of linked circular walks forming a chain across the east of Hertfordshire from south to north.  I met one near Royston too, I think.

Out to Cuffley, Northaw and through little paths, and fetching a compass around the north of Potters Bar – that town must not be entered: it is Middlesex.  I succeeded, and have been rewarded by a delightful path along the actual county border:  just over the A1(M), that is the path across which I am sprawling now, feet in Middlesex, head and heart in Hertfordshire.

See: Hertfordshire Border Walk

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