Harpenden comedy legend Eric Morecambe looks down on Lea Valley walk
PUBLISHED: 09:15 22 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:15 22 September 2015
The silhouette of one of Harpenden's famous residents, the late, great Eric Morecambe, looming large over green fields is a surprise feature of a walk in a new guidebook.
And better still, this walk is part of the “Olympic valley” – otherwise known as the Lea Valley.
Leigh Hatts’ new guidebook, The Lea Valley Walk, has been published to encourage people to enjoy easily accessible and level routes in and near this district, often from railway stations.
Almost small enough to pop in your pocket, this handy book sets out nine walks, covering a total of over 50 miles, of waymarked routes through Beds and Herts.
It has plenty of photos and each section is accompanied by OS mapping. As the title suggests, the Lea Valley walk follows the pretty River Lea as it flows from its source near Leagrave, to reach London through the Olympic Park.
Since London 2012, the regional park has been dubbed the Olympic valley because of the Games’ legacy in the area, including the Lee Valley White Water Centre.
The nine routes pass through Luton, Harpenden, Wheathamp-stead, Ware, Broxbourne, Hackney Marshes and Greenwich.
If you want to stumble upon landmarks including Eric Morecambe’s impressive silhouette, then the Luton Airport Parkway to Harpenden walk is ideal.
Not so impressive, however, are the nearby sewage works – odours of which reach walkers well before they reach the New Mill End site on the way to Harpenden.
The best thing to do is pick up the pace and continue on past Luton Hoo Station House – all that remains of Luton Hoo station, which closed in 1965.
The guide informs walkers that the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, used the station.
Views along the way include glimpses of Luton Hoo mansion, East Hyde church and plenty of countryside.
A highlight is the Batford Springs nature reserve, an ideal spot to stop and meander off the beaten track awhile before continuing to Harpenden station.
• Herts Advertiser readers can use the code HERTSAD on Cicerone Press Ltd’s website www.cicerone.co.uk to receive a 25 per cent discount on “The Lea Valley Walk”. Offer valid until November 30 2015.