Off message but Gill and I went on a perfect little walk today around Little Hallingbury, which is near Harlow, courtesy of Essexwalks.com. The bright winter sunshine and blue skies helped make it special.
The start of the walk is in the hamlet of Gaston Green. Walk down a lane to the restored Little Hallingbury Water Mill. Then turn right along the towpath of the Stort Navigation river. Apart from being very muddy the walk along the Stort was a pleasure. There was little wind so the reflections of the trees in the water was stunning.
After we left the Stort the walk back was through rolling Essex fields and hills. We hardly saw anyone during the walk apart from the occasional fisherman and families out with their children for a Sunday stroll.
When walking in North Wales and the Peak district over the recent holiday, some routes were jam packed with people. Just outside London there is stacks of beautiful, empty countryside. The only thing that spoilt the tranquillity were jets flying over on route to Stanstead airport.
Due to a mix up with the SavNav we actually started the walk in Little Hallingbury and on route to Gaston Green, we passed a brick built arch memorial (top of college) to "Alice Eugenia Barclay. Who was kind to man and beast" dated 1923. I can't find anymore information on this apart from her probable connection with the Barclay (Bank?) family who at one time owned nearby Gaston House. Intriguing.
After the walk we went to 17th century George public house. Essexwalks.com tells a sad tale about how 2 local youths were caught breaking into the pub during the 1840s and sentenced to 10 years transportation to Australia.
The Sunday roast dinner looked good but we had eaten sandwiches for lunch and were anyway too late (last serving 3pm). Next time. I was more than happy with my pint of best.