Without question it was the perfect winter day for a walk - beautifully sunny, blue skies and just the merest hint of a chill in the air, and by the time we were a short way from where we'd parked the car - close to Waltham Cross Station - to the towpath I'd offloaded my scarf and MrEH was talking about taking his coat off! Once on the towpath we realised that this wasn't going to be a quiet walk with hardly anyone else about - cyclists, runners (including someone MrEH knew from his rugby club - small world indeed!) and other walkers abounded! It wasn't long before we reached our first "landmark" - the bridge under the 8-lane wide M25 motorway...
..shortly followed by the first of the 6 locks we would encounter during the day. A lot of the areas we'd be passing through are identified as areas from the locks - Enfield Lock, Picketts Lock and Stonebridge Lock are just three of them - but in many cases although I knew the areas themselves quite well, I'd never seen the actual Locks themselves before! Enfield Lock in particular is just gorgeous - a lovely little terrace of houses fronting right on to the canal.
Just a short distance further on and we were passing our first reservoir. The 12 reservoirs in this area supply a good percentage of the water for London, and the Lea Navigation runs alongside them. On the other side of the canal are industrial areas - seemingly miles of warehouses, factories and commercial units - a far cry from the quite rural terrain on our side of the canal. We stopped for lunch opposite an area of wharves, clearly in the heyday of the canals this would have been busy with barges loading and unloading - in fact a little further on we passed another wharf which was clearly still in at least some form of use. The Moorings along the navigation are very popular with those choosing to live on board their narrowboats too - we passed whole areas where one side was just lined with boat after boat - very romantic looking but I'm lead to believe that it's somewhat less romantic when the weather's bad, the wind is cold and the toilet facilities require "emptying"!
We were in to very familiar territory now - MrEH used to walk this stretch of towpath on a daily basis going to and from work many years ago, and I've enjoyed many a walk with family dogs along here too back when we used to live in London. At Stonebridge Lock we had to cross over the canal again - the maintained path switches from side to side as you make your way down, we'd had to cross previously back at Enfield.