Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Backpackers Hertfordshire weekend

A rotten drive to Standon. The M25 at its worst - Friday afternoon, lane narrowings and poor visibility due to spray. We pitched in a paddock behind The Star, which was excellent and very convenient for a very good pint or two of Greene King IPA. We were able to leave cars there till the next day.

Behind The Star

The Star, Standon
Our chosen route took us out of Standon north along the Harcamlow Way. We went by Patmore Heath. I was interested to see this as I hadn't been there since the early 1960s. Having grown up in Hertfordshire, we sometimes went as a family for a Sunday afternoon drive and I have faint memories of playing ball games on Patmore Heath and having things like coconut ice bought for us, made by a lady in her house overlooking the heath. It was another age.

Patmore Heath

Patmore Heath
We walked on then to Stocking Pelham and then to Furneux Pelham, where we camped in a garden area by The Brewery Tap. The landlady kindly came out with a spade and some earth and dealt with the little mounds of dog poo scattered around. Greene King IPA here too. The weather today was perfect walking weather.

It was the weekend of Furneux Festival. Plenty of village celebrations of all kinds. In the church was a Country Shop selling local produce, mainly preserves of one kind or another. I bought a jar of medlar jelly.

Furneux Pelham is really quite lovely, with a good number of quality village houses as seen below.

A new house being built

Who allowed planning consent for this?

Rain was forecast for Sunday but the first two hours were really quite nice and sunny. Torrential rain was falling further west but, although it rained on us later in the morning walking back to Standon, it wasn't that bad. Braughing was very pleasant with a couple of good pubs and a picturesque ford.

I hadn't realised that the practice of pargeting extended into Hertfordshire. This was a fine example.

Shortly before crossing back over the A10 into Standon, we passed through the village of Nasty. Not far over the border into Essex, there's a village called Ugley.

If proliferation of hedgerow fruit is a sign of a hard winter to come, we are in for a bad one! I've never seen so many blackberries, elderberries, sloe, hawthorn and rosehips.