I am walking the river Chelmer in sections as too much for me in one go. Last October I walked from the city centre to Sandford Lock and then back to the city for a bus home. I had intended walking back on the other side of the river but it meant walking through deep muddy water so I just retraced my steps.
A beautiful day was forecast so using my bus pass I took the bus to Chelmsford then another bus for 15 minutes to the road near the Lock I had stopped at previously. I enjoyed walking the footpath across a wheat field with not a soul about and then down the lane to the river.
Once I started walking along the river though it was not so good. The path was narrow and overgrown with very tall nettles all along the bank so I couldn't even see the river. The noise from a nearby main road was so loud I couldn't hear any birds even if there were any. No flowers, just nettles. I was beginning to think I should have just walked along the river near home which is so interesting with many boats to see.
Then as I got near Boreham things changed and the noise disappeared. I stood and listened to so many birds and there were flowers! No canal boats but quite a few paddle boarders and canoes. Then I saw a lady swimming in the river with her little boy. An old man sat nearby next to a large inflatable canoe. I so wished I had put my swim wear on. The lady said her mum used to bring her when she was a little girl and she still comes often to swim and brings her son. I sat a little bit further along to eat my lunch watching loads of blue mayflies and many different dragon flies. It was so peaceful.
It wasn't far from there to my destination and more people around here with many paddle boarding or canoeing. Once I was at the lock there were many boats but I found it strange that none of them had been moving along the river. I didn't realise before that you have to have a licence to take any craft on to the river. Even the paddle boarders had to pay but I think a lot had hired them. There was a tea room and in spite of a notice saying there were no toilets at the lock, there were thankfully. Then I enjoyed my cream tea. The icecreams looked tempting but I couldn't manage one after the scone.
Leaving the river behind, I walked up the lane and across a field to the village to get a bus back to the city centre then another bus home. It was a really enjoyable day and I ended up pleased I had been. Just 7 more miles to walk to the Heybridge basin and the end of the river. Something to look forward to on another day.