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Lazy section of the river lea as it runs along the northern edge of Hartham Common before meeting the Lee Navigation (canal) east of Hertford Lock (No.1). Shallow in places but some nice open stretches and current not too strong.
A very lovely spot, and lots of paths for pleasant walking nearby as well. Popular with dog walkers, joggers, etc. The swim is in the river Beane (tributary of the River Lea) There is a small beach that is shallow, but then it is quite deep in the bend in the river, out of my depth. You could probably swim some distance, up to the River Lea. I did it in a kayak, and it looked clean. Quite handy to get to, short walk from limited parking spaces near the church, not far to walk from Hertford East station.
Went on Sunday 22nd September 2013. Parking plentyful outside St Leonards Church. A short 5 minute walk to the obvious entry point, just before the bridge. Enough deep water to get a sprint on. Lots of passers by. A great changing spot just after the bridge, on the same bank as you enter. Highly recommended.
Parked at st leonards church walked down. Walk past the side church gate and down a road which looks private and turn left. Swam a bit further on than the others on this sight. Turn left after crossing the bridge and walk past where the river is split in two. Just after the river becomes wider there is a place to swim. The bank looks steep but is very easy to get in and out. Muddy under foot but lovely once in. Reedy in the middle but swim right or left and you can avoid. Quite strong flowing. Beautiful clean water
This is a crowd-sourced map. Abilities vary, and conditions change. Always assess risks for yourself before getting in.
Be careful of the reeds and a fairly strong current. Not too bad nothing a fairly good swimmer can handle.