The sad thing about this journey is the way that the pubs have been disappearing over the years. Since we started taking this route we've seen the following pubs disappear:
The Kings Head, The Ship Aground, The Blue Anchor, The Waterside, The Old English Gentleman, The Dolphin, Rifles and probably many more that may not have been visible from the tow-path. All that are left on the river between the Thames and Ware are The Princess of Wales, The Anchor and Hope and The Greyhound.
The Princess of Wales, formerly The Prince of Wales, renamed after Di died, was a regular entrant in the GBG, but sadly having been taken over several years ago, is no longer worth visiting. The beer quality dropped dramatically and we ended up drinking bottled Erdinger. The fact that it is a Youngs pub does it no favours either, as their beers, since they moved to Bedford have not been that good.
The Anchor and Hope was a decent Fullers house, run by an in-law of the Fuller family. Len was ex-army and ran the pub like a military operation. Sadly he died about five or six years ago and all the scrotes that were barred from the Council Estate behind started coming back in, lots of weed being smoked outside and the beer quality was very variable. Over the past year it seems to have improved, so come spring we'll give it another go.
We've never stopped at The Greyhound in Enfield, a McMullen's house as those drinking outside didn't seem to be the most welcoming crew.
On to Hertford and the Woolpack, another Mc Mullen's pub, but a very different class of establishment. By a tributary of the Lea, in the center of town with a pleasant beer garden,well kept Mc's beers and a changing monthly guest. I know that a lot of people aren't fond of McMullen's beers but I think that a well kept pint of AK is a thing of beauty..
Also well worth visiting in town is the Old Cross Tavern, which now brews on-site,two beers of their's I've tried were OXTale and Laugh'n'Titter both of which were excellent.
So there you go, the River Lea and its dwindling number of pubs....