Escape the city and take a relaxing journey through historic towns and villages, passing picturesque meadows and grassland, less than an hour from London.
This charming line runs from Hertford East Station to Broxbourne following the course of the New River and the River Lea. The line passes through the historic town of Ware and the village of St Margaret's on to Rye House before arriving in Broxbourne.
The line takes its name from the New River which is neither new or a river. It is actually a water supply aqueduct completed in 1613 to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to North London.
Start your journey in Herford, a town that is steeped in history. Visit the remains of the 11th century castle set in grounds by the river before exploring the independent boutiques and cafes in the town. Head to nearby Hartham Common to start the relaxing riverside walk, a route that runs parallel to the railway.
Next stop along the line is the town of Ware. Mentioned in The Canterbury Tales, this town is also full of historic interest, including the 13th century Ware Priory, located opposite the 14th century Church of St Mary. Head to the High Street to find more charming buildings dating back to medieval times and explore Scott's Grotto, a series of interconnecting chambers extending into the chalk hillside.
Back on the train Stanstead St Margaret's is our next stop. This village is halfway between Ware and Hoddesdon and is separated from the village of Stanstead Abbots by the River Lea. The Lee Valley Marina is located between the two villages on the river.
Further along the line we reach Rye House. The station is a short walk away from Rye House Karting Raceway, best known as the place where Lewis Hamilton began his motor racing career, and Rye-Assic Adventure Park for children under 12.
The final stop on the line is Broxbourne. From here you can easily walk or cycle into Lee Valley Park to explore the parks, gardens and nature reserves. You can even hire a boat on the river.
Taking the family with you? Download the activity guide before you go and see what you will discover along the way. Download here. Perfect for a day trip out of the capital, only 35 minutes from London Liverpool Street.
Discover shopping & leisure alongside places of historic interest at the towns of Hertford & Ware
Look out for wildlife as the train passes 3 nature reserves
Easy access to Lee Valley Country Park from Rye House & Broxbourne Stations
Find out more
All stations on the line have car parks, however spaces are limited at Hertford East Station.
The New River Line is a branch of the West Anglia Main Line. Trains from London Liverpool stop at all stations on the line. If travelling from the north, trains stop at Brocxbourne where you can join the branch line.
A number of bus routes serve the stations on the line. For information on timetables go to www.intalink.org.uk
Time from London
Plan your trip
Hertford is the county town of Hertfordshire and is steeped in history. Visitors to the town can visit the remains of the 11th century castle set in grounds by the river. There are also a number of small independent shops and cafes to visit and Hartham Common is a lovely open space and a good place to start the riverside walk which runs parallel to the railway.
Head to the busy High Street and explore buildings dating from the 14th century and the passages between the shops date from the time when Coaching Inns and malthouses were common. Other attractions include the Gazebos which can be seen on the riverbank from the riverside walk and Scott’s Grotto which is a series of interconnecting chambers extending into the chalk hillside. The channels and tunnels are lined with shells, flints and coloured glass.
Stanstead St Margaret’s
This village is halfway between Ware and Hoddesdon and is separated from the village of Stanstead Abbots by the River Lea. Stanstead Abbots appears in the Doomsday Book. The main industry of the village used to be the brewing of ale but sadly none of the original maltings remain. The Lee Valley Marina is located between the two villages on the River Lea.
Rye House station on the edge of Hoddesdon is a short walk away from Rye House Gatehouse, located in the Lee Valley Park. It is all that remains of the fortified manor house dating from the C15th. In 1517 William Parr, father of Queen Katherine Parr was living at Rye House. It was later the setting of the Rye House Plot of 1683, which was a plan to assassinate King Charles II.
The final stop on the line is Broxbourne. From the station is a short walk or cycle into the Lee Valley Park where you can enjoy the parks, gardens and nature reserves on foot or by bike or hire a boat on the river.
It is a short taxi ride from the station to Paradise Wildlife Park. Taxi's are available from the station.
From Broxbourne it is possible to walk or cycle along the river towpath to Stratford where you can visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or stay on the train into London Liverpool Street. Or you can change trains and travel North and East to Stanstead Airport, Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough and Kings Lynn.
Don't forget to download the family activity guide before you go and see what you will discover along the way. Download here.