The river isn't new. It isn't even a river. It was a channel dug in the early 1600s to bring clean water into the City from natural springs in Hertfordshire, and then channeled into homes through pipes made of elm.
|Note that the 'river' in the parks at Islington is merely cosmetic, using the old watercourse as sites for two long narrow ponds. Today the water from Herts joins the ring main at Clissold Park, Stoke Newington.
Spaces for his New River walking tours are limited so if you do not manage to secure a space don't panic because the whole 45km route can be walked at your own leisure all the way from its source in New Gauge, Herts, to The New River Head near Sadlers Wells. The paths are well-maintained and there are information boards along the way.
Ooh look... I just found this interesting commemorative edition Canonbury newsletter which has even more information about the area.
And The Dugdale Centre within Enfield Museum has a free exhibition about the New River that is on until 5th January 2014. (Thinks... a walk north along the river to Enfield one day soon would be nice.)
Peter has lots more interesting tours.