Step back in time and gain a vivid insight into Britain’s industrial past. This 18 mile (29 km) walk along the Lee Valley follows the Lee Navigation towpath from Waltham Abbey for much of its way south to its confluence with the Thames at Limehouse Basin.
From July 2011 the most southern section of the Lea Valley Walk follows the Limehouse Cut - a quiet, traffic-free route through the bustle and noise of East London - down to the River Thames at Limehouse Basin (section 5). If preferred walkers can continue along the River Lea from Three Mills to East India Quay on the Meridian Alternative (section 6).
Throughout history the Lee Valley has been shaped and exploited, from the monks at Waltham Abbey who first altered the course of the river to post-war industrialisation (Swan’s light bulb, the thermos and the first plastics were invented at Ponders End). The London 2012 Games development will dramatically restore the river landscape and its wetlands.
The Lea Valley Walk ends at Limehouse Basin - where remnants of the past are amongst more recent redevelopments – the marina, a wide variety of boats, and loft-living. Limehouse Basin is still today the gateway from the Thames to over 200 miles of canals.
You can enjoy the walk in easy stages as all the sections are conveniently just a step away from the nearby railway which runs parallel to the river.
This website shows the official line of the trail. Occasionally it is necessary to divert sections of the route, contact the local London Borough for information about diversions.
Sections 1-4 are well marked by signs depicting the Swan symbol. Work is ongoing to sign section 5 - Three Mills to Limehouse Basin as part of Legible London. There is very little signage on the Meridian Alternative from Three Mills to East India Dock.
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Walk London have provided informative downloadable overview leaflets as well as easy to follow maps & directions for all Routes & Sections!Show Directions & Leaflets