Lea Valley Walk

Gazebos at Ware

Lea Valley Walk

Length >60km
Max transport gap <10km

A 93km walk following the River Lea between its source at Leagrave and its outflow into the River Thames at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Public transport links are plentiful downstream from Hertford, and still more than adequate upstream from that point. The walk is accessible from a base anywhere in the Greater London conurbation.


There is much uncertainty about this route, and about the name of the river itself. Is it the Lea or Lee? You will see both versions in profusion: we choose “Lea” on the grounds that its source is not known as Leegrave.

Transport for London — whose once-excellent Walk London publications are now being outsourced to amateurs — maintain that the northern end is at Waltham Cross. Years of development have rendered the riverside route untenable as described: you should take the obvious route between Canning Town station and Trinity Buoy Wharf.

The Ordnance Survey maps have their trail diamonds only for the section between Leagrave and East Hyde, where the path meets the Chiltern Way, and the route there is called the Upper Lea Valley Walk on their maps.

Walkers should note that almost the entire route is on hard or semi-hard surfaces (streets, park paths, railbeds and towpaths), and that the route between Hertford and Stratford is one long towpath walk. This might be best walked as a group of circular walks knitting up the route.

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