Sometimes the best adventures are the ones you take on your very own doorstep. Walking alongside the river Lea, which winds its way through the Lee Valley (Lea-Lee, confusing right?) became a favourite past time for me a couple of years ago. The pathway itself runs alongside the river, much of which is home to a bubbling canal boat community and a brilliant selection of wildlife.
The Lee Valley Park starts in Hertfordshire, near Ware and carries on for 26 miles into the Lime House Basin, East London. You can walk the entire length of the Lee Valley walk, starting in Luton, Bedfordshire which takes the journey to some 50 miles. Personally, we’ve never walked the entire length, favouring joining on in Edmonton, North London and walking a few miles up it at a VERY leisurely pace, waving at the cyclists and joggers, all the while thinking about the ice cream and beers we’ll consume once we reach a nice pub or cafe along the way.
One of the things I like most about walking along the canals is that within minutes of entering, you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of London. I’ve rode my bike from my parent’s house in London and up along the canal path and you could be in the middle of the countryside. No traffic lights, exhaust fumes, mobile phones playing music through their speakers, or any other nuisances. Just ducks, canoes and nature!
It’s also very easy to reach the Lee Valley. There are many bus, Tube and over ground rail way stops within close proximity to the paths, my closest was Tottenham Hale, which is on the Victoria Line and within a 3 minute walk to the canal paths and a lock!
There are points along the canal where you can picnic, hire canoes or find places to camp. I’ve only used it for cycling and walking but am keen to go back and have a go on the water during the summer months!
For more information about the walk, check out the Lee Valley official website here