The Lea Valley Walk
Leagrave to the heart of London
By Leigh Hatts
Guidebook to the Lea Valley Walk, a 53 mile path from Luton to the Thames. The walk traces the River Lea from Leagrave, near Luton to East India Dock opposite Greenwich where it joins the Thames Path. Features an alternative finish at Limehouse and an optional tour of the Olympic Park. Split into 9 stages, the walk is suitable for all abilities.
SeasonsThe Lea Valley walk can be done at any time of the year.
CentresLeagrave, Luton, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Hatfield, Hertford, Ware, Broxbourne, Waltham Abbey, Hackney Marshes, east London, Greenwich
DifficultyNone, except general fitness for a mostly flat, low-level, multi-day walk.
Must SeeSurprisingly wild Bedfordshire, Waltham Abbey, the industrial landscape through east London, the Thames itself
Guidebook to the Lea Valley Walk, a 53-mile long-distance path from Luton to the Thames. It follows the River Lea from its source near Leagrave to East India Dock opposite Greenwich, with an alternative finish at Limehouse and an optional tour of the Olympic Park. On the way it passes through a blend of quiet countryside, nature reserves and urban landscapes.
The Lea Valley Walk offers level, waymarked walking for all abilities. The complete trek is presented in nine stages, accompanied by clear OS mapping, with suggestions for three, four, five and six day itineraries. For those looking for an easy-to-access traffic-free day or half-day walk, the route is divided into sections with convenient railway stations close to each end.
Tracing the river as it passes through Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire towards the bustle of London, this fine and varied walk takes in historical towns and villages, stately homes and castles, including Waltham Abbey and Hertford Castle, Luton Hoo, Brocket Park and Hatfield. Along with suggestions for refreshment stops and accommodation, the guidebook is packed with fascinating snippets of information about wildlife, landscape, history and industrial heritage, making it an ideal companion to exploring the river and its surroundings.
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Leigh Hatts has been walking the Thames towpath and exploring the river and Docklands since 1981, when he worked on the feasibility study that resulted in the decision to establish the route as a National Trail. He worked as a reporter with the walkers’ magazine TGO and as arts correspondent of the Catholic Herald. He is co-founder of Bankside Press.View author profile
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