London Walk: Along the River Lea or River Lee as it is sometimes referred to. We spent a couple of hours one weekend sauntering along the river bank from Springfield Park to Tottenham Hale and back again. This includes a stroll through the beautiful Springfield Park (E5), past Markfield Park, Lee Valley Park and part of Tottenham Marshes (E17). It’s certainly a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon and you really won’t believe that you’re still in the city. If you’re looking for free things to do in London or nice walks in London then get yourself down to the River Lea.
Barges Along River Banks
River Lea Walk Starting at Springfield Park
The river starts at Marsh Farm at Leagrave which is near Luton and flows through parts of north and east London and on to meet the River Thames. It covers some distance and there is so much to explore that I couldn’t possibly cover it in one feature. I’m going to give you a taster of what to expect by telling you about part of the walk.
Bridge to Walthamstow Marshes
Start your walk from Springfield Park which is situated in Hackney E5 9SA. The nearest stations are Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill and Clapton. The park first opened in 1905 where the grounds were formed from three houses, one of them being Springfield House which you can still see today. It’s a beautiful park to explore with a conservation area and cricket pitch. The park is beside the River so it’s a nice place to start off your walking tour.
Lee Valley Marina
On the opposite bank to Springfield Park is Walthamstow Marshes and you’ll see a bridge which can take you over there if you want to explore. This is a beautiful nature reserve where you’ll see some rare plants along with soaring buzzards and beautiful butterflies. You’ll also notice the Lee Valley Marina which is very pretty. If you continue on the Springfield Park side you’ll pass by Lee Valley Park which is a place dedicated to nature, sport and leisure activities.
Nearing Tottenham Hale
Continue on and you will pass by Markfield Park where you’ll find a café, toilets and the Markfield Beam Engine and Museum. After that you’ll pass by plenty of pretty barges to admire which are juxtaposed with social housing along the river banks. Eventually you will reach Tottenham Hale and if you come up and cross the road you can explore part of Tottenham Marshes.
River Lea Walk at Tottenham Marshes
Tottenham Marshes is an interesting place to explore and if you have a dog they will just love running around here. The marshes are around one hundred acres in size so it’s very expansive. It’s now part of the Lee Valley Park and is classified as semi-rural wetland which was the flood plain of the River. It really does feel like you are in the countryside rather than London. Although you do spot some industrial structures on the walk which are a reminder of where you really are. If you’re lucky you might spot some butterflies and Skylarks.
We only walked along part of the Tottenham Marshes and then did a loop to get back onto the river path so we could finish our journey at Springfield Park. It’s up to you whether you want to continue on to see more. It’s really worthwhile viewing the area on Google Maps because you’ll notice there are many reservoirs in the vicinity and that this walk is just a small part of exploring this beautiful River. This walk will take you around two and a half hours. It’s not too busy along the paths so it’s okay for kids and push chairs. You do get cyclists but there aren’t too many.
River Lea Walk Further Information
If you want to swot up on the River and the surrounding area, these websites might be useful. Happy exploring my urban adventurers.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy and Richie for the walk.