Latest News: Read more

Named discs with swan logoLea Valley Walk

Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Gtr London, Luton

85 km / 53 miles
A route mainly on riverside paths, linking the source near the Icknield Way Path east of the Dunstable Downs to the London Docklands. It first follows the course of the river, which is variously spelt Lee and Lea, and then after a suburban diversion from the river at Welwyn, it takes the canalised navigations from Hertford, using wherever possible green waterside corridors. It passes the numerous reservoirs that line the Lea valley through North London.

It incorporates the Upper Lea Valley Walk (9 miles and on OS mapping), the Cole Green Way west of Hertford, a multi-user trail including the route of a disused railway, and the Lee Navigation towpath. Walkers should be careful to follow the recent re-routing at Welwyn that runs north of the A414 and not south of it along the river as before, and then uses a multi-user track and some road walking to meet the Cole Green Way near Letty Green to follow this to Hertford. Older OS maps show the previous route here.

From the source at Leagrave, suburban walking in Luton soon leads to countryside and a mainly rural stretch to Hertford where the canalised section starts, within the same valley corridor the New River Path, also canalised, branching off earlier. Further south a series of large man-made embanked reservoirs lie to the east of the Lea, that continues into east London through marshland reserves rich in wildlife and in green spaces, finally passing close by the west side of the Olympic Park site to reach Bow Locks. From here either the Limehouse Cut or cycling routes along the Lea river can be used to reach the Thames. The short Hertford Union Canal (c. 1.5km) links the River Lea Navigations and the Regent's Canal along the southern side of Victoria Park.

En route towns traversed or passed to reach the London fringes are Luton, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Welwyn/Hatfield, Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Waltham Abbey. In Greater London the Boroughs traversed are Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Within London the 13 miles of route is one of the Mayor of London's Strategic Walks - see the TfL website for downloads.

OS mapping has shown the Upper Lea Valley Walk to Waterend near Wheathamstead, and separately the Lea Valley Walk to the Thames via Limehouse Cut, but newer editions show only the former Walk to East Hyde.

At Hoddesdon, the Stort Navigation branches off to Harlow and Bishop's Stortford.

The Beane Valley Walk (14 miles) from Walkern, near Stevenage, provides a linear route along the gentle valley slopes of the River Beane to Hertford where it can be linked to the Lea Valley Walk. The Pymmes Brook Trail (10 miles and included on OS mapping) provides a link from the London Loop from Monken Hadley Common through Palmer's Green to the Lea Valley Walk at Pickett's Lock.

No path beneath Motorway at Stanborough Park - route moved to road crossing.


Waymark: Named discs with swan logo
Path Type: Other Paths
Waymark: Named discs with swan logo
Attributes: Easy
Former Railway
Start: TQ363807 - Leagrave, Bedfordshire View on StreetMap
Finish: TL061243 - Bow Lock, Gtr London View on StreetMap
Web Sites: TfL - Lea Valley Walk Leigh Hatts - Lea Valley Walk Canal & River Trust - Lee Navigation Lea Valley Walk - Tim Bertuchi LetsGo! - Lea Valley Walk at Luton Annierak - Lea Valley Walk [blog] Stephen and Lucy Dawson - Lea Valley Walk [blog] Lea Valley Walk [YouTube video]

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

General Interest Book Grand Union, Oxford & the South East: Waterways Guide 1 (Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides)  (HarperCollins  - 2024 )
External download Lea Valley Walk at Luton : map  (Forest of Marston Vale Trust ) Download
External download Lea Valley Walk Certificate  (Transport for London (TfL) ) Download
External download Lea Valley Walk - map from Ware to Limehouse Basin  (Lee Valley Regional Park  - 2012 ) Download File
Guidebook Walking the Lea Valley Walk : Leagrave to the heart of London  (Cicerone Press  - 2015 )

Click to showhide 1 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

Show Connected Path Outlines
National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths

Show Accommodation
Hostel Accommodation

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 166, 176, 177
OS Landranger Active 166, 176, 177
OS Explorer 162, 173, 174, 182, 193, 194
OS Explorer Active 162, 173, 174, 182, 193, 194

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
1 km
< 1 km
Hostel Accommodation
4 km
< 1 km
Hostel Accommodation
5 km
< 1 km
Hostel Accommodation
4 km
11 km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
26 km

Click to show 2 more Accommodations

Connected Paths:


Reminder: Material downloaded from this website is for personal use only. Commercial use, reproduction, modification of all content is strictly prohibited without prior approval by the LDWA. Please Contact Us if you have any requests.

GPX Route File
Lea Valley Walk GPX Exchange Format Route File
Last Updated 28/08/2017 21:16:37 - Route near A414 moved to the multi user track
Login to Download
(Members Only)
MemoryMap Route File
Lea Valley Walk Memory Map Route File
Last Updated 28/08/2017 21:16:37 - Route near A414 moved to the multi user track
Login to Download
(Members Only)
Tracklogs Route File
Lea Valley Walk Tracklogs Route file
Last Updated 28/08/2017 21:16:39 - Route near A414 moved to the multi user track
Login to Download
(Members Only)

Route Profile:

84.3 km (52.4 miles)
620 m (2,034 ft) ascent
123 m (404 ft)  maximum height

This website uses cookies

To comply with EU Directives we are informing you that our website uses cookies for services such as memberships and Google Analytics.

Your data is completely safe and we do not record any personally identifiable information.

Please click the button to acknowledge and approve our use of cookies during your visit.

Learn more about the Cookie Law