Lea Valley Walk from Walthamstow to Waltham Abbey

This Lea Valley walk from Walthamstow to Waltham Abbey is surely one of my favourites. I’d finished leading a walk across the marshlands from Leyton Water Works to Walthamstow Wetlands and had the desire to push on into the evening. I headed up along Blackhorse Lane then turned into Folly Lane which opens up the postcard image of the ‘edgelands’ – you could bring coachloads of anthropologists and urban geographers up here to Harbet Road with it’s pylons and fields of fly-tipping, mountains of rubble and stacks of shipping containers.

Lea Valley Walk along River Lea Navigation

It’s a relief to drop beneath the North Circular onto the towpath of the Lea Navigation, and slowly chug along the waterway like a listing barge. You note the phases of change passing through the outer rings of the city – London Waste, Ponders End, Brimsdown Power Station, the confluence with the Turkey Brook, Enfield Dry Dock and Enfield Lock, then Rammey Marsh and the final release of passing beneath the M25 and into the beyond.


filmed on 28th July 2019


  1. Graham L.   •  

    Hi John – very atmospheric, and I never realised Enfield Lock was so pretty! Love the shot of the boat trailing its garden behind it. Nostalgic, brief glimpse of the name “Cook’s Ferry”, a reminder of the legendary long-gone pub venue where so many great bands played at the start of their career – Mott the Hoople, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Lindisfarne….. Its site is now somewhere under the road network, with seemingly nothing to commemorate it, though Richard Thompson has a song called Cook’s Ferry Queen. And have you ever located the whereabouts of Ponder’s End Allotments Club, celebrated in song by Chas & Dave? All the best, and keep walking!

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks for that Graham – going to look for those musical references now

  2. Kenny   •  

    Love watching your walks John I have only just come across them especially Leyton and Walthamstow.I have great memories of the area as I went north ( as a young man ) I now live in Durham but the memories of Walthamstow market in the sixties you bring back good memories John keep up the good work Thankyou

    • JohnR   •     Author

      thanks for that Kenny – glad you’re enjoying the walks, it gives me great pleasure to share them

  3. Pingback: Stumbling across a Lost River in the Lea Valley London - the lost byway

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