Lea Valley Walk – Part 3 – Hackney Wick to Tottenham Hale

Part 3 of the Lea Valley Walk. If you remember we are doing this backwards (uphill!), so this section for us was from Hackney Wick to Tottenham Hale.

If you look at the map, it says that it took us almost 4 ½ hours to do a little over 6 hours. Seems a long time, well, don’t forget that we did stop for lunch, and I didn’t pause the GPS tracker, so I think we stopped for an 1 ½ hours, so then it isn’t quite so slow.

One thing that was very obvious on this section was the amount of graffiti. Some of it was very creative and what I’d consider to be art, the rest was just someone creating a mess.

As you come out of the station you see the below all along the side wall of a factory.

If you turn left out of the station walk, and cross the Chapman Road, you will see a building that has been covered completely by graffiti. Once you go down the side of the building heading towards Queen’s Yard, the building is even more amusing but having the very top of it with a statement “Meanwhile in East London, Lunatics decorate a building…” Great!

On that side of the building, we saw a caption that we thought was very apt for our youngest child. It is below in case you are wondering.

Passing a lot of building work, where we imagine that as soon as the builders finish a level, the graffiti artists will be all over it. Next we enter Queen’s Yard. I didn’t take any photos here, but there was a nice looking place called CRATE – Craft Beer Brewery, Bar, and Pizzeria. Will have to return here someday.  Queen’s Yard used to be the location of  Clarnico Works, which was a confectioners.  Just to add to the deliciousness, there was also a Chocolate Factory here too. But sadly, not any more. The thought of Beer, Pizza and Chocolate was too much to cope with.

Heading out of the Queen’s Yard, to White Post Lane, I saw this graffiti below.

Following White Post Lane over the River Lee Navigation, and looking back towards Stratford, I could see the Olympic Park, so it needed a photo being taken.

Now we are back on the Lee Navigation towpath, we are back to contending the the numerous cyclists and runners who all seem to think they rule the towpath. Growing up in London around canals, I was always told that pedestrians have the right of way, and cyclists, etc have to give way to the slower pedestrians. That is either not the case any more, or no one knows the rules.

As we walked, the graffiti continues… Hmmm…

Just as we made our way towards Here East, we saw this really old Dutch Sailing Tjalk. It is called Gebroeders. Built back in 1879. They certainly knew how to build them to last back in those days.

Would it surprise you to see more unusual graffiti? Probably not…

A variety of different homes, from houses, flats, and colourful high rise apartments.

There are not a lot of spaces along the Lee Navigation that don’t have narrow boats/barges/or other boats on.

We nearly didn’t see the below. In fact it was hard to see with the naked eye, so taking a photo was going to be a challenge. In the end I decided to make everything black and white, except the statues. Not really sure what it stands for, but the path led to a fairly large football pitch, that was built over hackney Marshes.

Along the side of the River Lea, there are the Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve. We took a wander into this and see what was around.

Within the filter beds, we came across what we were told was London’s Stone Henge. Well, I could see what they meant, but not exactly convinced. It is actually called Nature’s Throne, and was created by Paula Haughney, and was opened on the 1st of October 1990.

At the end of the Filter Beds, was a weir. I just had to go and photograph it. No one else came along, well, my wife did for some of the way. But I found a place where I could just about see the weir, and was able to hold the camera up enough to get the shot (or two).

Coming back out of the Filter Beds, back onto the River Lea, it was back to the boats, and bridges. I liked the colours in this shot.

Below you’ll see the other side of the weir. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t realise what was on the other side of it. I almost looks stagnant from this side. Most importantly, we are now at our lunch stopping place, a pub called the Princess of Wales.

After we’ve been fed and watered, we are off again! No that person in the florescent shirt isn’t part of our group. Actually at this point our group has left us, as we were the last to get our lunch, and the rest were gone before we had finished. Not really a problem, because we knew where they were heading… Along the river. 🙂

But here we can see some more interesting waterside apartments. Wonder what it costs to live in these.

Along the river a ways, we stopped for a moment by the railway tracks. We were told that at this point along the river, was the location of Britain’s first Flight with a British Pilot. They only flew for a couple of hundred metres, but they flew. I have found the story of the first flight on the Walthamstow Marsh, the full story can be found here. It talks about how there are two arches under the bridge, and that the first flight was successful, but the second from the other arch, not so successful. I suggest you have a read, it is quite interesting…

As we continue, we come to a unique bridge. There were what looked like troughs on the edge of one side of the bridge. It wasn’t until we crossed over, that there was a sign that this was to put the tyres of bicycles into, to make it easier to push up.

On the other side of the bridge, there was this lone swan, so had to just take a photo. We are currently at the Lee Valley Marina, Springfield.

We continued along Coppermill Lane, which took us under a very very low bridge. In fact it was only 5 feet tall. Then we entered the Walthamstow Reservoirs, which is also home to the Walthamstow Wetlands.

The wetlands only opened to the public on October 20th of this year. From their website:

Just 15 minutes from central London, the capital’s largest urban wetland is opening on Friday 20th October. If you’re in search of a fun day out in London, Walthamstow Wetlands has something for everyone and it’s free admission for all.

Here you can enjoy some peace and calm, observe wildlife, learn how London’s water is delivered, walk, fish, run, cycle or enjoy the hospitality of the Visitor Centre and Café situated in the Marine Engine House.

Set to be Europe’s largest urban wetland and home to an abundance of wildlife and rich industrial heritage, the area is nationally and internationally recognised for wildlife and is becoming an increasing focal point for visitors who wish to connect with nature within the city.

At the entrance from Coppermill Lane, you come across the Coppermill Tower.

Wandering through the wetlands, you get to see the reservoirs.

The main entrance (of course we didn’t use the main entrance as an entrance, just as an exit), is the Engine House and Cafe. This is close to Tottenham Hale station, which is the end of this month’s walk.

Join us again next month for the next section of the Lea Valley Walk. I am going to hazard a guess that the next section might be Tottenham Hale (confident on where the start will be) to Ponders End.