Around and about the Lea Valley: a walk in two parts

Aware that it had been a while since I did any training (save for a very boring walk from Liverpool Street to a friend’s birthday party in East Dulwich last weekend, which didn’t merit a post), I decided that I was going to do a long walk this weekend, to try and up my mileage and incorporate some hills. My initial plan was to walk the Capital Ring from Woolwich to Crystal Palace, but due to a combination of factors (mainly grumpy children waking up at ungodly hours and mummy-guilt at not having been around very much during a busy work week) the plan evolved. Eventually we packed the kids, bike and child-backpack into the car and did a short circular walk up the Lee Valley Navigation from Stonebridge Lock to the next bridge and back. It was a short walk (only about an hour), due to being accompanied by tired and grizzly four-year-old on her bike


but I compensated by carrying our one-year-old in the backpack (an added 15 kilos or so!). There was lots of interest on the canal – we were lucky to see a boat going through the lock – and we went up to a local pub to have lunch. Both children brightened up considerably at the prospect of chips.

After a hefty lunch my partner took the two kids home in the car and I walked home down the canal, which according to Google Maps (not the most reliable source) is just under 10 miles. It was an interesting route – hard going on the feet and knees though, as the majority of the towpath is tarmac or hard surface. But it’s not an area of London I know at all, despite having lived in East London for 9 years, and it was satisfying to see the landscape unrolling slowly and changing from the industrial landscape round Enfield and Tottenham Hale to the much prettier and busier stretches round Walthamstow Marshes, through to the Olympic Park and then home. These photos really don’t do it justice, especially as for some reason I didn’t take any snapshots of the later bits:

12-13 April 2014 005 12-13 April 2014 008

Snapshots: a pair of nesting swans, unbothered by the rubbish floating around them; canal boat owners enjoying a casual lunch in the sunshine on their cabin roof; a girl wearing a skirt with rows of tiny mirrors on it which caught the light as she walked; an overweight family of cyclists trying to interest some equally overweight ducks in the bread they were throwing to them; the reflection of newly built apartments in the water round Millfields Park.

Not a long walk by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I made it home in time for bath and bedtime.




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