Celebrating London’s best waterways
Walks by the water are some of the most peaceful kind of walks available. With a busy start to the year we can’t think of anything better so we’ve teamed up with the Canal & River Trust, who protect over 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales and curated a few brand new walking routes. You can check each one out in app by clicking the titles below, or keep reading to see the routes and what to expect.
This is a straightforward jaunt and can easily be done with a pram or little ones in under an hour. Starting from Bethnal Green station (easily accessible by bus from Whitechapel or Cambridge Heath overground), we walked straight up Old Ford Rd, passing the V&A museum of childhood.
We kept walking until we met Regents Canal, crossing over to enter into Victoria Park. Popping into Pavilion on our way we continued up the side of Victoria Park, crossing into the East Jubilee Gate and veering right until we met a bridge which also has an exit on the right leading down to the Hertford Union canal.
From here we simply followed the canal all the way up to the Olympic Village, giving us quite the view. You could always cross over and explore the Village (as we do in our An Arty Olympic Riverside Jaunt), or Hackney Wick overground is located close by.
A peaceful walk which provides plenty of opportunities to sit and rest, have a picnic or grab a coffee. You’ll see lots of interesting and colourful graffiti, swans, ducks and other birds as well as some fabulous canal boats. We left feeling refreshed and calm and hope you do too.
We’ve all seen the Olympic Park, at least on our TV’s! But have you ever explored it? We took a jaunt through it, allowing the River Lee to guide us through. Getting off at Stratford station and quickly escaping the busyness of Westfield, we walked by some of the areas most famous architecture: the London Aquatics Centre, the Arcelormittal Orbit and of course the stadium itself.
Wandering north along the river there’s plenty of art sculptures and lush scenery to enjoy. It’s a perfect location to inject some culture into your day even if you’re in the area for some shopping, or wanto escape the crowds and find some calm.
Another fairly straightforward route which follows the Limehouse Cut as it turns into the River Lee and runs alongside Bow Creek. Much of the path along the canal is unpaved and therefore can be muddy after some rain and may not be suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.
We left Limehouse DLR and headed left along the arches, finding Limehouse basin on our right. Following the basin right round and following signs for Limehouse Cut, we walk along Basin Approach, over the bridge and cut through ropemakers field to get down by the canal.
Alongside the canal boats now we followed the canal straight up, admiring the water, wildlife and even a mosaic mural on the way. Keep walking until you meet the Bow Lock, crossing over to join a slim island of land that snakes its way up the the Three Mills.
This is where TV and films are made, and where the 2012 Olympic Games were planned and rehearsed. If you keep walking in you’ll find the Lee Valley Park & Three Mills Green. You’re now free to rest here or make your way across to the Olympic Park if you haven't’ already enjoyed our second walk in the list.
A peaceful jaunt that walks along a small section of the London Loop. Starting at Hayes & Harlington station and joining the canal on Station road, our canalside jaunt meanders along the epic Grand Union Canal. If you walked far enough you’d reach Birmingham, but we stopped at West Drayton which is a nice hour long stroll.
Be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy as this walk along has some unpaved areas. This walk is perfect for escaping the nearby roads and business parks if you want a calming waterway walk especially after a stressful day at work.
Did you enjoy these walks? Check out more water-side walks in-app or head to the Canal & River Trust here to find other protected waterways.