After our brilliant trip out to the Olympic Park a couple of weeks ago, we were inspired to head East for another weekend excursion last weekend. Matt had been eying up a series of walks along the Lee Valley on the TfL website for a while and so we decided to give a section of it a go! So we grabbed the scooters, warm coats and a map, and headed East again!
It started drizzling as soon as we got to Clapton, but we decided to keep going and were relieved to find the rain soon stopped. It was a short walk to the river where we found really clear signposts detailing the route we were taking from Lea Bridge to Three Mills. After a quick photo, we made a start along the Lee Navigation towpath. Alex soon got to grips with his new scooter and was whizzing along the narrow path in no time.
Sophie on the otherhand was less keen on the walk – regularly collapsing to the ground on strike! We were a bit concerned the trip had been a big mistake, but thankfully her brother kept persuading her to continue and with a bit of pulling, she did pretty well!
We loved looking at the bright canal boats moored along the river, many decorated with flowers and plants.
The water didn’t look too appealing, with regular patches of litter. It was quite sad to see such a mess – but nice to see plenty of waterbirds managing to make it home.
Alex and Sophie particularly liked seeing swans up close.
One thing we hadn’t planned all that well as finding somewhere for food – and it wasn’t really the weather for a picnic. The path was surprisingly (and very pleasantly) quiet with very little along the banks so we were hugely relieved to find a welcoming looking bar which served family friendly lunches! I’d highly recommend the chorizo croquettes in Bar 90! Here’s Alex scooting up the bridge leading to the pub.
One thing that made Matt and I laugh was how we spent more time admiring graffiti than nature on our very urban river walk! There were some really vivid graffiti along the way – Alex loved the skeletons!
We spent quite a while in a covered area by the water which i imagine is a brilliant skateboarding location on a warmer day. For us, it was empty, so Alex sped around on his scooter getting more confident by the minute.
Towards the end of the walk, we passed Old Ford Lock, where the little run of lockkeepers cottages looked very familiar – turns out they were the location for the Big Breakfast tv show (a real favourite of mine in my youth!). Parked up outside was Alex’s favourite boat decoration – check out those teeth!
As we neared the end of our walk, we found a surprising sight. After all the very contemporary, graffiti-heavy urban walk, we weren’t expecting to see an oast house. But sure enough, there was one amongst a beautiful collection of 18th century industrial buildings – Three Mills. Apparently the world’s largest tidal mill, the buildings were closed when we passed by. But I think we’ll have to come back and have a look soon.
It was a chilly excursion, but we really enjoyed getting outside and exploring a bit of London that we don’t know. And the TfL guide helped us learn lots about the areas we were walking through. I think we’ll try and do the other sections later in the year when it’s a bit warmer.
To close, here’s our pair of explorers scooting through a river tunnel together – Sophie chasing her brother as usual!