Walk 24 - From Walthamstow Central, at the Northern End of the Victoria Line to Tottenham Hale via Walthamstow Wetlands
Walk Distance 9.5 Kilometres (6 miles)
Underfoot Paved or solid pathways, no mud
Journey Time (from Central London to Walthamstow) 25 minutes
Getting Back to Central London Return by Victoria line or train from Tottenham Hale
Points of Interest Walthamstow High Street, Walthamstow Wetlands, River Lee
Refreshments - Cafes and pubs in Walthamstow, visitor center cafe, pub nearby.
Opportunities For Shortening This Walk - Go straight to Tottenham Hale Station from the visitor center
What To Expect From This Walk
The walk starts by visiting one of the most colourful high streets in London. Walthamstow High Street is home to a host of individually owned shops and market stalls with a wide ethnic mix. Walking down this pedestrian area is a feast of sights and sounds. After the High Street, the walk continues down Coppermill Lane which then becomes more scenic. However, it is not until roughly the 3Km mark that you enter Walthamstow Wetlands. It is well worth the wait. The many reservoirs make walking an interesting project and there are wide views from horizon to horizon. After a couple of kilometers you reach the visitor center which is housed in The Old Engine House with refreshments available. After this you enter the second section of the Wetlands. The reservoirs in this section are at two different levels and your walk takes you along the bank of the higher reservoir with more good views all around. Leaving the Wetlands, the walk goes north and then east to join up with the River Lea Navigation. Turning south, a 2 Kilometer stretch of towpath walking brings you back to Tottenham Hale tube station.
Information On The Things You Will See
Walthamstow Wetlands Is a nature reserve extending over 500 acres in north east London. It was created from the area known as Walthamstow Reservoirs managed and is owned and managed by Thames water. It is particularly important for birds and wildfowl due to its position in the Lee Valley which is a green corridor through the heart of London. It is one of the largest urban wetland nature reserves in Europe. Visitors can freely access the site’s natural, industrial and social heritage in one of the capital’s most densely populated urban areas. The project was made possible after the Heritage Lottery Fund provided £4 million in funding.
The Coppermill Tower or Building is Grade II Listed and has undergone a number of alterations over the centuries, including the addition of an Italianate tower in 1864. The previous mill on the site has been mentioned several times throughout historical records. It was noted that in the 14th century, the mill was powered by the Coppermill Stream that diverted from the River Lee for use in grinding corn.
The River Lee (or Lea) is a tributary of the River Thames which rises in the Chiltern Hills and runs for 90Km (56m) to enter the Thames at Bow Creek. The river is canalised for most of its length and historically has always been a major trading route. However, commercial traffic effectively ended in the 1980s and it is now recreational.