Walk No 1 – from Stratford, at the eastern end of the Jubilee Line, to Limehouse Basin



8 km (5 miles)


Mostly paved surfaces

Outward Journey

By Jubilee Line to Stratford - about 30 minutes from Central London


By DLR from Limehouse

Points of Interest

Olympic Park. Victoria Park, Regent's Canal


Cafes at Westfield and Victoria Park. Pubs at Limehouse

Public Toilets

At Westfield and Victoria Park

Shortening the Walk

Buses from several roads which pass over Regent's Canal



What To Expect From This Walk  

This walk is always close to water. It starts by taking you through the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, past the Aquatics Centre and the London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. You then walk along an arm of the River Lee to reach the Lee Navigation at Old Ford Lock. Later the Hertford Union Canal leads you to Victoria Park with its wide green spaces and lake. You join the towpath of the Regent’s Canal going south to Limehouse Basin, where there is a choice of pubs, including The Grapes. You can return from Limehouse DLR or walk on to Canary Wharf.




Route Directions

1. From the Jubilee Line platforms, go across the concourse and down the steps into the underpass, following the signs for Westfield and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Go up the escalator at the far end and leave the station by the entrance to Westfield. To access toilets and refreshments, enter through the doors to your left. To continue the walk, stay outside and go diagonally right towards a small sign for the Olympic Park, where you go left up the escalator to the next level.  At the top, go ahead for a few metres and then turn half-right to walk along The Street, a high level shop-lined walkway. At at a fork by an obelisk, with John Lewis to your right, keep left. Cross Westfield Avenue at the lights and walk straight ahead towards the London Stadium, passing  the Aquatics Centre on your left. 

2. Walk for about 300m, crossing a wide bridge. Just before a second bridge, near the entrance to the Stadium, turn right onto a narrow path that slopes down to the river. Bear right along the river towards a metal humpback bridge. Cross the bridge, following the signs for Hackney Wick and Old Ford Lock. Continue with the river now on your right and the London Stadium on your left. Just after going under a road bridge and two large black pipes, turn right over a footbridge at the junction of the river with the Lee Navigation, next to Old Ford Lock. Keep right at the lock and walk along the towpath with the Navigation on your left. After 500m you reach a bridge with a sign for White Post Lane. Cross over to the opposite bank and go left, back the way you came, but on the other side of the river. Follow the towpath as it turns right along the Hertford Union Canal.

3. Walk for 1 km, past three locks,  until you see the railings of Victoria Park on your right. Continue on the towpath and after going under another bridge, turn right  up a ramp and then go left to enter the park through Gunmaker's Gate. Turn left on a broad drive and walk to the end of this section of the park. Cross the road and enter the next section. Arrive at the lake and the pavilion cafe. Turn left along the lakeside for about 200m.

4. At the corner turn left and follow the signs for the Regent’s Canal. Turn left (south) along the canal towpath and follow it for 3 km until you reach Limehouse Basin. To find the DLR station, turn right on a footbridge over the canal.The station is ahead of you.

5. To visit The Grapes, do not cross the footbridge, but go forward to the edge of Limehouse Basin. Turn left and follow the edge of the water until you reach a metal footbridge. Cross and go ahead along the dockside. Pass the large lock gates which allow boats to access the River Thames at high tide. Turn left here into Narrow Street. The Grapes is 200m further on.

6.  After leaving the pub, make your way back to Limehouse DLR Station. Alternatively, turn right along Narrow Street and after 200m pass between buildings to reach the river. Turn left for a fifteen-minute walk to Canary Wharf, where you can access the Jubilee Line and the DLR, as well as River Boat services.


Information On The Things You Will See

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. Historically  it has always been a major trading route. The 44 km (27 mile) section between Hertford Lock and Bow Lock is fully canalised and is known as the Lee Navigation. However, commercial traffic effectively ended in the 1980s and the Lee Valley Park now provides green open spaces and many recreational opportunities. Isaak Walton’s Compleat Angler (1653) features the River Lea as the setting for a discussion on the merits of fishing.

The Hertford Union Canal (Or Duckett’s Canal) is only 1.5 km long.  It was opened in 1830 to connect the Lee Navigation to the Regent's Canal but was never a commercial success..

The Regents Canal  runs from Paddington to Limehouse.  It is 14Km (9m) long and includes a 900m tunnel beneath Islington.  It also flows through “Little Venice” which is a scenic and affluent part of London, known for its canals and moored boats. The canal towpath is one of London's hidden gems and makes a great walk in both directions from Victoria Park. It is an extension of an arm of the Grand Union Canal which crosses North London to Hayes & Harlington where it joins its parent canal at Bulls Bridge Junction. The Grand Union Canal goes all the way to Birmingham.

The Grapes is a Grade II listed building perched beside the Thames and flanked by former warehouses. It is one of the oldest pubs in London.  According to Sir Ian McKellen, a leaseholder of the pub, Dickens was a regular visitor and The Grapes is the model for the inn described in the opening chapter of Our Mutual Friend.