Last Friday I had a few hours spare after giving a presentation at UCL and wanted a break. So I decided to go and walk along a section of the river Lea which I see from the train when I go in and out of London on the Liverpool Street line.
I got the Overground to Hackney Wick, and then walked the towpath up to Tottenham Hale, where I caught my train home to Cambridge. In some ways the river feels a bit like the Cam. It’s about the same width, it’s lined with an assortment of narrowboats, and it has rowers! I really enjoyed looking at the various interesting boats, including at least three of those strange orange ex-lifeboats (in a 4 mile stretch!) I was less pleased to see that in some places there was a lot of fairly obviously boater rubbish, and one place where a temporary workshop was going on under a bridge. I’d not have had any issue with it – under a bridge seems like a sensible place to carry out boat repair on a budget, but the sheer quantity of detritus this had created was depressing. It wasn’t all bad though. It’s a very pretty bit of river for the most part, and I enjoyed my walk very much. The Lea rowing club looked great too, and there were some lovely moorings opposite at Springfield Marina which definitely took my fancy! I also got the impression of a strong community. Although I was just a random passer by and not interacting, I saw various people popping in and out of each others’ boats and chatting in a friendly way. If we end up in London in the future, I’d like to live in this part of the city, although I’d only consider it if we could secure a permanent mooring in the area.
Looking down the Hertford Union
A converted dayboat
This one reminded me of Pyewacket!
I Frances has been across the Atlantic, apparently!
Near Springfield Marina
Lea Rowing Club