Lea Valley Park
Circuit from Cheshunt stn or on to Broxbourne
Spring or summer
Dragonflies and other insects on Cornmill Meadows; birds on and around the Lee Valley lakes, scrapes and waterways.
One path crosses an arable field that may be ploughed
Train from Stratford or Liverpool Street to Cheshunt, returning from there or from Broxbourne
Cheshunt circuit 2–2½ hours; Cheshunt to Broxbourne 2½–3 hours.
Flat terrain, mostly on well-defined surfaced footpaths, plus a section on grass through Cornmill Meadows and across an arable field; and a short section on road through Waltham Abbey.
Click on a marker on the map for route details
Stage AB: Cheshunt station to Waltham Town Lock
Cross the footbridge at Cheshunt station if northbound and follow the road into the Lea Valley park and down to the Pindar car park, turn right to follow a footpath across the grassland that shortly joins a surfaced track. Following this to the footbridge across the Lee Navigation, just below Waltham Common Lock. Crossing the footbridge, turn right past Friday Lake and over two footbridges across sluices, then right again with Hall Marsh Scrape on your left. Follow the track straight on past the scrape, ignoring side turns, until you reach Horsemill Stream, a broad flood relief channel. Continue beside it until it converges with the River Lee Navigation at Waltham Town Lock, and you reach Highbridge Street.
Stage BC: Waltham Town Lock to Cornmill Meadows
Turn left on Highbridge Street and follow it up to the roundabout. Walking clockwise round it, cross Powder Mill Lane and continue along Abbey View across the bridge over the Old River Lee, then turn down to a kissing gate on the left, turning right to follow a grass path parallel to the road, with ditches and ponds on your left. Continue left of the fencing round the underpass leading to Abbey Gardens until you meet the footpath along the west bank of Cornmill Stream, bearing left to join it.
Stage CD: Cornmill Meadows to Fishers Green
Follow the footpath beside Cornmill Stream until you come to a weir, turning right across the footbridge, then right again to follow a grass path beside a row of conifers. Shortly after you come up to a chainlink fence on your left, the path turns left to follow it. With the fence still on your left, a kissing gate leads on to the edge of an arable field and, at the next fence corner, the footpath heads roughly half-left across the field towards a hedgerow opposite. Bear right at the hedgerow and follow the verge until you come out on to Fishers Green Lane via a stile. Turn left down the lane towards the Fishers Green parking area.
Stage DE: Fishers Green to Lea Navigation
Just before you reach the parking area, turn right on to a surfaced path, signposted Fishers Green. The path follows a narrow winding causeway between Seventy Acres Lake on your left and the Old River Lea, passing the Bittern Watchpoint en route. Losing sight of Seventy Acres Lake, you come out into open grassland and soon afterwards turn left on to a track that leads down to a footbridge across the Lee Navigation. Turn left over the bridge to follow the towpath back towards Cheshunt station, or right for the longer walk up to Broxbourne.
Stage EA: Lea Navigation to Cheshunt station
Turn left at the end of the footbridge and follow the towpath past the end of Cadmore Lane, then along a causeway between the Lea Navigation and Cheshunt Lake, turning right beyond Cheshunt Lake to walk up to Cheshunt station.
Stage EF: Lea Navigation to Broxbourne
Turn right at the end of the footbridge and follow the towpath all the way to Broxbourne, only deviating half-left to walk through Silvermead nature reserve, rejoining the towpath at the far end of the reserve. Very soon after Silvermead you come to a footbridge across the Old River Lea, that splits off the main channel here. Cross it, and 100m or so further on turn left on to a road that leads up past the Lee Valley leisure pool to join Station Road. (Turn right across the bridge for canalside pubs.) Turn left on to Station Road then right beyond the railway overpass to walk down to Broxbourne Station.