Thursday, July 22, 2021

Lea Valley Walk 4: Clapton Pond to Meridian Water

One very hot Sunday, I took a combination of train, tube and bus to Clapton Pond to continue the walk north along the Lea Valley beside the Lee Navigation.

There were a number of possible end points to choose from, so I basically kept going until it felt like enough and then headed to the nearest train station, which turned out to be Meridian Water. In total it was probably about 9 km.

This stretch of the Lea Valley was all navigable, and so there were a lot of narrow boats, but they were not at all happy. It was the day of the Hackney Flotilla to protest about changes to mooring policy, and there was a lot of signs about this:

I could have waited and watched the flotilla but didn't, and not just because it was a scorchio weather, but I'll leave that to another post.

This part of the tow path is basically a long line of narrow boats on one side and then the wetlands on another. The Walthamstow Wetlands are a nature reserve that doubles up as water reservoirs for London (though to be honest, it's probably the other way round).


Towards the top end the long line of narrow boats thinned out and it was possible to see a bit more of the landscape, which sometimes was picturesque and sometimes rather industrial.

This might look like a boring industrial building but is actually the hot music venue Drumsheds:

There are a couple of groups playing there that I'd be interested in seeing but it's way too far out (and not in a good way), so I'm not going.

At the end I headed off (as I said) to the Meridian Water train station, and the road I used to get there was a bit of shock:

I really do not recommend this route - which effectively meant walking alongside the North Circular (Londoners will know what this is). I think there was a better crossing point half a mile or so down the Lee Navigation with path to the station - though it looks like it goes though an industrial estate.

After much fighting my way across road systems actively hostile to pedestrians (and god help any poor cyclist), I arrived at the Meridian Water train station, which I think is London's newest:

In fact it is so new that it doesn't appear on the Google Earth map at the top, which marks the old station which was just up the tracks, namely Angel Road. 

The All The Stations team of Geoff and Vicky went to the opening of Meridian Water, and you can watch their video of that visit here. Geoff also made a video (here) of his visit to the old Angel Road before it was closed and it's fair to say he wasn't impressed. Words used to describe it include grim, austere, destroying dark, dejected, dreary, drab, sullen, sombre, sad, depressive, oppressive....

The reason for this brand new station is not current demand - for there was only a couple of other people on the train - but a huge planned development called, unsurprisingly, Meridian Water, which has its own web site, here.

A shuttle train goes from Meridian Water down to Stratford every 30 minute so, and from Stratford train and tube lines run in all directions.

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