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Is it Lea or Lee ?

The London Loop Part 6: Cockfosters to Chigwell

The longest section so far at just over 18 miles, with quite some contrast with arable agriculture replaced within a few minutes with industrial estates !

The first two thirds are really quite rural walking through woodlands around Trent Park and then climbing across agricultural land onto the Ridgeway. Trent Park is currently being redeveloped as residential apartments but has an interesting wartime history as an interrogation centre for captured Luftwaffe aircrew.

Trent Park

Descending from the Ridgeway the route follows along the banks of the Turkey Brook a tributary of the River Lea.

The section to Enfield lock is actually rather built up crossing Enfield High Street.

Passing Enfield Lock, the route briefly follows the course of the River Lea or is it Lee south along side the massive reservoirs of the Lee Valley Park. For centuries there has been argument as to the correct name, both seem to be used but there some logic – Natural features are Lea, whereas man made features such as the park or the navigation (canal) are Lee..

Lee or Lea Valley Reservoirs?

Climbing up the other side of the valley onto the Sewardstone Hills provides some fantastic views over the City of London and the loop actually enters the County of Essex for the first time.


The final section passes through the southern end of Epping forest into Chingford and across the M11 Motorway into Chigwell and its Tube station on the Central Line.

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