River Lea

Think of a London river, and you’ll probably think of the Thames. But London has other famous rivers – and one of them is right here in Hackney. The River Lea is twisty and wild in some places, and straight and flat in others, where it flows along man-made canals. It’s a great place for cycling along the towpath and spotting all sorts of water birds, and has an amazing history. Did you know that Vikings sailed up the River Lea in 895?

Where is it?

In Hackney the River Lea flows from Springfield Park through Hackney Marshes all the way to Hackney Wick and the Olympic Park.
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Good to know

Wow fact

Something scary might be lurking in the River Lea. People have seen geese suddenly dragged under-water, as if a hungry animal had grabbed them from below. Could it be a giant pike? Or even an escaped crocodile? Nobody knows for sure.

Find out more

Things to do

- Have a cycling adventure.
- Go bird watching and see if you can spot a kingfisher.
- Learn how to fish.
- Watch the locks in action.

What we did: Year 3 Rowan, Rushmore Primary School

We discovered a floating bookshop on the River Lea! Go to Word on The Water on to find out more...