4 miles (6.5km)
Once the River Lea had enough water just beyond the source to drive a mill. But this first stretch into Luton is remarkably rural, with rare plants and the possibility of seeing a kingfisher. The first pub on the river is Bedfordshire’s oldest building. The beginning of the Lea Valley Walk follows the Icknield Way Trail, a 105 mile regional route based closely on the line of Britain’s oldest road running from Wiltshire to Norfolk.
Leagrave’s Three Horseshoes Roundabout: McDonald’s. Open all day.
Biscot: Old Moat House, Nunnery Lane, Biscot. Mon-Fri 12-2.30pm and 5.30-11pm; Sat and Sun open all day.
Luton: Cafes in shopping centre and town.
Luton: Premier Travel Inn (The Brache), Osborne Road LU1 3HJ (01582 421900). On Walk near southern edge of town in Section 2.
Leagrave: National Rail.
Luton: National Rail.
Luton: Luton Central Library, St George’s Square (01582 401579).
OS Explorer 193 (Luton & Stevenage).