Olympic Park Tour: New version

Three Mills

The final extra section in The Lea Valley Walk guide since London won the Olympics has been the slow walk around the London Olympic main site.

At first it was to encourage readers to look before it changed.

After the London Olympics the transformed and greened area became the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Olympic Arena is now the London Stadium and home to West Ham Football Club.

The walk is surprisingly green with lots of blackberries in the late summer near the start. The paths are also very quiet seven years on from the international focus.

The Olympic legacy has worked slowly so it is only now that it is possible to walk again much of that original pre-Olympic route. The planned temporary closure of the The Greenway highlighted in the current Cicerone edition lasted longer than expected.

The historic notes are of course in the book but below are improved directions for the figure of 8 route.

Memorial to victims of 1901 well rescue

Tour of the Olympic Park

At Three Mills walk in front of the Mill House (left) and turn left to pass a bridge (left) and reach Three Mills Green. Here by Three Mills Wall River (left) there is a modern memorial to men killed in a well rescue in 1901. Continue ahead by the water (left) to cross the end of Prescott Channel.

Continue alongside Three Mills Wall River with a view of Strand East Tower and the red ArcelorMittal Orbit ahead. At the far end is the bridge carrying the main road confusingly called Stratford High Street.

Turn right to pass the end of Abbey Lane (right) and cross the main road at the pedestrian crossing. On the far side go right for a short distance to find The Greenway (left) just before the former Yardley soap building, decorated with a lady and two children carrying lavender.

Turn left on to the at first wide Greenway where there is a first view of the London Stadium.

The path crosses Waterworks River and later the unseen City Mill River before turning sharp left downhill to avoid a railway line. Ahead is Pudding Mill Station. At the road go right to pass under the railway and take a path (right) running uphill to rejoin The Greenway. To the right on the path is the View Tube Cafe.

Go left to continue along The Greenway with the view to the right dominated by the London Stadium. To the left are central London landmarks such as The Shard and The Gherkin. Before the path crosses the River Lea, and where a railing starts, bear half left on a path running down to the river. Go right under The Greenway to follow the towpath upstream towards Old Ford Lock.

Do not cross the footbridge to the lock on the Lea Navigation but stay on the path to follow the Old River Lea. There is a long brick wall to the right. Pass under low pipes and a park road. Soon there is an inlet marking the old entry to Pudding Mill River which was lost as a waterway when the Stadium (right) was built for the Olympics. After two more bridges there is a confluence of Bow Back Rivers.

Cross the blue pre-Olympic footbridge spanning City Mill River. Turn right to walk with the water on the right. The Stadium is across the water. Pass under two bridges. Here the riverside has been turned into a flower meadow. At the third bridge do not go under but take the steps (left) up to a park road. At the top bear right to cross the river and, as the road begins to run downhill, go over the pedestrian crossing to walk up a slope to The Greenway.

Walk straight over The Greenway to retrace the way downhill and under the railway. To the right is Pudding Mill Station. The walk continues left up a rising path to rejoin The Greenway. Follow the path back to the main road. Use the pedestrian crossing ahead to continue along The Greenway and pass Abbey Mills Pumping Station (right).

Just as the path bends to cross Abbey Creek go right through gates to follow a high concrete path with water below (left). After a short distance bear left on to the concrete zig-zag path and follow a further narrrow path which runs down to the water.

Stay on the rough and wooded waterside path. This eventually and suddenly bears right to a firm path running up Prescott Channel. Pass the lock and cross the long footbridge to Three Mills Green. Stay on path to the left of the grass and at the end go left to reach Three Mills.

Old Pudding Mill River entry

Pre-Olympic bridge survived Games
City Mill River
The London Stadium site as seen in the 2007 edition
Abbey Creek path

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