The Lea Navigation starts at Bow Locks and continues north to Hertford. The Limehouse cut carried barges on to the Thames at Limehouse, or they could go through the locks and into the tidal Bow Creek which is the lower reaches of the River Lea.
Just below the East India Dock Road is perhaps London's most spectacular piece of scenery, where Bow Creek goes through a large 'S' bend before joining the River Thames at Leamouth.
Inside the first bend of the S is now a nature reserve, while the second bend, until recently occupied by the Pura Foods edible oils factory has been levelled to the ground and awaits planning permission and redevelopment, with flats, shops and businesses etc.
Parts of a public walkway from the EI Dock Rd to the end of the river were built in the 1990s but have never opened to the public; a competition for a bridge to take the path over the river below the Lower Lea Crossing (1991) was held a few years ago, but the award-winning design has yet to be built.
There is a walkway on the west side of the first part of the bend going to the road at Leamouth, and some fine views from the DLR viaduct (opened 1994.)
This area was once heavily industrialised, and included one of the country's leading ship-building yards.
1980-92 Black & White index
2000 on: colour
All photographs on this site are
© 1980-2010 Peter Marshall.
Rather than use Bow creek, barges could alternatively go along the Limehouse
which originally had its own lock leading to the River Thames, but was later joined to
the Regents Canal system at Limehouse Dock and entered the Thames from there.
more pictures - from north of East India Dock Road
index to 1980-1992 pictures