GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Waltham Abbey Walk

6 miles (9 km)

Enjoy a circular walk around Waltham Abbey and Lee Valley Park on this lovely route. The walk passes the interesting historical sites of Waltham Abbey Church and the Royal Gunpowder Mills before a visit to the delightful River Lee Country Park with its canal side trails.
The walk starts at Waltham Abbey Church where you can explore the remains of the abbey. The present church dates mainly from the early 12th century and is an example ofNorman architecture.
The walk heads north from the church along the pretty Cornmill Stream. The slow-moving stream and Old River Lea form a freshwater habitat with one of the most diverseinvertebratefauna in Essex. Eighteen species ofdragonfliesanddamselflieshave been recorded including the uncommon and nationally decliningwhite-legged damselfly. Look out for a variety of birdlife in this area too.
Just to the west of the stream you will find the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Set in 175 acres (0.71km2) of parkland the site consists of 21 buildings of major historical importance with interesting exhibitions and interactive displays.
The walk continues north towards Holyfield, passing attractive woodland areas before entering the River Lee Country Park. The lovely 1000 acre park has a series of footpaths and cycle trails running between the numerous lakes and watercourses. It's great for wildlife watching with lots of different water loving birds to look out for. Keep your eyes peeled forBittern, Smew, Water Rail and Shoveler on the lakes or in the reedbeds.
The walk picks up a section of the Lea Valley Walk, heading south through the centre of the park along the River Lea. Around Holdbrook you turn east to return to Waltham Abbey.
If you would like to extend your walk you could continue south along the Lea Valley Walk and visit the Walthamstow Reservoirs.
The London Loop passes just to the south of Waltham Abbey. You could pick this up and head west to visit Whitewebbs Park which has some nice woodland trails to try.
The Pilgrimage Way long distance cycling and walking trail also starts in the town.

Waltham Abbey OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Waltham Abbey Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Walks near Waltham Abbey

  • Lea Valley Walk - A super walk with a series of delightful waterside sections along the River Lea
  • London Loop - Also known as the London Outer Orbital Path, this walk takes you on a tour of the parks, woods and fields around the edge of Outer London
  • Epping Forest Centenary Walk - Follow the Epping Forest Centenary Walk fom Manor Park to Epping on this pleasant 15 mile walk
  • Walthamstow Reservoirs - Enjoy a waterside walk or cycle along this series of reservoirs in Walthamstow
  • Whitewebbs Park - This pretty country park in Enfield has some nice footpaths to follow around the parkland and woodland
  • Pilgrimage Way - This is a largely traffic free cycle ride or walk from Barking Abbey to Waltham Abbey via Three Mills, Limehouse Basin and the Olympic Park.
    The route starts at Barking Abbey and heads through Plaistow and Mill Meads to the Limehouse Basin
  • Hadleigh to Stratford Legacy Walk - A walk created to celebrate the 2012 Olympic games in London
  • Rye Meads - This RSPB bird reserve in Hoddesdon has some nice nature trails to try.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The circular Theydon Bois Oak Trail can be picked up on the eastern side of the nearby Epping Forest at Theydon Bois underground station. The challenging trail visits Ambresbury Banks Iron Age Fort and a Deer Sanctuary near the village.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Essex Walks page.

Photos

Waltham Abbey ruins - geograph.org.uk - 2430794

Waltham Abbey ruins

Waltham Abbey, Essex - geograph.org.uk - 311778

Highbridge Street looking east towards the Abbey.

Waltham Abbey rose garden - geograph.org.uk - 2430800

Rose garden

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey - geograph.org.uk - 1366239

Royal Gunpowder Mills. This is a waterwheel powered gunpowder press. The press is hidden behind the large traverse (blast wall) on the left. The round topped building houses the remains of the waterwheel powered hydraulic pressure pump. This part of the site is an SSSI and is viewed from a 'landtrain' tour.

Incorporating mill, Royal Gunpowder Mills - geograph.org.uk - 1364748

Incorporating mill, Royal Gunpowder Mills. This is the Group C Mills from 1861, a Grade 1 listed building with a central beam engine house flanked by three sets of incorporating mills each side. Each mill is separated by a blast wall and the front and back walls are lightweight.

Waltham Abbey Gateway - geograph.org.uk - 1030425

Gateway built in 1360 with some of the earliest brickwork in England

Harold's Bridge in Waltham Abbey - geograph.org.uk - 346714

Harold's Bridge. This bridge in the Abbey's grounds is reputed to be 1000 years old. King Harold was said to have been buried at Waltham Abbey after the battle of Hastings.

River Lee Navigation near Waltham Cross - geograph.org.uk - 542497

River Lee Navigation Canal near Waltham Cross. Narrowboat "Bob" approaches Waltham Town Lock.

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Waltham Abbey.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Waltham Abbey.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)