Stratford to Canary Wharf via Limehouse Cut

An interesting, but industrial, walk from the Olympic Park to the skyscrapers in Docklands.

Technical sheet
No. 2581666
A Newham walk posted on 19/09/19 by npel. Update : 23/10/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h40[?]
Distance Distance : 5.65mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 85ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 89ft
Highest point Highest point : 105ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 0ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Newham
Starting point Starting point : N 51.541674° / W 0.002154°
Ending point Ending point : N 51.506819° / W 0.01643°
Download : -


(D) The walk starts at Stratford railway station, follow the exit signs for the park via the Westfield shopping mall.

(1) Head towards the London Stadium passing to the North of the Aquatics Centre. Then, follow the edge of the stadium to the South, going down the steps to Marshgate Lane, at the bottom. There are a couple of opportunities to climb up onto the straight footpath and cycleway, the Greenway, along this road. Continue along the Greenway, using the diversion at Marshgate Lane to cross under the railway.

(2) The Greenway continues just on the other side of the bridges via a steep slope to the left. Pudding Mill Lane Docklands Light Railway is to the right. Follow the Greenway across the first river crossing and then the junction with the busy main road.

(3) Cross the road using the pedestrian crossing. Continue along the Greenway as far as the right turn to Three Mills.

(4) Leave the Greenway and turn right to follow the path to Three Mills - it will bend sharply to the right and then, head to Three Mills Lock.

(5) Cross via the footbridge onto Three Mills Island, and follow the path on the South of the circle. Turning left before the bridge leads into the old mills, an area worth exploring, after which the route turns left.

(6) The path passes along a thin strip of land between the River Lea and what becomes Limehouse Cut. Follow this under the railway bridge.

(7) At Bow Locks, follow the footbridge over the top of the locks after which the path heads off to the right along Limehouse Cut. Part of this is towpath, but part is a boardwalk built along the edge of the water. After passing underneath Commercial Road and the Docklands Light Railway, look for gardens on the left.

(8) At these gardens, Ropemakers Fields, turn off the path and walk up through the gardens, towards a road. There are signs directing to Canary Wharf, but it is possible to walk straight through to the River Thames.

(9) Turn left on to the Thames Path. The business district of Canary Wharf will be immediately obvious.

(10) Follow the Thames Path to Westferry Circus, and from there, head into Canary Wharf. Crossrail Place is worth exploring as well as the rest of the business area, after which return to Stratford is either using the DLR or the Jubilee Line. (A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 20ft - Stratford Railway Station
1 : mi 1.02 - alt. 23ft - London Stadium
2 : mi 1.44 - alt. 20ft - Pudding Mill Lane DLR
3 : mi 1.68 - alt. 30ft - Road Crossing
4 : mi 2.12 - alt. 16ft - Path to Three Mills
5 : mi 2.73 - alt. 20ft - Three Mills Island
6 : mi 2.92 - alt. 13ft - Path on land between two waterways
7 : mi 3.15 - alt. 10ft - Bow Locks
8 : mi 4.56 - alt. 23ft - Ropemakers Fields
9 : mi 4.84 - alt. 26ft - Thames Path
10 : mi 5 - alt. 46ft - Westferry Circus
A : mi 5.65 - alt. 16ft - Crossrail Place

Useful Information

There are plenty of places to eat and drink at the start and end of this walk.

Note that as the walk starts near the London Stadium, this area will be very busy on event days, and crowd control measures could make the walk difficult.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Look out for the Abbey Mills Pumping Station as you approach (4) and check to see if the old mills are open between (5) and (6)

The end of this walk is marked at Crossrail Place (A), where there is a roof garden to explore, as well as shops and places to eat.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 3/5
Number of opinions : 3
Description quality : 3/5
Routemap quality : 2.67/5
Walk interest : 3.33/5

on Tue 04 Feb 2020 21:44:43 CET

I've been told that this work has now been completed and the tow path is open again, however I'm not currently in a position to verify this myself.


on Sun 02 Feb 2020 17:03:01 CET

Thanks for the update on the closure, I wasn't aware. It is documented here:

However the dates given are 09/09/2019 to 13/12/2019 so I'm guessing the work hasn't gone according to schedule, as I did the walk on 19/09/2019 and it was open when it should have apparently been closed.


on Sun 02 Feb 2020 09:20:38 CET

Global average : 2.33 / 5

Date of walk : 25/01/20
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Very disappointing
Walk interest : Average

Some good parts to this walk. However, the section from Stratford was disappointing. Too much time spent walking through what was quite a derelict area near Pudding Mill Lane Station. Once reaching the towpath there were one or two interesting sights ie Three Mills. Unfortunately, a section past Bow Lock is closed due to some kind of building works so we couldn’t reach Canary Wharf.

on Tue 28 Jan 2020 21:09:51 CET

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 26/01/20
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Good
Walk interest : Good

If you have never been to the Olympic Park, you could easily add a walk around the many venues to the beginning of the walk. There is a good cafe called The View Tube (painted green) on the Greenway almost where the path drops down to Marshgate Lane. The path from the Greenway to Three Mills Lock is muddy and waterproof shoes/boots are advised. As you leave three Mills Island, there is an 18th Century tidal mill open to the public (from May onwards). The walk down Limehouse Cut is easy and at the bottom you can either follow this published walk and go to the Thames and Canary Wharf or you could continue to Limehouse Basin where other options are avaiilable such as a longer walk up the Regent's Canal or cutting short and travelling from Limehouse DLR, or along the Thames Path.

on Mon 11 Nov 2019 10:22:36 CET

Global average : 3 / 5

Date of walk : 11/11/19
Description quality : Average
Easiness to follow the route : Average
Walk interest : Average

Olympic par OK, Canary Wharf OK. Three Mille Island good. Simply walking along the South Bank is considerably more interesting.

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