Canal towpath overlooking Three Mills Wall River with a view across to Sugar House Island

The Lower Lea Valley is the southern end of the Lea Valley which surrounds the River Lea in eastern Greater London. It is part of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area and was the location of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

A 2005 documentary What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day? focused on the history and landscape of the Lower Lea Valley. The film was made by Paul Kelly in conjunction with British pop group Saint Etienne.[1]


The Lower Lea Valley can be described as the part to the south of the long chain of reservoirs which end with the East and West Warwick Reservoirs. The Lea changes course at this point, changing from a SSW to a SSE direction for the last 5 miles (8.0 km) before its confluence with the Thames at Blackwall and Canning Town.

The north-west of the area is in the London Borough of Hackney, the south-east is in the London Borough of Newham, the south-west is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and the north-east is in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.


Three Mills is a former working tidal mill mentioned in the Domesday book.

The Lower Lea includes Hackney Marshes and the Lea River Park, a collection of six parks which connect Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to the Royal Docks and the River Thames; linked by the Leaway.

Three Mills Lane, looking out from the tide mill

The redevelopment of the Lea River Park opens up 45 acres (18 ha) of new space creating walkways and cycle paths. The project completes the 26-mile long Lee Valley Regional Park which connects Ware in Hertfordshire to the River Thames.

Photo of the Cody Dock Rolling Bridge

It takes an hour to walk the entire Lea River Park with the opportunity to stop off and learn about some of the area's rich history, including:

Redevelopment areas

Responsibility for the redevelopment of most of the area was under the remit of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation until 2012. The area around the Olympic site is now under the control of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Part of the area is an enterprise zone including Silvertown Quays, Royal Albert Dock and Royal Albert Basin.[5] Current areas identified for redevelopment are:


  1. ^ Saints of the screen Retrieved 26 November 2011
  2. ^ "Rolling Bridge". Archived from the original on 11 September 2022.
  3. ^ "One-of-a-kind footbridge tumbles over to let boats pass". New Atlas. 3 March 2023. Archived from the original on 7 March 2023.
  4. ^ Cody Dock Rolling Bridge on YouTube
  5. ^ "The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone | Greater London Authority". Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Tesco Bromley-by-Bow scheme gets go-ahead".
  7. ^ "Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme Masterplan". Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Chobham Manor". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  9. ^ Dyckhoff, Tom (27 July 2012). "Let's move to Stratford and the Olympic Park, east London". The Guardian. London.
  10. ^ "East Wick". Archived from the original on 28 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Marshgate Wharf". Archived from the original on 28 May 2013.
  12. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Park suburb names unveiled". The Guardian. 2 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Silvertown Quays". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Stratford City". Archived from the original on 24 October 2012.
  15. ^ "New 'cut price' office space seeks to lure start-ups from Shoreditch". Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Where young Londoners should look for new waterside homes without paying a Thames-side premium". Homes and Property. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Bromley by Bow gasworks". Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks. 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2022.

51°33′N 0°1′W / 51.550°N 0.017°W / 51.550; -0.017