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Hackney and Walthamstow Marshes Walk

Stroll around one of London's best known natural landmarks

Hiking Easy

8.8 km
15 m
15 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
4 m
High Point
8 m
Hackney and Walthamstow Marshes Walk Map

Hackney Marshes is a large area of open land located in the London Borough of Hackney, England. It covers over 340 acres and is home to a variety of recreational facilities including football pitches, cricket fields, and cycling tracks. The marshes are situated alongside the River Lea and are part of the wider Lee Valley Park.


Hackney Marshes is perhaps best known for its football pitches, which are some of the most popular in the country. There are over 80 football pitches on the marshes, and on any given weekend, thousands of players and spectators can be found enjoying the games. The marshes have also been used as a filming location for various movies and TV shows, including "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Top Boy".

In addition to sports facilities, Hackney Marshes is also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. The area is part of the Lee Valley Special Protection Area, which is a designated site of international importance for bird conservation.

Walthamstow Marshes, meanwhile, are home to a variety of wildlife including many species of birds, insects, and small mammals. It is a popular spot for birdwatchers due to its diverse birdlife, including reed warblers, kingfishers, and herons.

The marshes are also home to a number of rare plant species, including the meadow saxifrage and the marsh marigold. The area is maintained by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and is regularly used for community events and activities.

In addition to its natural features, Walthamstow Marshes have a rich cultural history. The area was once used for grazing cattle and has been an important resource for the local community for centuries. It was also used as a training ground for soldiers during World War I and has been the subject of many paintings and photographs over the years.

This walk takes in the best of Hackney Marshes, Wick Woodland, Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve and a long section of the River Lee towpath. It's not wilderness by any stretch of the imagination but this is a long and enjoyable wander in the heart of the city.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between March and October


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area