New East London Cruising Routes

Transformation of derelict East London waterways complete

Are you contemplating boating in the Big Smoke this summer? Well, if so, you’ve picked a good year. For the first time in a generation the Canal & River Trust and London Legacy Development Corporation are welcoming boaters back to the Bow Back Rivers that run through East London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, after a ten-year transformation project that has turned the derelict, virtually unnavigable waterways into a major new route for the capital.

Jon Guest, London waterway manager, said: “The transformation of the area has been incredible. Those with long memories will remember that the rivers in this part of the East End were all but unnavigable, subject to the tides and full of fly-tipped fridges, cars and tyres.  I’m over the moon to see the changes and I’m excited for everyone who will get to explore them, at a time when the capital’s canals and rivers are arguably more popular than any time in history.”

Jon’s enthusiasm is apparent in this video as he talks about the history, and regeneration, of the waterways:

In early July the Loop of waterways around the London Stadium, which includes the Old River Lea, City Mill River and St Thomas Creek, will open to public navigation for cruising without the need for prior booking. Later, at the end of August, Carpenters Road Lock also officially opens. It’s good to know that we’re also planning to create a 100-metre stretch of short stay visitor moorings on a currently unmoorable length of towpath on the Lee Navigation near the Hertford Union Canal.

As boaters may be journeying from far afield to visit the Park some of the new moorings will be pre-bookable to guarantee travellers a place to pull up.  Boaters will be able to reserve a spot at the pre-bookable moorings for up to seven days at a cost of £10 per night with the other spots free for up to a two-day stay.  These moorings will be available by the end of the year.

You might also be interested, as we celebrate the £1.8million restoration of Carpenters Road Lock, in coming along to the first ever East London Waterways Festival at the end of the August. If you want more information about the festival please drop a line to heritage activities officer Joanna Steele.


Above text from CRT  Boaters’ Update 30 June 2017