East London

East London

Olympic Park and Limehouse Basin.

Walks and Talks

Our guided walks are well established and have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. Children will compare the nearest river with the canal, find out how a lock works, learn about the local history and spot the surprisingly wide variety of water birds. During most of our walks, children have spotter booklets to guide their exploration and we answer a wide range of questions! Walks last 1.5-2 hours and all begin with a water safety discussion.

We also deliver classroom workshops which focus on the importance of the River Lea and the canals as a transport route, and therefore the development of London. Flowing from Hertfordshire through Tottenham, Hackney and joining the Thames at Limehouse, as well as the Regents Canal stretching through central London, these features easily tie into local studies, transport and river topics. Workshops last about 1 hour and use handling items, photos and interactions to introduce the waterways and their history.

Guided Walk Locations

Carpenters Road Lock in the Olympic Park

Start and finish by the Aquatics Centre or White Post Lane near Hackney Wick. Explore the history of the River Lea which runs through the Olympic Park. Find out about its importance as a transport network. Visit Carpenters Road Lock and find out why it is unique. Discover the more traditional Old Ford Lock and see it in action.

Unfortunately, there are no toilet facilities on this route, however there are accessible public toilets in the Westfield centre if arriving from Stratford station. There are outdoor, public spaces available for eating lunch.

Limehouse Basin

Start and finish at Limehouse DLR station. Today Limehouse Basin is an attractive location full of boats and waterbirds. Find out why it was built and what it looked like 200 years ago. Compare the manmade Regent’s Canal with the mighty River Thames. Be amazed at the rush of water as the river lock fills and, if you’re lucky, watch the road bridge open to let a big boat into the basin.

There are toilets available on this route, including an accessible cubicle. The route is step-free. There are outdoor, public spaces available for eating lunch. Download a visitor map of Limehouse Basin

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your trip and back in the classroom:

All About Rivers

All About Canals

Life on the English Waterways

Canal & River Habitats Learning Bundle


All visits to our London sites are FREE!


Site visits are limited to one class of children (max. 35) at a time, due to guide numbers and space limitations. On most occasions we can host two visits in one day.

All East London site visits are outdoors with very few shelter options. Please ensure participants are appropriately dressed. All visits are weather dependent.

See individual site information above for toilet availability and accessibility.