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Map and Directions for The Black Path

The Black Path is an ancient trail that farmers used to drive their cattle, geese and sheep to Smithfield from their farms that lay to the East of the River Lea. Today we can make the same journey on foot and visit the countryside of London along the way.

This map shows part of The Black Path between Columbia Road and Walthamstow Marshes. It can be walked in either direction in two halves and here is a description of the route of the homeward journey.

Sunday is the best day to walk from Columbia Road to London Fields as there are two markets along the way, including the flower market.

Starting amongst the plants and flowers that fill the street, continue along Columbia Road and cross over to Hackney City Farm.

Then along Goldsmiths Row, over the canal bridge and through Broadway Market.

Walk across London Fields and along the path and turn right and then left into Hackney Grove.

Here you find yourself for the first time on a busy main road but turn left, look ahead and you soon see St Augustine's Tower.

This is the halfway point.

Follow the path behind the tower and perhaps stop off to visit the walled garden. The path takes you to Sutton Place and nearby is Sutton House - the tudor house.

After the peace and strangeness when visiting here, turn left along the main road. It is only a few minutes before you turn right into Powerscroft Road. It is less busy, the pavements are wide and tree lined - and it inclines downhill into the Lea Valley.

Stop at the end to look back and forwards and see that the road has become a path again. Walk across Mill Fields to the river. We do not know exactly where the drovers crossed the river. Over many, many years of The Black Path there were different ways to herd their livestock across the water.

But the best way for us now is to turn left, walk along the river path and under Lea Bridge.

Walthamstow Marshes lie on the other side of the river and for the first time you may come across a sign that says, "The Black Path." Follow this path ....

The blue line is the river

The red lines are main roads

The orange lines are quieter roads

The brown lines are paths

Columbia Road London E3 7RG nearest stations are Old Street and Shoreditch High Street, buses 8, 26, 149,242, 388.

Hackney Central and Hackney Downs railway stations are near the half way point.

Clapton Station is nearest to Walthamstow Marshes but it is a steep uphill walk. Buses 55 and 56 run along Lea Bridge Road.

This walk is the middle part of The Black Path. It has been lost amongst the buildings of London over the centuries between Hackney and Smithfield although it is still possible to trace the path throught Walthamstow's roads which have stayed more true to the original paths.

The beginning and the end of The Black Path may appeal to those who enjoy urban walks but this map is especially for anyone who loves to escape from the city into the countryside along the byways of London.



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