River Lee

river in southern England

The River Lee or River Lea[2] is a river in England. It begins in Leagrave Park, Leagrave, Luton in the Chiltern Hills. It flows generally southeast, east, and then south to London where it meets the River Thames. The last section is known as Bow Creek. A section of the river runs through Hertford castle and shares a valley with the river Beane at Hartham common. Morgans School, in Hertford, have named one of their houses after the river Lea.

River Lea at Hertford Basin
CountryUnited Kingdom
CountiesBedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Greater London
TownsLeagrave, Luton, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Waltham Abbey, Enfield Town, Edmonton, Tottenham, Clapton, Stratford, Bow, Canning Town
Physical characteristics
 - locationLeagrave, Luton
 - coordinates51°54′37″N 0°27′40″W / 51.910338°N 0.461233°W / 51.910338; -0.461233
 - elevation115 m (377 ft)
 - locationBow Creek, River Thames
 - coordinates51°30′26″N 0°00′33″E / 51.5072°N 0.0092°E / 51.5072; 0.0092
 - elevation0 m (0 ft)
Length68 km (42 mi)
 - locationLuton Hoo, Luton
 - average1.8 m3/s (64 cu ft/s)
 - locationFeildes Weir, Hoddesdon
 - average4.3 m3/s (150 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Official nameLea Valley
Designated9 October 2000
Reference no.1037[1]


  1. "Lee Valley". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. Historically, the river has been called the "Lea", "Lee" or "Ley". The "Ley" spelling is seen in mediaeval documents but subsequently passed from common usage. Currently, "Lea" and "Lee" are the generally accepted spellings, with "Lea" used in reference to the original natural river and "Lee" refers to the canalised parts like the Lee Navigation.