London canalside camping: Lee Valley

Learn bushcraft skills at this back-to-basics campsite outside London

Almost Wild Campsite


The Almost Wild Campsite, just outside London in the Lee Valley, is designed for the sort of camper who’s determined to keep things as rough and ready as possible. This campsite is all about embracing nature – there’s a fire pit, composting toilets and a cold water tap, plus the opportunity to take courses in bushcraft skills led by the Lee Valley rangers. The experience is definitely aimed at the more adventurous camper, and pitches are within a suitably rugged setting, nestled among mature woodland and surrounded by water.

The River Lea heads from the hills of Hertfordshire down through Essex into London, where it joins the Thames. As one of London’s principle rivers, it’s always been heavily industrialised and there were once numerous factories located along its banks, which used the water for transport and power. The Lea is now increasingly used for leisure, and the Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite is a great base for exploring the river and the surrounding countryside.

While the town of Broxbourne – with shops, restaurants and three pubs – are all within easy walking distance – the Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite is designed for those hoping to take a break from the comforts of modern living. Campers can even take a bushcraft course, which will teach them how to survive in the wild. The one- and two-day courses involve learning how to use axes and saws, light a fire without matches, go foraging, build shelters, whittle tools and purify your own water. The campsite is also well located for the Lee Valley Canoe Cycle, where you can hire bikes and canoes, and for the adrenaline-packed offerings of the Lee Valley White Water Centre. There’s also a network of walking and cycling routes for those who simply want to enjoy the peace and quiet of life beside our waterways.

Plan your stay at Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite, and find out more about the Lee Navigation on the Canal & River Trust website.