London Out and About – Along Regent’s Canal

Ah yes – the London tick list – Big Ben,  Tower Bridge,  Buckingham Palace,  St. Paul’s,  Trafalgar Square,  Piccadilly,  Harrods,  Madame Tussauds,  Westminster Abbey,  Borough Market,  Tate,  Hyde Park,  West End Show,  etc.,  etc.,  etc….  If you need a breather from major landmarks and shopping streets then you might enjoy a relaxing stroll (if you’ve any energy left!) along a stretch of Regent’s Canal.

The canal was opened in 1820 and stretches for 8.6 miles but,  unless you’re in London for an extended trip,  you might like to concentrate on a 2.5 mile span between Camden Lock and Little Venice.

 

 

You can start (or finish!) with a browse around Camden Market.

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From Camden Lock,  you set off along the canal towpath.   Allow an hour or two for a leisurely walk and a coffee.

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The Lock Keeper’s cottage is now home to a very busy Starbucks.

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The area around the markets and locks can be busy but most of the crowd stays put so the pathway becomes much more enjoyable as you move away.

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There’s no definitive number but up to 15,000 people live on British waterways.

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Its impossible to avoid a degree of voyeurism as you stroll along – it just all looks so idyllic….

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St. Mark’s Church looms above the path.

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Feng Shang Princess Floating Restaurant

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There are lots of tour options if you’d rather take to the water….

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The canal skirts around Regent’s Park and cuts through London Zoo….

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Some stretches are stunning  and almost deserted….

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And then there are the houses to gape at!!!

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Looks like we’ve hit ‘canal boat suburbia’

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Some ‘liveaboards’,  as they are called,  keep on the move,  never docking anywhere for more than a week or two.  Others prefer to rent a permanent mooring space –  costing them up to £12,000 per year!

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Look how close we are to the city centre….

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We’ve left the Regent’s Park area and are nearing Little Venice.  There are moored boats on both sides of the canal and the route is lined with terraces of Regency houses.

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Regent’s Canal meets the Grand Union Canal at a junction known as Little Venice.  This area of tranquility is actually home to several floating businesses – apart from the boat trips to Camden Lock,  you will find floating cafes,  a puppet theatre,  a hotel and an art gallery among others.

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A little further on,  reality hits again as you join the stream of commuters at Paddington Station and get back to that sightseeing check list!!

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42 thoughts on “London Out and About – Along Regent’s Canal

  1. Great post and lovely photos, Marie. I’ve been to London countless times and always managed to see something new and exciting. It’s such a beautiful city worth visiting, and as huge Sherlock Holmes fan, would love to go back one day to visit locations that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day 😀 Aiva

    1. I think every Irish person must have connections in London. We both have relatives there and try and make it over at least once per year. Although each visit is mainly taken up with family, like you we try and do at least one new thing every time. You could spend a full visit on Sherlock Holmes I’m sure – so many connections…..

    1. We hadn’t been there for years – actually probably decades! – until we returned there last year…. there was a great buzz about the place.

  2. This post brought back memories from last year. I couldn’t believe the photos I have the exact same ones! I know what you mean about voyeurism, I was dying to look right into the windows. And the houses aren’t they incredible, I wonder who lives in them. Such a great walk isn’t it. We took a few buses from Fenchurch street and it’s even better if you get to sit at the top of a double decker!
    Lovely post

    1. I know the tube is great for distance and speed but I love getting the bus in London – there’s so much to see. Glad you enjoyed the post. XXXMarie

  3. Ah! Nostalgia, how dangerous. In my high-flying days in London I lived for a year on a canal boat in Little Venice but it wasn’t as glam then as it is now. It was decidedly downmarket and cheaper than a flat and I shared with a ‘remittance’ girl from the Home Counties whose parents paid her a monthly sum to keep away from home! Our neighbour was a Countess who bred white Persian cats and another one who read Tarot cards and had some very strange visitors.
    We had great fun because we were young, but oh, the cold nights, the emptying of the Edison, the squelch up the tow-path in wellies carrying good shoes for work, and coming back at night in the winter. Fogged up windows, spluttering stoves, I wonder how I survived!

    1. Great story!!! And how cool are you!!! I’m going to ignore the last part here – cold nights, fogged up windows…. We’ll just focus on the positives – High-flying!! Countess! Tarot reading! Now we’ll definitely all buy your memoir!!!!

      1. The Fifties was a great time to live in London despite the hardships still apparent post-war. A great sense of freedom and a future full of aspiration, but full employment was the best thing as one knew that if one didn’t like a job one could leave and get a new job immediately. That gave a great sense of possibility. But I’ll never forget the cold nights!!

  4. Thanks for sharing Marie. I wanted to do this in 2008, but was over ruled by the family. Pity. Hope I can get back to go have a look. Cheers. Allan

    1. Oh… this would be a tough one if it came to a vote!! There’s so much to do in London, and then everyone has different priorities, I can see how it would lose out. You’ll just have to go back!

  5. Thank you Marie for bringing lovely memories back! I lived in London for a few years and I did the canal boat trip several times. A work colleague lived in a barge and used to organize the trip once a year. They were wonderful days out!

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