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.
From Camden Lock, you set off along the canal towpath. Allow an hour or two for a leisurely walk and a coffee.
The Lock Keeper’s cottage is now home to a very busy Starbucks.
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.
There’s no definitive number but up to 15,000 people live on British waterways.
Its impossible to avoid a degree of voyeurism as you stroll along – it just all looks so idyllic….
St. Mark’s Church looms above the path.
Feng Shang Princess Floating Restaurant
There are lots of tour options if you’d rather take to the water….
The canal skirts around Regent’s Park and cuts through London Zoo….
Some stretches are stunning and almost deserted….
And then there are the houses to gape at!!!
Looks like we’ve hit ‘canal boat suburbia’
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!
Look how close we are to the city centre….
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.
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.
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!!