A perfect distraction from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of London can be something as simple as a walk in a beautiful, green space, and this is something that the Regent’s Canal Walk offers in abundance.
Indeed, what better way is there to relax and unwind than for travellers to get back to nature and take a welcome stroll along some of the most picturesque waterways in the whole of the south-east of England?
A little bit of history for visitors to enjoy
Stretching for 14 km and providing a link from the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal in the north of London to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in the east of the city, the Regent’s Canal was constructed in the early 19th century and down the years has been one of the English capital’s most-used and important waterways.
A means of transporting large amounts of heavy goods swiftly and with relative ease through one of the most urban landscapes of the time, the Regent’s Canal quickly became one of the most important transport links in the whole of London and was a logistical cornerstone that helped to power the city’s industrial revolution.
Today, the canal is less used as a means for transporting heavy machinery and other essentials into the heart of London and instead has become more of a rural retreat and place of relaxation in a city that always has something going on.
Fabulous attractions along the Regent’s Canal
Described by the Canal & River trust as “one of London’s best-kept secrets”, the Regent’s Canal Walk is a perfect attraction for lovers of the great outdoors and anyone keen to explore some of the English capital’s most picturesque areas.
Little Venice is a beautiful area of canals and waterways that is reminiscent of its more illustrious namesake, with some lovely cafes and places to stop off and explore.
Meanwhile, lovers of cricket might like to take a stroll down the canal to the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, which plays host to some of the illustrious national and international matches throughout the year.
Other attractions that walkers will pass during their time on the Regent’s Canal include skirting the boundaries of the famous Regent’s Park (home to the world-renowned ZSL London Zoo), as well as passing through the popular and vibrant borough of Camden, with its many markets and excellent nightlife.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the many exciting sights of the iconic West End as they make their way along the length of the canal, before passing through the revived Mile End Park – complete with its many arts pavilions, terraced gardens and beautiful green bridge that offers impressive views out over Canary Wharf.
Finally, the walk will bring travellers out to the Limehouse Basin and the banks of the River Thames, which is itself a perfect place to visit and simply watch the world go by.
Covering the more than 14 km that make up the Regent’s Canal Walk is no mean feat though, so visitors should ensure they are taking regular breaks and taking the time to truly soak up the beauty and idyllic natural environment of London that surrounds them.
The full route of the Regent’s Canal Walk
Anyone with a taste for exploration and the great outdoors can join in and take in the ample and exciting sights of the Regent’s Canal, with the full route being:
- Grand Union Canal at Maida Vale
- Paddington Basin
- Maida Hill Tunnel
- Eyre’s Tunnel
- Cumberland Basin
- Hampstead Road Locks
- Hawley Lock
- Kentish Town Lock
- St Pancras Basin
- St Pancras Lock
- Battlebridge Basin
- Islington Tunnel
- City Road Lock
- City Road Basin
- Wenlock Basin
- Sturt’s Lock
- Kingsland Basin
- Laburnam Basin
- Acton’s Lock
- Old Ford Lock
- Link to the Hertford Union Canal
- Mile End Lock
- Johnson’s Lock
- Salmon Lane Lock
- Commercial Road Lock
- Limehouse basin Marina
- Link to Limehouse Cut
- Limehouse basin Lock
- River Thames
Visitors can join the Regent’s Canal walk anywhere along the route, meaning this really is a fabulous and healthy way to explore the English capital.
Narrowboat tours and kayaking on the Regent’s Canal
Finally, it is not simply individuals that wish to enjoy a relaxed walk that can enjoy the many fantastic sights and experiences along the Regent’s Canal, as there is also the chance for visitors to take to the waters themselves.
Narrowboats can be hired for a fee and allow anyone with a taste for nautical exploration the chance to head out to explore the surrounding area. What’s more, they are not simply constrained to the Regent’s Canal, but can head further outside of London on the many surrounding waterways if they so wish.
There is also the opportunity for people with a taste for kayaking to do just that, with these small and nimble vessels providing an excellent way to gently traverse the calm waters of the canal, while also offering access to places that those on foot might otherwise be unable to reach.