Wandering along the Regent’s Canal

One of the many contradictions about London is that despite being one of the richest and most expensive cities in the world, sometimes the best things to do really are free. There’s nothing I like more than strolling down a path I’ve yet to discover, taking in the sights, sounds and scenery and not spending a penny. You might not think canals in the city could offer a peaceful walk through right through its centre, but you’ll soon discover that the Regent’s Canal is a great way to get away from the bustling streets and busy underground.

Here’s the walk I took back in April, where in reverse of this month the sun was shining and the city was emerging from what always feels like a long winter…

I’m lucky enough to work in Paddington, and if you follow on Instagram you’ll know I often enjoy a lunchtime break in Little Venice, so I feel qualified to say that it’s a great place to start your day.

Regents-Canal-1

Get off the tube, train or bus at Paddington, aim for Sheldon Square and you’ll shortly find a picturesque place, rippling with relaxed activities. If you want to grab some food before you get going there’s plenty of places in this area, grab a coffee at Beany Green or walk a few minutes along the canal to the lovely little Cafe Laville.

We headed past the Cafe, crossed Edgware Road, and from here followed the Grand Union Pathway. Once you’ve got past this bit it’s all pretty straightforward. You’ll be taken through dark tunnels…

Regents-Canal-2

Pass happy holiday makers or barge dwellers…

Regents-Canal-3

And out into open stretches of calm water, bordered with greenery…

Regents-Canal-5

And money can’t buy (for the average Londoner) houses.

Regents-Canal-4

It’s surprising how with scenes like this it’s not full to the brim with happy tourists and Londoners alike (much like you’ll find Hyde Park at the weekend).

Regents-Canal-6

I don’t think it’s a best kept secret but it sure seems like many haven’t discovered the walk’s charms.

You’ll really notice how the canals borders change along the way, from the calmer parts near to Regent’s Park…

Regents-Canal-7

To the overflowing Camden Locks…

Regents-Canal-8

Leading you to your final destination – King’s Cross.

Regents-Canal-9

If you’re happily chatting away and walking at a leisurely pace it takes about an hour and a half. Here’s a google map of the route I took.

If you check out the Canal River Trust website, you’ll find there are many more options to explore. As the leaves turn golden and we enjoy the last of the year’s real warmth it’s definitely a great time to get out and discover a not so well kept secret of the city.

(If you’re based north of the River and fancy a shorter walk, you may enjoy the New River Walk. I did this some time ago during my days as a north Londoner!)

Have you done the Regent’s Canal Walk? Or found a peaceful part of the city to enjoy the last of the sunshine?

Did you know – Birmingham apparently has more miles of canals than Venice ?! – Making Regent’s Canal a home from home for any Brummie like me 🙂