Monday, May 28, 2012

Regent's Canal, 26th May

I believe the word to describe the weather this weekend is ‘glorious’. And I, like the rest of London, wanted to make the most of it. We decided to walk Regent’s Canal, both because it is on my List, and because Stephen and I live opposite it and wondered if it would make a feasible cycle route for getting to work in Angel and King’s Cross respectively, knowing that it takes you all the way there.

In actual fact, it doesn’t exactly take you all the way there, as you get booted off at Angel and would have to go via real roads for a bit to get to King’s Cross. Not viable for me as I have sworn to myself never to risk life and limb on London’s roads, but potential for Stephen, especially during the Olympics.

But I digress. We joined Regent’s Canal from Victoria Park and walked along it until we could literally walk no more. I didn’t really know the route it took other than it ended up at King’s Cross somehow and of course went past Regent’s Park. The most popular stretch according to Time Out is the bit between Camden and Little Venice, which we strolled along at the end of the day at around 5:30. 



Random Chinese looking building at the start or the Camden leg
It was very serene, with hardly any people going in our direction or coming the other way. It was actually the quietest part of the canal for the part that is supposed to be the most popular but the time of day probably had something to do with that. This stretch takes you along Regent’s Park and past London Zoo, which is pretty cool. You go past the bird enclosure on one side and, I think, the giraffe pen on the other. We didn’t see any giraffes but there was a stork(?)-like bird close to us on our near side.




This section also takes you past some formidably grand houses. We came up to the first one and wondered what the special-looking building was. When we passed it and realised they were all like this, we knew we were in rich person territory and that these were actual houses, the likes of which I wouldn’t even bother dreaming about owning, knowing how unrealistic that dream would be. We weren’t the only ones awestruck enough to take pictures. 





The walk to Little Venice is about 2 miles from where we rejoined the path at Regent’s Park. I thought that once we got to Little Venice there would be ... I don’t know... More, to warrant having a name for the area. Regent’s Canal ends here and turns into Paddington Branch so there is more than one canal, and that must be the only (slightly poor) reason behind the moniker. There was a little park and an area with Zizzi’s and Starbucks etc but that was all.I had no idea where Little Venice was in the grand scheme of things, so Paddington being the nearest tube was a bit of a surprise. I felt quite proud to have walked from East London to West and to be able to compare practically the entire path. I personally preferred the earlier part of our walk through East London. There were varying degrees of busyness and you could get a feel for where you were by the buildings and people that populated the path. For instance, when being deluged by one speed bikes and all manner of bicycle ‘bells’ (including people saying ‘ring ring’) you knew you were in hipsterville. It was busier here, as you veered through areas such as London Fields and Hackney. We passed a couple of food outlets that opened up onto the canal and looked very tempting though we didn’t stop. We saw some fish swimming in the canal and enjoyed the plethora of houseboats lining the canal, some of which were toting their wares.

I love walking around London and have walked so much of it I sometimes feel I’ve run out of areas to explore. It was nice to find a different way to walk through London, and on such a hot day, it was a good way to spend some time outdoors. Definitely recommend East for people watching, West for romance and calm.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to add your views, or maybe suggest somewhere I should put on my list!

About Me

My photo

I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.