Regents Canal, London

Little Venice

Ceremony on Primrose Hill

London Zoo Aviary

St Pancras Lock

Kings Cross Redevelopment

Lately I have spent so much time thinking about the Thames, other waterways, tributaries and streams have been drawn to my attention and I have had to explore: The Regents Canal hugs the northern side of central London, running from Paddington and the junction with the Grand Union Canal in the west, to Limehouse Basin in the Docklands in the east. Recently we walked along the canal from Paddington to Kings Cross, taking in Little Venice, Primrose Hill, London Zoo and bustling Camden Lock market on the way.

Given it is an illusive off road east-west route in the city, the path was buzzing with cyclists and pedestrians. There were even a number of waterbus services linking the tourist sites on the way. Part of my reason for walking along the canal was to scope out its potential as a commuting route, as Paddington is my main London terminus. But despite it being a Saturday, it was just too busy. Happily buzzing for a weekend stroll, but unimaginable as peak-time weekday cycling commute. Narrow paths, too many gates and barriers to negotiate, plus the levels of foot and two wheeled traffic. Which is a shame, as not being a regular London cyclist and some of the city traffic giving me the fear, I often find the thought of a nice off-road route very very tempting…
However, since our trip, I have seen this job advertised – it is reassuring to know that the growing number of foot and cycle commuters and the desirablity of routes like this have not gone unnoticed. It is a fantastic route, winding through a really distinct selection of Capital landscapes, plus it has the bonus of being near water, which never fails to make me happy. Hopefully there can be some joined-up thinking so the potential of the canal way can be enjoyed by all its users.

You can see all of my Regents Canal photos on Flickr