LittleVenice on Regent’s Canal

 We are back in South Africa now, but we spent a few days in London en route, and took the opportunity to do a waterway wandering with a difference – the towpath of the Regents Canal.

This canal starts at ‘Little Venice’ at the junction with the Grand Union Canal, and winds it way almost unnoticed through the suburbs of North and East London until Limehouse Basin, from where a boat can access the River Thames, via a lock of course.
Litle Venice (first photo) is a sought after address, boasting high priced apartments overlooking the canal. Here one can take a coffee at the floating restaurant, watch the passing boats, or take a canal boat cruise up to Camden Lock and back.
As barge traffic was originally pulled by horses, there is always a towpath alongside the canal. These have been maintained by British Waterways, along with the canals, and are used by walkers, runners, cyclists and fisherman, as well as boats for which they were originally intended.

Blomfield Marina – Canal Liveaboard Mooring

 So we set out in the direction of Limehouse, and soon passed Blomfield Marina (second Photo), which is one of the many permanent mooring spots on the UK waterways.

Over the past few years it has become more viable to purchase a boat and live aboard, as opposed to owning a house or appartment.

The Regents Canal passes through a number of well to do areas.
Living on a boat here is one way to have an upmarket address on a shoestring budget.

Camden Lock

 The most well known area on the Regent’s Canal, where we came to next, is Camden.
This is a trendy area, boasting all types of markets, and with many celebrities living or owning property in the vicinity – Gwen Stefani, Jamie Oliver to name but two.
Coldplay have their own studio there.
Loads of locals and tourists sit at the cafes on the canals and watch the constant stream of boats negotiate the locks (third photo).

A little way past Camden is the London Canal Museum. Well worth a visit if you are interested in the history of the canals. Particularly fascinating to me, as many of  the cargo handling methods used on the barges, and shown in the museum, were common practice when I first went to sea.

We decided not to rush the walk and so left the towpath, found the nearest underground station, and went off – to resume the walk the next day…..

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