Sunday, 29 January 2017

#London Walks Walk of the Week: The Regent's Canal #LittleVenice to #CamdenTown @IWA_UK

Every Sunday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks
repertoire and put it centre stage.

You can check out the full schedule at

But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…

The Regent's Canal Little Venice to Camden Town

Warwick Avenue Tube

Sunday 5th February 2.30pm Meet at Warwick Avenue Tube

The prettiest of our Regent's Canal Walks.

It begins at Little Venice, harbour and home to waterfolk and landlubbers alike. There's prestigious – and catch-in-the-throat attractive – real estate on and off the water. On the water because many of the "narrow boats" have been converted into very desirable houseboats. It's been said, with very little exaggeration, that this is quite possibly the most beautiful residential neighbourhood in the world

The scene is almost more Dutch than Venetian. Uniquely, the canal here is an extra ingredient in a London street. The buildings flanking the street vary from elegant semi-detached stuccoed villas and terraced houses to Edwardian mansion flats. They're very fine in their own right. Add to them the green of the mature trees forming a canopy to the canal and the water itself and the palette of brightly coloured boats (in exquisite counterpoint to the creamy stucco of the houses) and the delightful bridges that bookend the ensemble – well, it makes for a very special place. 

And that's just for starters. From there the canal runs through a tunnel under the Edgware Road and on to St. John's Wood, where it emerges to stunning views of Primrose Hill Regent's Park and the London Zoo. And always with the canal walks – because you're in an automobile-free-zone – everything slows right down and you're back in the 1820s. Back in the 1820s seeing a London you'd never otherwise see. It's back-door London. Grand houses that back onto the canal. In some cases they have their own little pier with their boat tied up to it. All very much in marked – and delightful – contrast to the "public face" of these houses – which of course is the front, the view you get from the street. That's a view anybody can get anytime. It's the lazy, easy option. We go for richer pickings – we see their "private face". And of course at the end of the walk we're right into Camden Market. We end at the Lock with all of its Sunday afternoon huzzah and colour and panache and buzz

Anything else? Yes. It's worth bearing in mind that it's not just what you see – it's how you see it. Because our Regent's Canal Walks are guided by members of the Inland Waterways Association – people who know the canals the way a Master Mariner knows a stretch of water he's plied for years, people who have a great deal of expertise about them – you'll get to see tiny little details that casual towpath walkers miss. Tiny little details that open up an age and an era, that explain the workings of the canals.


The meeting point for the Regent's Canal – Little Venice to Camden walk is just outside the exit of Warwick Avenue Tube. The walk takes place at 2.30 pm on the following Sundays: February 5, April 2 and June 4.

About The Canal Guides

The Regent's Canal Walks are well and truly a labour of love because the guides who lead them – all of them members of the Inland Waterways Association – donate their fee to the IWA. So you're not just signing up for a fascinating walking tour, you're supporting a good cause.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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