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Regent's Canal, London

Regent's Canal is an intermediate waterway situated just north of Central London. The waterway links the Grand Union Canal in the west with the River Thames in East London, stretching over a distance of 14 km (9 miles). Built in the 19th century, barges initially used the Regent’s Canal for transporting goods. Today, the canal is more for pleasure cruises and scheduled waterbus services rather than transporting goods.

The area along Regent’s Canal is a hidden gem offering a serene alternative and a breath of fresh air from the busy streets of London. Besides the cruises on the canal, you can also walk or cycle along the towpath. The scenery is charming showing a different perspective of London with back scenes of shops, cafes, restaurants, warehouses and residences. It also takes you under footbridges, through tunnels, lagoons and spots of greenery.

Regent's Canal by Myrabella

About

Regent's Canal links with the Grand Junction Canal at Little Venice and then flows eastwards along the northern edges of Regent's Park. The canal then passes through Camden Lock in Camden Town and continues passing through the Islington Tunnel. It then meets the Hertford Union Canal at Victoria Park before turning southward to join the River Thames at Limehouse Basin. For most visitors, the route along Regent’s Canal is between Camden Lock and Little Venice, a distance of about 5 km (3 miles).

Camden Lock by Myrabella

See & Do

You can start your walking tour, cycling tour or canal cruise from either Little Venice or Camden Lock. Starting from Little Venice and arriving midway between Camden Lock, the Regent’s Canal passes along the northern edges of Regent’s Park. The park area along the canal is a serenity of greenery with picturesque scenery. Within the park is London Zoo (the world’s largest and one of the world’s oldest zoos) with animal enclosures situated on both sides of the canal. Then continue and your trip to Camden Lock.

Islington Tunnel on the Regent's Canal by Mark Hogan

Whichever point you are starting and ending your trip, take time to explore Camden Lock and Little Venice. Camden Lock is a delightful working-class neighbourhood of Camden Town. Its main attraction is the lively Camden Market with its small shops and stalls offering a multitude of items at bargain prices. Camden Town also has a varied food scene and is a popular music hotspot in London. Little Venice is an affluent and sleek part of London. It is a popular tourist destination but not as crowded as Camden Town, attracting visitors to its delightful restaurants, cafes and scenic views of the canal.

The London Waterbus Company, Jenny Wren and Jason's operate narrow boat services offering relaxing cruises along Regent’s Canal between Camden Lock and Little Venice. The operators are not part of London’s public transport system and therefore the Oyster Card and other prepaid methods used by Transport for London are not valid on the services. The narrow boats cruise at a leisurely pace and a one-way trip usually takes 40-50 minutes and a return trip 90-110 minutes.

The canal the northern tip of Regent's Park by Stephen McKay

The three boat companies operate frequent services in summer but less frequent in winter. The London Waterbus Company operates scheduled services between Camden Lock and Little Venice with an intermediate stop at London Zoo. The service operates throughout the week from April to September departing every hour but only on Thursday-Sunday in autumn and weekends in winter. You can embark and disembark at Little Venice, Camden Lock or London Zoo. Jenny Wren operates return trips from Camden Lock to Little Venice and Jason’s operates return trips from Little Venice to Camden Lock.

Visiting Regent's Canal

Starting from Camden Lock

To get to Camden Lock, take the London Underground to Camden Town Station (serving the Northern Line) which is about 400 metres (440 yards) southeast from Camden Lock. Another Underground station is Chalk Farm Station (also serving the Northern Line) and about the same distance but located northwest of Camden Lock. A number of London buses travelling from various locations in Inner London stop near Camden Town Station and Chalk Farm Station.

Starting from Little Venice

There are several Underground stations to get to Little Venice. The nearest is Warwick Avenue Station serving the Bakerloo Line and about 7 minutes walk from Little Venice. Other nearby Underground stations serving the Bakerloo Line are Edgware Road Station and Maida Vale Station, which are about 10-12 minutes walk from Little Venice. Paddington Station serves the Bakerloo, Hammersmith & City, Circle and District Lines and about 10 minutes walking distance from Little Venice.

Regent's Canal on the Map

Links the Grand Union Canal with the River Thames.

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