When you’re looking for free things to do in London, to get away from the tourist crowds, then consider The Regent’s Canal Walk.
Not only is this one of the best things to do in London, but you’ll find it is a lot quieter than the very busy, tourist area of the Thames Riverwalk.
Both walks are one of the best ways to experience London. Giving you the opportunity to see iconic places of London as well as charming places to eat and drink.
Walk The Regent’s Canal Walk
Where does the Regent’s Canal Start and Finish?
The Regent’s Canal was opened in 1816 and crosses London for 14km, from the borough of Paddington to the River Thames in East London. It starts at Little Venice in Paddington and ends at the Docklands in East London.
And two of the best places to start your walk from are:
- Kings Cross St Pancras Underground
- St Pancras International
If you are arriving on the Eurostar to St Pancras International from Brussels, Paris or Amsterdam. It’s only a 2-minute walk to Kings Cross.
But if you are arriving at Euston Station from Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, or Liverpool. Kings Cross is only 500 metres walk.
You can learn more of the canal’s story, past history and modern-day happenings online at the Canal River Trust – Regent’s Canal. Or the London Canal Museum near Kings Cross.
Stop at the London Canal Museum
The Regent’s Canal was named after the Prince Regent, later crowned King George IV. The Paddington to Camden canal was opened in 1816. It was built to link the Grand Junction Canal’s Paddington Arm with The Thames.
The waterways were built to carry cargo inland from ships arriving in London. The narrow longboats were pulled by horses to warehouses for storage and distribution.
At the London Canal Museum, you can see inside the cabin of a narrowboat. And learn more about the early trading history of London. The museum was previously a warehouse to store ice in the 1800s.
And when you have enough information, take York Way to Granary Square to walk the Regent’s Canal Towpath.
What is there to do in Granary Square?
One fantastic feature of the Regent’s Canal is the Granary Square of 1,000 choreographed fountains. The water jets are recessed in pacing stones, individually controlled making a mesmerising display.
They are lit at night, creating a spectacular feature to watch. But during the day, especially in summer, kids will enjoy dodging the jets.
Granary Square is one of the new must-see places in London.
Stroll to Camden Town
A good place to start The Regent’s Canal walk is the canal path found in Camden Town.
It’s a popular walk from Camden Town to Little Venice, a distance of about 4km. With plenty to see and do along the way including restaurants and cafes. You can even take a peek at the London Zoo.
With plenty of park benches for a break, you may prefer to enjoy a picnic lunch. Or you may just be happy watching the canal boats meandering along.
Dine and Explore at Camden Lock Market
This Camden Lock Market is a diverse community of creative sellers, street food traders and independent stores next to the Regents Canal.
It is open every day and has over 1,000 places to shop, eat and drink in this historic Central London location.
The market’s choice of food will have your taste buds excited. It’s a great place to stop for lunch. So many foods to choose from, a great vibe and an ideal spot to enjoy some people watching.
For further information on the market, click here➡ Camden Market.
Where Next along The Regent Canal
Leaving the market, the walk takes you further along the canal.
Scattered across from the towpath are the majestic Regency Houses. Their meandering lawns down to the canal edge is tranquil.
You may want to bring a book and stop for a while to take in the views.
Book a London Water Bus cruise
If you don’t have the time to walk The regent’s Canal, you can always take the London Water Bus. This water bus runs between Camden and Little Venice and takes 50 mins one way for about £9.
They provide an onboard commentary, stop at London Zoo and offer special pricing for the zoo entry.
You can even grab a coffee at a narrowboat moored at Little Venice.
For further information click on this link ➡ London Water Bus
Little Venice to Paddington
After leaving Little Venice you can wander to Paddington.
Here you’ll find the Grand Union Canal (Paddington Branch) another famous canal of England.
Maybe you might just see the most wonderfully decorated barge and its delightful owner. Or stop at Sheldon Square in Paddington. It’s an oasis of green in amongst the shiny bright office buildings.
A lovely green space for workers to enjoy their lunch break.
And from here, you have the Paddington Station London Underground or train to your next destination.
Take a London Walking Route
If you enjoy London, walking is certainly one of the best options to explore this historic and modern city.
The Regents Canal walk is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours between Camden Town and Little Venice. And another way to find new places in London away from the tourist crowds.
If you love the freedom of planning your self guided London walk, you can enjoy more of London on foot here ➡ Notting Hill & London City Walks.