Whenever I have some visiting friends who’ve been to London before, I almost always take them through the Regent’s Canal Walk. It’s one of London’s many hidden gems which not very many people know about or have time to do during their first visit to London. This area gives you a completely different feel of London – from the grunge side of Camden to the peaceful nature walk along the canal and finally, the quaint little area of Little Venice which may make you feel like you’ve been transported to a different side of Europe (definitely not Venice though).
I always want to start the walk from Camden Town but you can do it the other way around of course. I’d like to have lunch or some drinks in Camden first to avoid being hangry while doing the walk. Lol. It’s also good to have some food first so you can burn it off during the walk and have another food stop in the end. 😛
Camden has recently been named as one of the 7 Wonders of the Urban World. Camden isn’t what you would expect in the prim and proper city of London where the royals walk the streets, I’d say it’s the rebellious side of the city with a much more exciting personality. Food and flea markets are what this place promises to give you and they do deliver, probably even more than what you’ve expected.
After some food and drinks in Camden, make your way towards Regent’s Canal – if Camden Market is behind you, take a right and walk through the beautiful towpath of this area. You’ll find quite a few street arts which Camden is also very famous for and just around the bend, you’ll come across Feng Shang Princess – a giant pagoda-style boat which is actually a restaurant. I’ve never dined there so I’m not really sure how it is but I bet the view from there is amazing.
You’ll soon pass by the ZSL London Zoo from the towpath, if you’re lucky you’ll probably spot some wild dogs from its caged area on your left side. Running parallel the canal is the massive Regent’s Park, you may opt to walk around this pretty park and then get back to the Regent’s Canal towpath if you wish. That will probably add one more hour into your walk though as it’s a really massive park with lots of walkways to take.
I prefer to take the Regent Canal’s walk path though because just after the ZSL London Zoo is the prettiest path there is in this walk. It’s lined with moored houseboats and as you pass through this path, you’ll see some of the cute little gardens the houseboat owners have built for themselves. Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t capture the real beauty of this place so I always end up with crappy photos after this walk of this area. Also, I don’t really want to take many photos in this area because people actually live in these houseboats and I don’t want to make them feel like I am invading their privacy.
You will soon have to make your way towards the main road as parts of the towpath are closed during certain times of the day. Make your way through Aberdeen Place road until you reach Cafe Laville, the very best discovery in this path. It’s a cafe overlooking Regent’s Canal itself – I urge you to have a coffee stop in this pretty little cafe.
Once you’ve had your caffeine fix, continue your walk along Regent’s Canal which will then lead you to the heart of Little Venice itself. I don’t really agree with the name of the area as it doesn’t look Venice at all, I’d say Little Amsterdam is a better term for it. There’s a houseboat converted into a coffeehouse called Waterside Cafe. It’s a pretty and unique setting to have your last coffee in before ending your walk here.
Have you done this walk before? What did you think about it? 🙂
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My colleague showed me this place and I absolutely loved it! I’m currently writing about it also. Loved reading your article and your view on it 🙂
I’ve done just a short portion of it