The Regent's Canal in London - from Paddington to St Pancras.

Leaving the Paddington Arm near Little Venice, The Regent's Canal heads east across London passing Regent's Park, London Zoo and Victoria Park before turning south to end at Limehouse Basin.

Named after the Prince Regent the 8.5 mile long Regents Canal was planned by Thomas Homer to provide a commercial link between the Grand Union Canal via the Paddington Arm and London's docks beside the River Thames in London's East End. Opened in 1820 the canal was built by The Regent's Canal Company and designed by architect John Nash (who was also responsible for Regent's Park). As well as having access to the River Thames narrowboat owners can use the Regent's Canal as a connection with the River Lee Navigation (and therefore also the River Stort Navigation) via Limehouse Basin.

About using The Regent's Canal for either a Walk or Bike ride along the towpath.

The canal's towpath is generally quite wide and nearly always well surfaced for the entire stretch of the canal so the Regents Canal is great for a walk or to cycle along. Things are straightforward apart from two diversions you have to make - firstly at Maida Hill Tunnel and secondly at Islington Tunnel neither of which were constructed with internal towpaths.
From where the canal starts at the Paddington Arm junction you can only stay on the towpath for a short distance. The last several hundred metres up to Maida Hill Tunnel have permanent stay narrowboats moored and for some reason towpath access is deemed "private" so you have to use the pavement instead. Getting past the 270 yards long Maida Hill Tunnel is just a question of walking up to the road junction and simply keeping straight ahead over the lights and after a while back down onto the towpath.
Our Canal topics are split into two pages - this covers the route heading east from Bridge 1 (which is the Paddington end) and goes as far as St. Pancras. Please also therefore take a look at the second part which follows the Regents Canal for the rest of it's journey to it's end at Limehouse Basin.
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Regent's Canal Bridge1 at the start of the canal (Paddington end)
Regent's Canal Bridge1 (Paddington)
Bridge 1, Regents Canal, London, England.
Bridge 1,
Regent's Canal.
View of the Canal looking towards Maida Hill Tunnel, Regents Canal, London, England.
View to Maida Hill Tunnel
Maida Hill Tunnel - western portal, Regent's Canal.
Maida Hill Tunnel W
Eastern portal of the Maida Hill Tunnel, Regent's Canal, London.
Maida Hill Tunnel E
Eyres Tunnel (aka Lisson Grove Bridge 2), Regent's Canal.
Eyres aka Lisson Grove Bridge
Regents Canal - Eyres Tunnel
Eyres Tunnel
Canal footbridge 3, Regent's Canal.
Canal footbridge 3
Tightly packed railway bridges 4 5 and 6, Regent's Canal.
railway bridges 4 5 + 6
Railway Bridge 6 and Bridge 7, Regent's Canal, London.
Railway Bridges 6 and 7
Railway Bridges 6 5 and 4, Regents Canal, London, England.
Railway Bridges 6 5 and 4
Regent's Canal bridge 7
Regent's Canal bridge 7
Bridge 7, Regent's Canal.
Bridge 7
One of the beautiful Regency Houses alongside the Regent's Canal
Regency Houses
Canal Bridge 9 - Regents Canal
Bridge 9
Regent's Canal Bridge 8
Canal Bridge 8
Blow Up Bridge 9, Regent's Canal, London.
Blow Up Bridge 9
Pillars holding up Blow Up Bridge, Regent's Canal.
Blow Up Bridge
Tow rope marks cut into the pillars of Blow Up Bridge on the Regents Canal
Tow rope marks
Regents Canal - Blow Up Bridge
Blow Up Bridge
Regent's Canal Bridge 10, Regents Canal, London, England.
Canal Bridge 10
Canal Bridge 11, Regents Canal, London, England.
Bridge 11
Regent's Canal Bridge 11, London.
Bridge 11
Regent's Canal Bridge 12
Bridge 12

Commercial barges carried all types of cargo along the canal systems some of which was quite hazardous.

Blow Up Bridge on the Regents Canal

was destroyed in October 1874 when a boat called "Tilbury" which was carrying gunpowder exploded. The bridge was rebuilt however it's pillars were turned around to provide a smooth surface for the boat's towing ropes - the original rope-grooves can still be clearly seen. Just after Blow Up Bridge the canal passes through the grounds of Regent's Zoo which was opened 8 years after the canal was finished.
Regent's Canal Bridge 13, London, England.
Bridge 13
Cumberland Basin, Regents Canal, London, England.
Cumberland Basin
Prince Albert Roadbridge, Regent's Canal.
Prince Albert Roadbridge
Prince Albert Roadbridge 14, London, England.
Prince Albert Roadbridge
Regents Park Roadbridge 15, London, England.
Regents Park Roadbridge
Gloucester Avenue Bridge 16, Regent's Canal, London, England..
Gloucester Avenue Bridge
Railway Bridge 17, Regent's Canal.
Railway Bridge 17
Railway Bridge 18, Regents Canal, London, England.
Railway Bridge 18
Oval Road Bridge 20a - Regents Canal, London, England.
Oval Road Bridge
Oval Road Bridge crosses the Regents Canal, London.
Oval Road Bridge
The bridge at Dingwall's Wharf, Regents Canal, London, England.
Dingwall's Wharf Bridge
Regents Canal - Dingwalls Wharf, Regents Canal, London, England.
Dingwalls Wharf

Hampstead Road Locks are the first Regents Canal locks you encounter when heading east.

The canal locks comprise of one double and one single - the single lock being used when it's quiet so water can be preserved. On weekends the area is packed with people visiting the markets, restaurants and pubs which are situated all around Camden Town. At Camden Lock Market there are also plenty of fast food stalls offering spicy Indian foods - the whole area is very colourful.
Cycling is permitted on most of the Regent's Canal and is hugely popular. There are notices telling cyclists that they should be both careful of people walking and so on - however quite a few cyclists go far too fast and weave carelessly between pedestrians and fishermen. Also beware of cyclists going quickly through the narrow low headroom bridges - ignoring the fact that people and other cyclists might be around.
View from around Dingwalls Wharf, London, England.
View Dingwalls Wharf
Hampstead Road Locks 1, Regent's Canal, London, England.
Hampstead Road Locks1
Lock Gates at Hampstead Road Locks 1, Regent's Canal.
Lock Gates Hampstead Road
Chalk Farm Road bridge 21, Regents Canal, London, England.
Chalk Farm Road Bridge
View from around Hawley Lock, Regent's Canal.
Hawley Lock area
Hawley Lock 2, Regents Canal, London, England.
Hawley Lock 2
Kentish Town Lock 3, Regents Canal, London, England.
Kentish Town Lock3
Kentish Town Roadbridge 25, Regents Canal, London, England.
Kentish Town Roadbridge
Camden Street Bridge 26, Regents Canal, London, England.
Camden Street Bridge 26
Camden Street Bridge, Regents Canal, London, England.
Camden Street Bridge
Camden Road Bridge 27, Regents Canal, London, England.
Camden Road Bridge 27
Camden Road Bridge, Regents Canal, London.
Camden Road Bridge
Royal College Street Bridge, Regents Canal, London, England.
Royal College Street Bridge
Royal College Street Bridge, Regents Canal, London.
Royal College Street Bridge 28
St Pancras Way Bridge 29, Regents Canal, London, England.
St Pancras Way Bridge
Camley Street Bridge 31, Regents Canal, London, England.
Camley Street Bridge
Railway Bridge 32, Regents Canal, London, England.
Railway Bridge 32
St Pancras Railway Bridge 32, Regents Canal, London, England.
Railway bridge 32
Pumphouse at St. Pancras, Regents Canal, London, England.
Pumphouse St. Pancras
St. Pancras Lock 4, Regents Canal, London, England.
St. Pancras Lock 4
 Lock gates at St. Pancras Lock, Regents Canal, London, England.
Lock gates St. Pancras Lock
Side bridge - Regents Canal
Side bridge Regents Canal
Views around the Regents Canal
Views Regents Canal
Remains of demolished bridge 35, Regents Canal, London, England.
Remains of bridge 35

The second part of the canal is covered by our Regents Canal Islington to Limehouse Basin topic.
Please take a look at our National Trail and canal towpath Walks in England for more about England.
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You may wish to visit London Diary which is really interesting concerning The Regents Canal.