The Regent's Canal - pictures of things to see while walking or cycling the towpath.
Leaving the Paddington Arm near Little Venice, The Regent's Canal heads across London passing Regent's Park, London Zoo and Victoria Park 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
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 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. Obviously money talks around here - it seems to us that our coastlines, river banks and canals in England should be open access to everyone.
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.
Getting past Islington Tunnel
is another matter - there are signs taking you off the canal towpath but that is it - no further signs or information to show the route through various roads to the far side - see below where the Islington Tunnel pictures are located for directions. The following are photos from The Regents Canal usually taken as the canal goes towards the east. While some bridges are shown from both directions because of poor light at times several of the pictures had to be photographed only looking back to the west.
Regent's Canal Bridge1 (Paddington end)
View looking towards
Maida Hill Tunnel
Maida Hill Tunnel
Maida Hill Tunnel
Eyres Tunnel (aka Lisson Grove Bridge2)
- Eyres Tunnel
Canal footbridge 3
Tightly packed railwaybridges 4 5 + 6
6 and 7
6 5 and 4
Regency Houses alongside
the Regent's Canal
Canal Bridge 8
Blow Up Bridge 9
Blow Up Bridge
Tow rope marks
Blow Up Bridge
Blow Up Bridge
Canal Bridge 10
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.
Cumberland Basin - Regents Canal
Prince Albert Roadbridge
Railway Bridge 17
Railway Bridge 18
Oval Road Bridge 20a
Oval Road Bridge
The bridge at Dingwall's 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
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
View - Dingwalls Wharf
Hampstead Road Locks 1
Lock Gates - Hampstead Road
Chalk Farm Road Bridge 21
Hawley Lock area
Hawley Lock 2
Kentish Town Lock 3
Camden Street Bridge
Camden Road Bridge
Street Bridge 28
St Pancras Way
Camley Street Bridge
Railway Bridge 32
at St. Pancras
St. Pancras Lock 4
Lock gates at
St. Pancras Lock
Remains of demolished bridge 35
Maiden Lane Bridge
The 976 yard long
Islington Tunnel on The Regents Canal was designed and built by James Morgan between 1815 and 1818 - the tunnel does not have a towpath so barges were
"legged" through. Walkers and cyclists therefore have to leave the Regents Canal at this point and divert through Angel via several roads. This could really benefit from
a map showing the way but sadly all that exists is a sign saying leave the canal and then just a little way up the road at Colebrook Row one more sign - that is it.
Directions: Walk up to Colebrooke Row - turn right and shortly left into Duncan Street. At the end of the road turn left now along
Upper Street (it's the A1) then right into White Lion Street - this changes into Donegal Street after a while. At the end of Donegal Street turn right into
Rodney Street to then reach Wynford Road. Go left and then almost immediately right along Muriel Street - the canal is a short distance along on the left.
Caledonian Road Bridge
Banbury Street Bridge
City Road Lock 5
City Road Lock
Wharf Road Bridge 39
Pipebridge and bridge 40
Sturts Lock 6
New North Roadbridge
Pipe and Southgate Roadbridge
Witmore Road Bridge
Entrance to Kingsland Basin
Pipe and Queensbridge Roadbridge
Actons Lock 7
Lockgates - Actons Lock
Regents Canal Railway-bridge 50
Bonner Hall Bridge
Particularly between the 1830s right up to the end of the First World War, The Regent's Canal carried quite a volume of tonnage - with canal barges moving a variety of cargo including bricks, coal, glass as well as grain, chemicals and beer. Famous old English canal freight carrying companies such as Pickfords and Fellowes Morton and Clayton Ltd used the Regent's Canal quite heavily.
and Old Ford Lock 8
Old Ford Lockgates
Hertford Union Canal leaves the Regents Canal
Entrance bridge 54a
Railway Bridge 56
Mile End Lock 9
Mile End Lock gates
The Hertford Union Canal or Duckett's Canal in London.
At only 1.5km long the Hertford Union Canal - which is also known as Duckett's Canal - was opened in 1830 and was designed to provide another commercial link between the River Thames (via the Regent's Canal) and the River Lee Navigation.
Please see our River Lee Navigation
topic for photos taken along the Hertford Union Canal.
Gun Maker's Bridge (photo below) is named after the nearby Gunmakers Arms and Gunmakers Wharf - the London Small Arms Factory was situated by the Wharf and produced components for several famous military rifles including the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield which was used during the 1914-1918 war. The factory used the Regents Canal to transport the components to Enfield.
Mile End Roadbridge
Pipe + Gunmakers
Gunmakers Arms Bridge
+ another pipebridge
Jonsons Lock 10
Lock gates at Jonsons Lock
Railway Bridge 60
Salmon Lane Lock 11
Road bridge 61
Bridge 62 and
Lock 12, pipebridge
and Bridge 64
Thames Entrance to Limehouse Basin
Wide and deep
Entrance to Limehouse Marina + Basin
The River Thames,
The Thames, London
About Limehouse Basin which is situated close to the River Thames in the East End of London.
This is a really nicely laid out area - even the blocks of (probably very expensive) flats and so on have been designed to appear "ship-like" and fit in well - also some of the original old brick buildings have been preserved. Limehouse Cut leaves from the Basin and provides a link up to the River Lee Navigation
and also the Stort Navigation
for boat owners (as well as for cyclists and towpath walkers).
The River Thames is just a few hundred yards from Limehouse Basin - there is an excellent swing bridge on the way and once you reach the Thames the river and views are impressive - just here there are also several Thames side public houses. The nicely preserved brick chimney and tower shown in the photo
on the left is an accumulator tower which was used to regulate pressure in the hydraulic systems that powered the lock gates, capstans, cranes and swing bridges within the dock area.
The accumulator tower was used from around 1869 right through to the 1920s.
Via our Site Resources
topic there is a menu showing more of our travel websites covering holidays and tours of New Zealand, Portugal Algarve, Greek Islands, several Canary Islands, Egypt, Cyprus, India, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.