The dusky nights drawing in are inevitable with winter approaching swiftly, but before we lose all light after 3pm, if there is one thing to be doing in London on the weekend, it’s go for a walk. More specifically, go for a wander along the canals of Little Venice.
They are stunning, bedecked in their jewelled Autumnal finery.
I would probably start at the Camden/Chalk Farm end. The Canal is pretty equidistant from each tube station, and you just walk along the High Street until you get to the bridge that spans the industrial marvel – dug by hand by Irish workers – that are local branches of the canal networks. Under the Camden Lock, is the Camden Lock food market where tantalising tidbits are laid out for your delectation.
Turn right along the towpath, and simply wander. In the next two miles or so you’ll see a Pirate Castle, the glory of Regent’s Park, skirt the London Zoo, walk past a Chinese floating restaurant, make friends with a few swans and spot incredibly palatial follies of many styles.
It’s all the more stunning because you’re in Zone One of one the busiest cities in the world. Not bad London, not bad.
As you walk along you may notice lengthway striations on the bridge pillars like the ones below.
When the canals were first in operation they were strictly industrial. They were vital links in getting valuable cargo from town to town all over the UK. Each boat would carry tons of cargo often coal, and were drawn by horses. The striations are guides for the ropes the horses were tied to.
The industrial origins of the UK canals – credit.
I’m going to shut up now. Sit back, relax and enjoy the virtual walk (though if you’re local get your butt away from that desk – it’s free and beautiful on a Sunny day).
(If you’re feeling tired or a little lazy there are also water taxi’s and canal boats drifting the length of the canals like we did for my birthday recently. Their rope coiling skills are second to none)
Just bear in mind the golden rule of canal trips – Keep wandering until you’re tired, or have found a good pub.