Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Wednesday walk #3

For today's walk, Miss Moss Stitch and I tried out another long, eight and a half mile route.  I can't say my legs are any less achey than they were after our Olympic walk, which was a similar length, but perhaps it takes longer than three weeks for these muscles to adapt!

We started at Little Venice, which is just outside Warwick Avenue tube station, close to Paddington rail station.

Little Venice is a canal junction surrounded by great, grand houses, where the Grand Union Canal joins The Regent's Canal.  It was a lovely, dramatic and open place to start our walk.

Little Venice

Setting off along the Regent's Canal, with the Maida Hill tunnel in the distance

Big houses, along the Regent's Canal at Little Venice

The rather sinister entrance to the Maida Hill canal tunnel, by Little Venice

We set off from Little Venice and walked all the way along the canal towpath to Victoria Park. Along our route we walked around the edge of Regent's Park, through London Zoo, past funky, hippy Camden, to new building works near St Pancras and King's Cross, through Islington, and on past Hackney and finally ending at Bethnal Green.

This whole walk was fantastic, and we didn't tire of admiring (and photographing) all the covetable narrow boats, moored along its length.  Most of them were beautifully maintained and decorated with flower pots, doilies, chintz curtains and dumpy little chimneys.

The Chagall, with solar panels on the roof

Sweet Emily at Little Venice

Even the pontoons are kept neat - pots of daffs and jerry cans by Regent's Park

A narrow boat taxi, at Camden Lock

Bags of coal, piled onto the red roof of a narrowboat in Islington

With boats, come mooring posts and rings.  I hate standing too close to canal edges - those black, still waters are rather sinister - but still managed to take some pictures of my favourites.

"you are beautiful" in Hackney

Mooring ring, at King's Cross

This one in Islington reminded me of an overflowing pint of Guinness

In Islington the canal goes through a tunnel which doesn't have a towpath, so pedestrians need to come up to street level for about a kilometer, and follow the tunnel above ground before descending back to the towpath.  Dotted along the pavement, every few steps, are little markers to show you that the tunnel is still underneath your feet.  I liked the simple, unmarked blue ones best, but also loved how there were several different designs.

For that last photo, Gill kindly sacrificed some of her drinking water to clean mud off the plaque so I could get a good picture!

And as with all our other walks so far we passed plenty of oddities, as well as plenty of pretty things to photograph. 

In Camden we saw a cow on a balcony.

At Kings Cross we saw the sweetest little lock keeper's cottage.

There was some very good graffiti in Hackney.

And we learnt that the people of Islington have been very poorly.

It was an excellent walk, which we both really enjoyed.  We are planning on doing it again in the summer, when the trees are in leaf - it will look completely different, but probably still test my leg muscles as much.

The only part of the walk I didn't enjoy so much was creeping through the dark, cramped tunnels under the bridges which are dotted along the towpath.  Here we are walking through Eyre's tunnel, at Lisson Grove.  Just listen to how spooked I am when I walk over some loose paving slabs, and then my relief when we get out into the daylight again!


  1. I like your Wednesday walks!

    Hope your feet are up for a bit of tramping tomorrow ;)

  2. Fantastic post thankyou. Looking forward to more walks

  3. Great, how I love sharing these walks with you ,and all the interesting facts as you go along ,those blue markers are lovely arent they ? who knew about those ? lol the long boats are a thing I love to see too,and the pride people take in them ,love your guinness !Thankyou soooo much for sharing ,look forward to next time Jan xx

  4. I saw your photos on flickr and knew you'd been on another of your walks. Thanks for taking us too!

  5. Your walks are wonderful! And it's lovely to hear your voice. I'm with you on the tunnels though ...

  6. There is something fascinating about narrow boats-especially ones that are lived on all the time. I find them very curious places! the houses all look amazing as well. It looks like a brilliant walk.x

  7. I have been in denial over the size of my backside... I thank you for showing me how it is!

  8. Nooooo! I think everyone will be focusing on the loveliness of your beret, rather than anything else! x

  9. Many years ago, I lived in Maida Vale and got the tube at Warwick Ave each day to travel to work. In the summer when my oldest son was born, I spent a lot of time in a little gardens near the tube station - Rembrandt Gardens? In those days, you were not able to walk along the tow path from Little Venice to Regents park, you had to walk towards St. John's Wood, turn into Lisson Grove and walk through a doorway, down a steep slope onto the towpath. Happy days!!

  10. There is a chance you are qualified for a new solar energy rebate program.
    Determine if you qualify now!


Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.