Wednesday, October 27, 2010

150th Anniversary – 23 October 2010

London's canal system provides a very scenic walking/cycling route around London, and today we set out to walk half of the Regents Canal, a 13 mile canal around the centre of London to the docks.
We joined the canal at 'Little Venice' near the Warwick Ave tube station. This area is home to many permanently moored narrow-boats. In fact they have their own private tow path running alongside. Further along the tow path is open to the public, but access is only until 6pm (or dusk in winter), which must ensure security, as we saw many 'back-yards' and 'sheds' set up beside the tow path.

The direct route for the canal would have been directly through Regents Park, but it was deemed undesirable to have the coarse sights of trade passing through this very high class housing/recreation area, and the canal had to detour around the back of the Park. Today of course, this same canal has attracted apartment blocks simply to enjoy the canal-side views.

After passing London Zoo, we took a detour from our route to have lunch at The Albany, on the other side of the Park. Having read this week, that fish & chips are now 150 years old, we decided to celebrate this anniversary, and The Albany does an excellent traditional pub dish of 'Fish & Chips with minted mushy peas and tartare sauce'. Yummy! We enjoyed our celebration of the 150th, a little older, historically, than last weeks 80th.

The walk took us next through three markets, the first – Camden Market – is soon after leaving Regents Park. Camden Market is a wonderful place to wander around, enjoying the colourful displays of both food and goodies for sale, as well as the colourful characters.

The canal then wended its way through areas with a more industrial heritage, to Islington, via Kings Place, a music venue and art gallery, also an lovely canal-side stop for coffee.

The final two markets at Islington were Chapel Market, a typical small London street market, and Camden Passage, a series of wonderful shops and some market stalls, as interesting, although not as large as Camden Market.

No comments: