The best canal walks across London: Regents Canal
Start: Kings Cross St Pancras station
Finish: Little Venice and Paddington station
Duration: 4 hours
Stage 1 – Explore inside St Pancras station
The start/end destination for Eurostar trains to Paris and beyond. This magnificent station was renovated in 2007 and is a masterpiece in gothic Victorian architecture.
You don’t need a train ticket to enjoy the shops, restaurants and happy buzz of excited travellers as continental Europe meets the UK. If you are lucky, you might hear and see some skilled musicians spontaneously playing on the pianos situated around the station.
Whenever you do decide to travel from St Pancras station, don’t miss Europe’s longest champagne bar by Searcys with heated leather seats and ‘press for champagne’ buttons on the tables. What a glamorous way to start your Eurotrip!
Still in St Pancras, head to the Eurostar level and towards the Booking Office bar to marvel at a 9 metre tall bronze statue named ‘Meeting Place’ by talented artist Paul Day.
Commonly known as the Lovers statue. Take time to study the 3D frieze on its plinth which contains many humorous characters as a nod to the stations past.
Stage 2 – St Pancras Renaissance hotel & British Library
The St Pancras Renaissance hotel is one of the most striking in London if not Europe. Grand staircases inside, gothic architecture outside. There is a sense of opulence with its grandiose facade which sends you back in time.
Head on to the British library. This is no ordinary library. Stunning architecture and interior design provide the perfect backdrop for a fascinating and popular array of exhibits from famous writers alongside 1,000 year old books. A decent cafe and restaurant is on site along with a sea of laptops where students are taking advantage of the relaxed surrounds and free wi-fi.
If none of that gets you excited…does the prospect of seeing the original Frankenstein novel make a difference?
Now push on to Kings Cross station. Another architectural masterpiece to admire. Make your way up Kings Boulevard (the walkway beside German Gymnasium restaurant) towards Granary Square and Regents Canal.
Stage 3 – Granary Square to Camden Lock
The walk from here is self explanatory, follow the Regents Canal heading west towards Camden.
There is a section where the canal is shut near Camden in Kentish Town but follow your instincts and keep walking in the direction the canal was heading. You will shortly arrive at Camden Lock and market.
Some of London’s finest street food retailers can be found at Camden Lock. Stop here for lunch and grab a seat on the edge of the canal (don’t fall in).
Stage 4 – London Zoo (ZSL)
On this stretch towards London Zoo along the Regents Canal, there are a couple of things you will see which you can do today or in the future.
- Regents Canal Go Boat – hire an electric boat with your mates, bring your own picnic and drinks and enjoy cruising along the Regents Canal
- Regents Canal Stand Up Paddle Boarding – the canal is calm enough to enjoy this as a group without falling in
- London Zoo – if you are in London for more than a coupe of days, this is a must!
Stage 5 – Little Venice
This final stretch takes you through the mooring communities along Regents Canal.
Many people live on these brightly coloured boats so be respectful when passing.
If you have time and the crowds are bearable, grab a drink at the gorgeous Cafe Laville which sits over the canal.
Once at Little Venice you will want to follow the canal left which heads towards Paddington rail station.
Stage 6 – Final stage, Paddington Basin and rail station
You want to be on the opposite side of the canal at this point. Head towards the roundabout then take a right and follow the side street down to the canal.
Start walking towards Paddington station from there.
Take a look inside the station so you can marvel at the work of one of Britain’s greatest civil engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.