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Posted:  Wednesday 23 May 2018

South East Associates
Regent’s Canal Walk

- Tuesday March 27th -

As this walk was planned to begin near the London Canal Museum, it seemed appropriate to begin the day with a morning visit to the museum to learn more about the evolution of London’s waterways and their uses to transport coal, building materials, foodstuffs and ice!

In fact the Canal Museum is housed in an old Victorian icehouse built to store ice blocks imported from Norway, some of which would be cut into smaller blocks and subsequently used in domestic iceboxes - the refrigerators of their day.

The museum, although small, provides a fascinating insight into the history of canals and the way of life of those who worked and lived on them.

After an absorbing hour, the group made the short walk into nearby King’s Cross Station where we were joined by a few more Associates for lunch at The Parcel Yard pub sandwiched between Platform 9 and the fictitious Platform 9¾ - Platform 9? for you Harry Potter fans?

So to the main event, a walk from King’s Cross to Paddington following the western half of the Regent’s Canal.

The canal stretches for more than 8 miles from Paddington to Limehouse Basin and near Paddington links up with the Grand Union - formerly Grand Junction - Canal, which provides access to Birmingham.  It is named after the Prince Regent, later George IV.

The walk was just over four miles in length and passed several London landmarks including Camden Lock Market, Regent’s Park and ZSL London Zoo, and Little Venice.

Apart from a couple of minor detours, where the canal towpath is blocked whilst renovations and other building works are in progress, the group was able to walk by the canal and enjoy the sights and sounds of London from the bustling hubbub of Camden to the quiet elegance of John Nash’s Regent’s Park architecture.

It was planned to end the walk at the canal-side entrance to Paddington station, however, one of the group mentioned that there were two interesting modern bridges a little further on into the Paddington canal basin.

A few of the group, therefore decided to walk on and view the bridges - the Rolling Bridge designed by Thomas Heatherwick - renowned for his London 2012 Olympic Cauldron - and the Fan Bridge.  Unfortunately, the bridges can only be seen in action at specific times – Wednesday and Friday at noon, Saturday at 2pm - however, we were still able gain some appreciation of their engineering design and function.
A fitting end to the walk that encompassed both the old and the new.

Paul Kowald

(fd  22/05/2018)

(ph  22/05/2018)

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