It has been a while since I’ve done this walk, but the late burst of summer weather here in London forced me to abandon my laptop and head into London for a canalside walk.
If you fancy joining me, we’ll start from Granary Square at the back of Kings Cross station, meeting at the top of the AstroTurf steps.
Come promenade with me.
The grassy steps are always busy on a sunny day, but follow me and we’ll pick our way through the people, down to the canal and turn right. This section will be quite familiar to my followers as I often pop out onto the towpath from Coal Drops Yard to admire the passing boats and to gaze up at the reconditioned and repurposed gas holders, and my camera always joins in.
We’ll wander beneath a few bridges, with crazy reflections in the canal, and enjoy the long shadows and the brightness of street art as we wander.
And it’s not long before we reach Camden Market.
If you’re feeling peckish, this is a good spot to grab some food from a stall in the market. Just about any nationality you think of will be represented here in its culinary mode, and there are plenty of other shopping opportunities if you choose to meander.
It’s a fun place to explore, but it is always crowded. If you can’t find a spot to perch with your food, wander down to the canalside: there’s always room down there to rest with feet dangled over the edge.
There are quite a few options to cheat on this route and take a boat rather than using our feet. The path is cycle friendly too, but we’ll stick with Shanks’s pony: no need to worry about sharp bends and speed limits!
London is still happening above our heads, with all of its usual rush and noise, but down here we can just enjoy the views and imagine we are miles away. In fact, the canal takes us through London Zoo and we may well spot a few animals to help our imaginary wanderings. The African hunting dogs can often be seen as we pass below the “Into Africa” section. And just beyond the zoo, you’ll spot a few mansions that have views onto Regent’s Park in one direction, and down onto the canal in the other.
Not far beyond this the towpath takes us through a popular mooring area, where we get a great feel for local life down on the canal. But I’m afraid that the area is closed to public access at the moment, while towpath repairs take place, and we are redirected over the bridge to the other side of the canal.
It’s a shame to be diverted from this fascinating part of the towpath, but the higher route gives us a different view down onto the boats below and makes us aware of the life back on terra firma.
The other advantage of the detour is that there’s a lovely cafe up here, called D1 Coffee. My vote on the cake front goes to the walnut and cranberry slice. Yummy!
From here, we can resume the normal route, along the road right next to the towpath and a private mooring area.
And then we can drop back down to water level at beautiful Little Venice.
This is a great place to rest a while, with cafes and boat trips on offer. I’m going to leave you here to amuse yourself and I’ll nip off down the towpath towards Paddington. It emerges in Paddington Basin with easy access to the underground, where I can grab a train back to Kings Cross.
See you soon for another walk.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 23 September 2019
Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks