canal strolling

as a child i would take a stroll with my grandparents along the canal, from right outside their house all the way through to victoria park. the canal being the regents canal in east london. i have walked up and down countless times, at the time i was completely unaware of its importance to the industrial revolution.

it was built-in the early 19th century and was an extension of the grand union canal to the north of the paddington basin in west london. this extension brought cargo transferred from seafaring vessels, mainly coal and building materials, from the limehouse basin which would work its way all the way up into the midlands. however by the 20th century, trade was lost to the modern railway and road links.

whilst visiting nanny minnie this weekend, we took a stroll down the canal for the first time with ronnie, all the way down to victoria park and back again. here’s a few snaps taken on our journey.

a fish made from recycled bits and bobs

we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw this swans nest, hidden amongst the reeds

ronnie was captivated by the locks and the narrow boats, he even got to give a hand with the lock.

after the excitement of watching the narrows boats go on their way, we went for a quick game of hide and seek in the beautiful pagoda in vicky park and then the obligatory ice cream. you can see more snaps and the history of the park here.


  1. May 19, 2014 / 11:26

    I used to love walking along the canals in Birmingham as a child. Looks like you had a lovely walk – it’s amazing what you can see in a short amount of time. Gorgeous capture of the hide and seek.

    • May 19, 2014 / 15:19

      they are such peaceful places. when ronnie is a little older i would love to hire a narrow boat and go and explore for a week.

  2. May 19, 2014 / 12:05

    Fab photos! We walk back from school everyday, the short-cut doesn’t go along the canal, I think this week, we’ll take advantage of the sunny weather and take the scenic route! Thanks Vanessa 🙂

  3. May 19, 2014 / 12:49

    That looks like a fantastic walk, and I love all the artwork along the way! 🙂

    • May 19, 2014 / 15:20

      it goes on for miles and miles, but there’s only so much a 5 year old can do!

  4. May 19, 2014 / 13:18

    So peaceful and tranquil! Love the pics – always love walking down by canals, so much to see and lots of artwork being installed too 🙂 x

    • May 19, 2014 / 15:21

      they seem to be getting a lot more love recently. i remember it being a lot more unloved when i was young.

  5. May 19, 2014 / 15:02

    Gorgeous photographs…. I used to live on the Kingland Road and used to go walking up and down that canal alot. Thank you for this post, it brought back some nice memories!

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:37

      so much to take in, it’s a shame that some people don’t appreciate it for what it is and just lob all their rubbish into the water 🙁

  6. May 19, 2014 / 15:03

    I’ve always wanted to ride on a narrowboat, and I love the connection to history. I find the industrial revolution fascinating. And it all happened right on our doorstep. x

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:38

      me too, but ronnie is too small at the moment, but maybe when he is older and is much more aware, could make a great holiday.

  7. May 19, 2014 / 16:04

    Ronnie is such a gorgeous boy! We should introduce him to my eldest. I think it will be just the match 🙂

    The photos are beautiful and I miss England soooo much!

  8. May 19, 2014 / 16:15

    I love walking by the canals. We have loads near us and it is lovely now the girls are a bit older and I can trust them a bit more. We had a lovely family holiday on a barge when I was about 14 and it was my favourite holiday ever. Love your dandelion photo – its gorgeous.

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:42

      yes it’s not a place for smalls running around! slightly terrifying!

  9. May 19, 2014 / 18:10

    I worked I a narrow boat marina when I was a teen and developed a fascination with the boats which are amazing and the canals they travel on. It would make a wonderful holiday. Beautiful photos and you certainly unearthed some treasures.

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:45

      oh wow nikki that’s amazing. would be fantastic to restore one and take it around the country on the canals. that’s another thing for the to do list then!

  10. Stacey Corrin
    May 19, 2014 / 18:43

    I’m really quite taken with that fish sculpture – what an amazing thing! And what a beautiful time to visit, with the weather as it is.

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:46

      perfect weather, not to hot but warm enough for ice-cream! 🙂

  11. May 19, 2014 / 19:39

    When worked at Kings Cross I used to love spending my lunchbreak strolling by the canal.

    Such diverse places, sometimes vibrant with urban art, othertimes peaceful and busting with wildlife.

    We had absolutely the BEST time on a canal boat holiday, it’s an amazing way of life. If I didn’t have so much STUFF I’d love to live on a barge.

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:48

      so much going on within such a relatively short walking distance, i’d forgotten what a wonderful shortcut to the park it is.

  12. May 19, 2014 / 21:01

    Canals aren’t really something I’ve thought much about, but I worked recently at Heart Birmingham and LOVED the vibe of the canals there, getting river taxis, and strolling along beside the water. I was also excited to find the canal running through the heart of London Zoo! Fab post x

    • May 25, 2014 / 09:56

      it’s the very same canal katie! runs all the way from the limehouse basin in the east, across town through the zoo and then link up with the grand union canal at paddington basin and goes all the way up to the midlands!

  13. May 19, 2014 / 22:06

    Steeped in history with so many interesting sights along the way – a wonderful place for a stroll and to see the locks in action. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    • May 25, 2014 / 10:00

      i quite fancy travelling on the canal documenting more of the history, and of course taking lots of photos on the way!

  14. May 20, 2014 / 00:40

    Love that recycled fish, and all the metal statues! Great photos as ever, and another post that makes me want to come back to London and explore it with you! x

    • May 25, 2014 / 10:01

      well next time you’re all in town you know where we are!

  15. May 20, 2014 / 04:58

    I live right by a canal and it changes week by full of life. Love your images

    • May 25, 2014 / 10:02

      how wonderful to live by a canal, bursting with life, i am very jealous 🙂

  16. May 22, 2014 / 13:20

    You are so wasted in your day job – you should be a historian/photographer/tour guide. Love these blog posts of yours! We keep saying we want to have a family barge holiday one of these days, love them! x

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