A unique way to experience London
The Regent’s Canal linking the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice to the River Thames at Limehouse was opened in 1820, providing an important industrial transport route. By the late 19th century, canal trade was failing and railways were taking over and there were several attempts to take it over and turn it into a railway but none succeeded. In 1948, the canals were nationalised and British Waterways was formed to run them. Today the canal is mostly used for leisure with towpaths open to all and boats carrying passengers rather than cargo, and the Canal & River Trust is the charity formed to look after the navigation, unique architecture, industrial history and wildlife.
A former timber yard which was turned into the world famous market in 1974. The market includes hundreds of clothing, music and arts and craft stalls and shops set up in the former warehouses and around the cobbled and flagged courtyards. The Waterbus stops in the West Yard where we are surrounded by the Kerb Kitchen serving up an array of street food.
First opened in 1847, London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It's 36 acres are home to some 19,000 creatures great and small and it participates in international research across the world to protect endangered species. The Snowdon Aviary, built in 1965, was the world's first walk through aviary and can be seen from the canal. The waterbus has its own entrance into the Zoo, providing a pleasant way to arrive and avoiding the queues at the main gate.
The canal was dug in a deep cutting around the north edge of Regents Park which provides a green and tranquil backdrop to what was an urban industrial waterway. The Waterbus passes contrasting scenery of the backs of Victorian and Georgian houses, stately modern villas as well as moorings for private canal boats and a power station. Dug deeper and wider than others, the Regent’s Canal has ornamental bridges of cast and wrought iron as well as the pillared Macclesfield bridge and the Maida Hill tunnel demonstrating the architectural and engineering achievements of a past age.