A Day Exploring London's Regent's Canal

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Curated By

Lauren Broeseker

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  • London

  • United Kingdom

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Architecture

  • Local Food

  • Nightlife

Longboats on a canal during the daytime
Curator’s statement

London is a massive city and the best way to get to know it is by exploring its distinctive neighborhoods on foot. The Regent’s Canal is a picturesque waterway that traverses Northwest London and takes you through some lovely neighborhoods you might not otherwise see. When you’re ready for a break from museums and sightseeing, consider spending a low-key but memorable day following along the canal, with some enticing food and drink stops along the way.

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Things to do in London

Body of water beside green trees during the daytime

Getting oriented:

We’ll start the day in Little Venice, just north of Paddington Station. The Rembrandt Gardens is a good spot for a photo opp before we walk further north into Maida Vale. The moored boats lining the canal are often bedecked with flowers and are particularly photogenic.

Maida Vale is a charming neighborhood that has a very local feel - not a tour group in sight!

For Beatles fans, it’s just a few blocks north to reach the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing - though it’s no small feat to take your photo without stopping traffic!

We’re now going to follow the canal east from Maida Vale through Lisson Grove, another appealing residential area - walk down any pretty side street that catches your eye as you make your way down Clifton Gardens Road and St. John’s Wood Road. If you’re interested in antiques or finding a memorable keepsake to bring home, consider stopping by Alfie’s Antique Market.

At this point we’re approaching Regent’s Park - London is full of green spaces and this park is one of my favorites. It’s smaller than Hyde Park and has a quaint boating lake as well as gorgeous rose gardens. Grab a bench and rest your feet while being surrounded by classic English gardening.

Take your time exploring the park, but ultimately make your way to the northeast corner. Put St. Mark’s Church in your maps app for guidance. The church is worth stopping at and also has a charming snack bar on the grounds (unexpected, I know!) called the Pedlar’s Pitstop.

From St. Mark’s Church you can make your way down to the pedestrian walkway that follows the canal to Camden Market, which is our next stop. There’s a lot of vibrant street art lining the tunnels here.

Camden Market is a buzzing street food and shopping area, with options for every palette. For a taste of South America in the UK, stop by Arepazo Bros for arepas. Even if you’re not hungry, it’s worthwhile to take in the atmosphere, so do a lap or two before moving on.

If Camden Market is feeling a bit too busy, take a short walk up Chalk Farm Road and call in at the Luminary Bakery.

And that’s a wrap on our day exploring the Regent’s Canal! From here it’s a quick walk to either the Chalk Farm or Camden Town tube stations for your onward explorations of London.

Places to eat & drink in London

People sitting at outside tables near a dock during the daytime
  • Daniel’s Cafe and Patisserie: Love the hearty omelets and breads here, as well as the friendly service.

  • The Peppermint: A little further north, but a great value for money choice with a good range of egg and toast options.

  • Mortar and Pestle: A tasty option for Thai food in between the Hanover Gate and York Bridge entrances to the park.

  • Camden Market: A buzzing street food and shopping area, with options for every palette. For a taste of South America in the UK, stop by Arepazo Bros for arepas.

  • Luminary Bakery: The cakes in the display window are hard to resist! I ended my afternoon here and waited out the rain with a generous slice of carrot cake and a macchiato. Luminary is also noteworthy because it’s a cafe with a social conscience, offering women from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to learn the baking business.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Jonathan Aciego’s guide, Best Coffee Spots to Visit in London.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to London.

Lauren Broeseker posing for a photo in the desert.

Travel Advisor

Lauren Broeseker

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