Tuesday, April 18, 2006

finally some canal walking

With the Easter Monday Bank holiday free after returning from our days out at Cornwall, we met up Renee and Chris this morning for a walk along one of the many old canals that criss-cross the north, east, and west of London.

Chris, Renee, and Carly at Camden Lock

Since my mate Brett had described these to me after his time in London, I've aways been facinated by how they previously serviced the City with barge freight transport, and still today with old-style long boats travelling the canals from London to all parts of southern England by this amazing network which spreads as far as Birmingham and beyond.

We met the Regents Canal at the Camden Lock, just near the markets, and then walked eastwards along the tow paths which were once used by horses to pull the barges and boats, stopping off to check out the 875 meter tunnel which travels right the way underneath Angel town centre. I got some good shots of this impressive piece of engineering, and also some photos of the regeneration happening along the banks - I expected there to be more development centred around the canal as it weaved through some pretty dense areas of north London, but it seemed that many older style buildings had simply turned their backs on the open space and water views that it offers.

Both sides of the Canal tunnel beneath Angel

Many of the new developments are beginning to take advantage of what the waterfront has to offer, and British Waterways actually permit longboat residents and travellers to moor up at certain points for set periods. This seems like a good way to bring activity to what could otherwise be disused area except for the odd walker or jogger.

We stopped off at a bar in Angel for the first of our beers for the day, and from there we travlled further along the canal to The Narrow Boat pub (which fronts directly onto the towpath) for another. We left the canal soon after and trekked up to the Canonbury area to a great pub that Chris used to frequent while living up that way, and after that we came all the way back to Upper Street and had another pub stop there before heading to dinner.

Phil, Carly, the Bull, and Willow

Gardens in one of the local squares starting to bloom for spring

A great shot of Renee and Carly with my long lens

Dinner's worth a mention - we went to an 'all-you-can-eat' vegetarian restuarant Chris had raved about, where you can eat your fill for only £3 each! After copping a heap of shit on the long journey there about what is was going to be like, we all had to admit afterwards that it wasn't too bad for the price.

Back home on the tube, and off to work tomorrow for a short week.



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