A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

The London Waterbus and Regents Canal

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The London Waterbus operates between Camden Lock Market ⇐ and Little Venice on the Regents Canal.  The waterbus has a seasonal timetable ⇒ and the journey time is approximately 50 minutes. The Little Venice destination is a charming pool with a barge cafe and an enchanting barge puppet theatre ⇓.

The canal is part of a huge network that was once the lifeblood of trading Britain, moving goods and raw materials between ports and the hinterland by horse-drawn barge. Many of the old canals have been restored and now provide for house boats and holiday barges.  History ⇒ and scenic Barge Holidays ⇒ (one source) and the Norfolk Broads Holiday River Boats ⇒ (no canal locks).

Many canals have tunnels and this section of the Regents Canal has two. The longest UK tunnel of 3.24 miles is in the north of England at Standedge ⇒ (pronounced Stannige).  The long tunnels did not have towpaths and men had to lie on the cargo and push the barge along by walking along the roof or walls of the tunnel (called legging).  Professional leggers were available at one shilling per hour and the Standedge tunnel would take a back-breaking three hours to traverse with a fully laden barge.

Here are just a few snaps from the London Waterbus journey.

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Starting from a small cut just past the lock at Camden Market the waterbus passes St Martin’s Church and then some pleasant foilage.

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.

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Then there are several embassies.

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The route passes through Regents Park (London) Zoo, although all that can be seen from the canal is the giant aviary.

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Cunningham Place.

Catholic Apostolic Church Maida Vale

One of the few remaining Catholic Apostolic Churches (Maida Vale).  A curious religious movement which was founded by three self appointed apostles in England in 1831 and spread to Germany and USA.  The church ceased ordination in 1901 and so became virtually extinct by the 1970’s.

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Arriving at Little Venice there is the barge cafe.

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And, a fine view back across the pool.

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On the other side of the Little Venice pool is the Puppet Theatre Barge ⇒, which magically appears from Richmond between October and the following July.  Whilst it may not look like much from the outside, the inside is warm and cosy and the performances are skillful and enchanting and usually suitable for a broad age range.

9 responses

  1. Looking back and reading all the posts about canals in France and the UK coupled with our own real life experience of Holland and Germany, we’ve come to appreciate these waterways even more. It dovetails into the political history of the various states of medieval times that Mel reads. Very intriguing links!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2016 at 14:54

    • It is true that waterways have been an essential to the advancement human civilisations. Prior to the railways freight was it was either by water or by mule. The UK was particularly fortunate and our waterways were integral to its industrial revolution. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      December 4, 2016 at 20:38

      • That’s right. The roads that the Romans built were derelict and waterways were the main source of transportation in medieval times. Life will indeed find a way!

        Liked by 2 people

        December 5, 2016 at 02:06

  2. Incredibly charming! I saw some canals that were so scenic near Windsor Castle. I want to come back for the market and these canals!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2016 at 18:53

    • Wouldn’t it be nice to have the tranquility of a horse drawn barge. 🙂

      Like

      December 5, 2016 at 00:19

  3. We have some canals here but they tend to be in disrepair. I would love to take the London Water Bus, you said it in a comment; tranquil. I’d take the bus to the barge cafe and have coffee. (I like tea too but if I’m going to fantasize it will be coffee. 😀 )

    Like

    December 8, 2016 at 13:50

  4. Lovely pics. I’d love to try this out one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 12, 2016 at 17:42

    • Hope you do. Not spectacular but a nice oasis of calm in busy London. 🙂

      Like

      December 13, 2016 at 07:16

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