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Regent's (Regents) Canal - Little Venice to Limehouse Basin
The Regent's Canal has a junction with the Paddington Arm Branch of the Grand Junction Canal at Little Venice, a couple of hundred metres north of the refurbished Paddington Basin.
We cruised the Regent's Canal in June 2008 as part of our summer cruise. The Regent's Canal passes through the Maida Hill Tunnel, and later Islington Tunnel, then curves round the northern edge of Regent's Park, originally part of King Henry VIII's hunting forest, travelling through a section of London Zoo with a view of the Anthony Armstrong Jones Avery towards the colourful Cumberland Basin, Camden Town and King's Cross Central. Negotiating a sharp bend by Camley Street Nature Park the canal follows a route behind St Pancras and King's Cross railway stations.
The canal opens out into the old Horsfall Basin to the south, now known as Battlebridge, here you will find the London Canal Museum in an area of redevelopment which we managed to miss completely on the outward cruise! The Regents Canal continues east through the Islington tunnel and passes Broadway Market and then meets the Hertford Union Canal Junction close to Victoria Park, turning south towards the Limehouse Basin, where the Regent's Canal meets the Limehouse Cut and the tidal 'sea lock' where it joins the River Thames.
The Regent's Canal was first talked about by Thomas Homer in 1802, proposed as a link from the Paddington arm of the then Grand Junction Canal, which was opened in 1801, with the River Thames at Limehouse Docks. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1812 authorising construction. John Nash, the famous town planner and architect and a director of the canal company, produced a plan for the Prince Regent to redevelop a large area of Royal property in central north London. The Regent’s Canal was included in the scheme, running for part of its distance along the northern edge of Regent's Park.
We found the canal to be both open urban and industrial with limited mooring for casual visitors especially near points of interest like Camden Market as well as generally being short on information boards and signs. There are a number of basins where mooring can be booked in advance through BW, which is OK if you know in advance - i.e.. have the right waterways guide book. However we enjoyed the cruise and the locks were reasonably well kept and not too difficult to handle. We moored along side Victoria Park on the Regent's Canal at the visitor mooring rings before Bonner Hall Bridge within sight of the Old Ford Lock.
The last mile or so and four locks takes you through Mile End to Limehouse Basin.
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