10 Things to Do Along London's Regent's Canal

Little Venice on the Regent's Canal, London, UK

Alex Segre/Getty Images

Explore the highlights and hidden gems along the Regent's Canal, an 8.6-mile waterway that links Paddington Basin and Limehouse Basin in London, England. 

01 of 10

Take a Tour by Kayak

People canoeing on regent's canal at dusk
Alexandre MOREAU/Getty Images
Windsor Leisure Centre Creche, Stovell Rd, Windsor SL4 5JB, UK
+44 845 453 2002

See London from a different perspective by taking to the water in a kayak. A 90-minute guided excursion with London Kayak Tours takes in all the major sights along the Regent's Canal including Camden Town, London Zoo, Little Venice, and Regent's Park. The tours are led by British Canoe Union instructors and are suitable for levels of experience including children 9 and over. 

02 of 10

Explore Little Venice

Little Venice on Regent's Canal in London
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

This picturesque corner of London lies at the point where the Regent's Canal meets the Grand Union Canal. The waterways here are lined with colorful narrowboats and you can hop between cafes, bars, and restaurants at the water's edge. The streets in the area are home to beautiful Regency-style houses.

03 of 10

Dine at a Floating Chinese Restaurant

Feng Shang Princess
Feng Shang Princess
Southern Star Cumberland Basin, Prince Albert Rd, London NW1 7SS, UK
+44 20 7485 8137

Tuck into traditional Chinese dishes like dumplings and crispy Peking duck in the quirky surroundings of Feng Shang Princess, a floating restaurant in the Cumberland Basin of the Regent's Canal. This converted narrowboat was handcrafted in the 1980s and is decked out with authentic Chinese-style interiors. It's said to be one of Paul McCartney's favorite Chinese restaurants.

04 of 10

Shop for Books in a Converted Barge

Word on the Water bookshop London

Jim Linwood/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Regent's Canal Towpath, London N1C 4LW, UK
+44 7976 886982

Word on the Water is London's only floating bookshop. It's stuffed full of affordable books and hosts live music and poetry events up on the roof of a restored 1920s Dutch barge. It was saved from closure after a passionate campaign and is now moored permanently at Granary Square near King's Cross Station.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Cruise Aboard a Traditional Narrowboat

London Canal Boat
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
CAMDEN LOCK, Camden Lock Place / West Yard of, Camden Lock Market, London NW1 8AF, UK
+44 20 3763 9981

Ride the gentle waters of the Regent's Canal on a traditional narrowboat between Little Venice and Camden. The London Waterbus runs a regular service throughout the year (weekends only during the winter months) and the 50-minute journey sales past elegant waterfront mansions and through the Maida Hill tunnel. You can also buy a London Zoo ticket that includes a boat ride into the zoo itself as the boats have access to a canal gate right inside the attraction.

06 of 10

Sip Cocktails at East London Liquor Company

East London Liquor Company spirits
East London Liquor Company
Unit GF1, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Rd, London E3 5SN, UK
+44 20 3011 0980

Hipsters flock to this former glue factory turned bar at the edge of Victoria Park to sip spirits made in the on-site distillery. The bar is just off the Regent's Canal on the Hertford Union Canal and serves artisan cocktails made with its own brand of gin, vodka, and whisky. Swing by for a potent drink or to learn about boozy botanicals with a tour and a tasting.

07 of 10

Watch a Puppet Theatre Show on a Barge

Puppet Theatre Barge
Puppet Theatre Barge
opposite, 35 Blomfield Rd, London W9 2PF, UK
+44 20 7249 6876

The Puppet Theatre Barge is an intimate playhouse in a converted barge in Little Venice. The 55-seat venue was founded in 1982 by the Movingstage theatre company and puts on regular puppet shows for children and adults between October and July. The barge is moored in Richmond between July and September.

08 of 10

Visit a Museum

London Canal Museum

Karen Bryan/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0 

12/13 New Wharf Rd, London N1 9RT, UK
+44 20 7713 0836

Learn all about the history of London's waterways at the London Canal Museum. Explore inside a narrowboat and learn about the people who have lived and worked on the canals throughout the years. The museum building used to be a warehouse that stored ice for a famous ice cream maker and dates to 1862. The museum runs regular Tunnel Trips, a guided narrowboat tour of Islington's long canal tunnel.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Explore Buzzy Granary Square

Granary Square London
Richard Newstead/Getty Images
Granary Square, London N1C 4PQ, UK

Granary Square is a buzzy canalside hub near King's Cross Station. It features over 1,000 choreographed fountains that dance throughout the day and are lit up at night. The square is home to a number of hip restaurants including Caravan, an industrial-chic spot that serves brilliant brunches, and Dishoom, a Bombay-style restaurant that dishes up Indian street food. In the summer months, the steps leading down to the canal are carpeted to provide a comfy seating area. Regular events take place in the square throughout the year.​

10 of 10

See a Spectacular Moving Bridge

Paddington Rolling Bridge

Loz Pycock/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

S Wharf Rd, London W2 1NW, UK

Just off the Regent's Canal in Paddington Basin, the Rolling Bridge is a striking bridge with an innovative design that allows it to curl up into an octagonal shape. Created by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the bridge is made of eight triangular sections that can roll up into an octagonal ball in order to let boats through. Every Friday at around midday it's unfurled for people to walk across. 

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10 Things to Do Along London's Regent's Canal