Summer's a great time to go walking. It’s good for birdwatching, and it’s just as good for stopping at pubs for a cooling pint or a lemonade. If you’ve booked a few days in the capital - potentially in one of the fantastic hotels in Cricklewood London, here are the best riverside walks in London to embark on this season.
- Little Venice
Although not far from fast roads and Paddington Station, Little Venice is an oasis of tranquillity. Little Venice is located where the Regent’s Canal joins the Grand Union Canal at Paddington. Today it is famous for some of the finest early Victorian houses in London with gardens than run down to the canal. Take a boat trip from Little Venice to Camden Lock via the zoo while keeping an eye open for wild animals! Look for Browning’s Pool named after Robert Browning. It was originally a holding area for boats as they waited to enter Paddington Basin.
- Camden Locks
Camden Locks is a good place to watch boats – and a great place for people watching! Wharves and warehouses once surrounded Camden Locks. Some old canal buildings are still there, but today they house pubs, clubs and one of London’s most popular craft markets. You can book any of the affordable hotels near Wembley Stadium and spend a day wandering the canalside, visiting the market and taking a break in a lockside café, once the lock keeper’s cottage. Don’t forget to watch out for Pirate Castle!
- Three Mills & the Olympic Park
Three Mills is one of London’s best-kept secrets. Within cycling distance, it’s possible to see both 300-year-old mills and great 21st-century architecture in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. House Mill is a tidal mill on the River Lea. Take a tour of House Mill to open on Sunday afternoons from May-October and the first Sunday in the month from November-April. Then, cycle to the Olympic Park, home to iconic buildings such as the ArcelorMittal Orbit designed by Anish Kapoor and the Aquatic Centre designed by Zaha Hadid.
You can also read: London’s Musical Heritage
- Bishop’s Stortford
Winding its way through Bishop’s Stortford, the Stort Navigation is a great route for long, scenic country walks. Cycle down the towpath and take a break to watch the boats and feed the ducks or have a snack at a waterside café or pub. If you want to stay out in the sun, have a picnic on the banks of the canal overlooking Waytemore Castle Mound, a Norman motte and bailey castle. You can also explore the historic town of Bishop’s Stortford.
- Kings Cross
Sandwiched between King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations is the Regent’s Canal, an unexpected oasis of calm and peace amid the hectic pace of long-distance rail travel. Stop by Central St Martins where many world-famous fashion designers have trained. This building was once a grain warehouse built by Lewis Cubitt who also designed the station in 1852. Or, visit the London Canal Museum and find out about the families who lived aboard canal boats. This building was once an icehouse where ice-cream maker, Carlo Gatti, stored shipments of ice from Scandinavia. Yum!