Monday, May 4, 2015

A perfect spring day in London - bike riding along Regent's Canal

Besides today being a bank holiday (yay!) it also turned out to be a warm and sunny day! After deciding not to waste such a gorgeous day indoors, my brothers and I decided to head out to ride bikes along Regent's Canal.  
Regent's Canal is one of my favourite places in London. On a bank holiday I just completely avoid anything remotely touristy which is sure to be packed, and try to find something just a little bit quieter. I find that a lot of the people walking along the canal are locals with only a few scattered tourists. Many tourists will of course take pictures of the canal in Camden and maybe wander down for a few metres, but the majority will not walk down it for very long.

We headed down to Camden to hire some Santander Bikes/Boris Bike's/whatever you want to call them and lugged them down a few steps to the canal path. You can access the canal from many points, but we got there from Camden Lock. After deciding which way to head (one way goes towards King's Cross and the other towards Little Venice) we headed down past Camden Lock and on towards Regent's Park and Little Venice.

My favourite part of the canal is from Camden to Little Venice. There are trees covering either side for most of the way, and it really feels like you are in somewhere other than London. There is none of the usual noise and crowds found elsewhere in London. Even though it was a sunny bank holiday, I didn't find it too busy which made riding a bank along it much easier. Of all the places, you do not want to fall in to the canal. Who knows what is in there!! (Well I've heard stories...but I'd rather not know)

Riding along there are some amazing houses with perfect landscaping, which almost look like mini palaces. As well as that you actually go through London Zoo, with the boar and hunting dog enclosures on one side and the aviary on the other. You can't actually access the Zoo from the canal but admiring it from the canal path is enough! Finally after about 20 minutes riding, we ended up in Little Venice. The first time I visited here, Little Venice definitely did not meet my expectations. I think I must have been expecting shiny gondolas and singing Italian men or something, which London's Little Venice certainly is not. It's worth a look though, and it's quite interesting to see how people actually live on the house boats. Just don't go expecting anything amazing!

Wait...what happened to the sun?!

After turning around at Little Venice (you can't ride through there, just walk) we headed to back along the canal and dropped off the bikes in Primrose Hill. We then walked for about 15 minutes back to Camden where we grabbed some lunch. Happily stuffed with pizza, we headed back home satisfied that we hadn't missed out on the few hours of sunshine that today had in store. Perfect day achieved!

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