Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The joys of walking by the side of a canal

Regent's Canal, Victoria Park ©Heather James

'The Regent’s Canal is one of London’s best-kept secrets - a peaceful haven often hidden by the surrounding buildings, it offers a unique perspective on some of the capital’s urban landscapes.' Canal & River Trust

Sounds delightful doesn't it? We walked along a section of this very canal from Victoria Park to close to City Road just the other Sunday afternoon to go and visit friends of ours and give them a present for their new baby. Why use public transport we thought when walking would be so much healthier.

What started out as a pleasant afternoon stroll ended up feeling more like a slog up a mountain with two way traffic. In the past we have enjoyed an amble along the river Lea stopping for the occasional leisurely chat to someone who lives on a narrow boat about the joys of working in London while living in the countryside and then winding up in a pub.

On this occasion we spent far too much time getting out of the way of runners bent on improving their performance, cyclists who might well knock you into the canal rather slow down (and probably wouldn't notice if they had), fashionistas bellowing on their mobile phones while posing for photographs in the sunshine and parents pushing their small children along in prams built like tanks. This was not a pleasant experience so we decided to get the bus home and confine our walks along the canal to weekdays when everyone else is stressed out at work.

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