This lovely walk along Regent’s Canal is 4.5 miles and explores the most beautiful section of the waterway. The route passes Little Venice, Camden Market, and the regenerated King’s Cross area. Map and instructions included.

By: Mark Barnes | Published: 6 Jan 2024 | Last update: 26 Jan 2024

Regent’s Canal cuts its way through the parks and varied urban architecture of northern London. A towpath runs along most of its route, allowing for a traffic-free walk to explore some of London’s finest neighbourhoods.

We have designed a walk that covers the best sections of the canal.

It begins in recently regenerated Paddington, and ends in the urban cool of Kings Cross. Along the way, it passes the mansions and narrowboats of Little Venice, the leafy banks and grand houses of Regent’s Park, and the stalls of Camden Market.

Our Regent’s Canal walk can be completed in just over 2 hours. But if you spend a bit of time at the market and have lunch at one of the stalls, you’ll want to allow at least half a day on this diverse London walk.

ABOUT THE REGENT’S CANAL WALK

Regent’s Canal connects the Grand Union Canal in the west with Limehouse Basin in the east. Sometimes a towpath runs along side it, at other times it dives into tunnels beneath the city.

We have picked the prettiest section of the Regent’s Canal towpath and constructed a walk around it. It begins in Paddington and passes through Little Venice, Regent’s Park, Camden, and ends at King’s Cross.

As an alternative, you could try our Regent’s Park and Camden Town walk which spends more time in the park, finishing at the market in Camden.

MAP | REGENT’S CANAL WALK

Use our map to navigate this Regent’s Canal Walk and make sure you don’t miss any of the sights.

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.  


WHERE TO START

We recommend starting at Edgware tube station (or Paddington Station) and finishing at King’s Cross/St. Pancras tube station. However, you could also do the walk in reverse.

HOW LONG?

The walk is 4.5 miles (7.3 kilometres) which would take just over 2 hours without stops. However, you’ll want to spend time exploring Camden Market and perhaps taking a detour onto Primrose Hill, so allow 3 – 4 hours.

regents canal towpath london
REGENT’S CANAL TOWPATH

START / EDGEWARE RD TUBE STATION

Edgware Road tube station has two exits – one for the Bakerloo Line and one for the Hammersmith, District, and Circle Lines. Whichever exit you use, make your way onto Praed Street (following the map above) and then turn right through a gap in the buildings to reach the canal.

You could also start at Paddington Station, but you would miss the Merchant Square section unless you backtracked a little.

MERCHANT SQUARE

This end of the canal is called Merchant Square. This recently regenerated area is home to shiny office buildings and canal-side dining.

Keep right and follow the north edge of the canal as it passes bars and restaurants, food vans and coffee shops, all set below the glass and steel architecture.

Pass under a bridge, bend right around the corner, and then cross the canal on the second bridge – signposted to Paddington Station.

// Regent’s Canal by boat

As an alternative to walking our Regent’s Canal route, you can rent speed boats from GoBoat UK who are located near Rolling Bridge in Merchant Square. It’s a 2-hour round trip to Camden Lock and back.

PADDINGTON BASIN

Once over the bridge turn right and follow the left bank of the canal. You are now in Paddington Basin where colourful narrowboats have set up restaurants on deck. Darcie Green serves a good brunch or lunch, and May Green supplies the artisan coffee. Both are lovely on a sunny day.

Passing under a couple of bridges, keep an eye out for the sculpture ‘Two Figures’ also called ‘Walking Man and Standing Man’ portraying two people about to meet.

LITTLE VENICE

The walk bends left and widens into a triangular pool known as Little Venice. Thought to be named by Robert Browning (but no-one is quite sure), it is where the Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal meet.

Narrowboats and day trippers drift past the facades of grand mansions. Swans and ducks plough the waters to Browning Island in the centre of the pool. Stop and peruse the second-hand books at the Waterside Café.

After the café turn right over the bridge and right again to follow the Regent’s Canal towpath, now heading northeast (see map above). After passing under another bridge keep left, leaving the towpath and join Blomfield Road.

At the end of the road, the canal disappears into a tunnel and goes underground. Cross over Edgware Road and continue along Aberdeen Place. As the road bends left, keep straight ahead, and go through a gap in the buildings.

Ignore the stairs down to the towpath, and after a few hundred meters, turn right over the bridge and then left again to join the Regent’s Canal towpath on the right-hand side of the canal.

Shortly the towpath crosses a pedestrian bridge over the canal, passes colourful street art, and enters Regent’s Park.

REGENT’S PARK

This is the most beautiful section of the walk. The canal sweeps gracefully between two leafy banks. Grand houses with landscaped gardens peer over the waters as willow trees drift in the breeze.

To get a view over London, take the detour to Primrose Hill (marked in orange on the map above). A short climb to the summit brings views over the City and London Eye.

Back on the towpath, the walk passes London Zoo. Look carefully and you can see monkeys in the Monkey Valley tent to your left, and perhaps African Wild Dogs on the far bank.

CAMDEN MARKET

At the striking red Feng Shang Princess restaurant, the path bends left under a bridge and leaves the grassy banks of Regent’s Park for the urban interior of Camden.

Brick walls and the underside of bridges are packed with a mix of graffiti and street art. Local houses (with their own narrowboats) back onto the canal.

The Regent’s Canal towpath soon reaches the black and white bridge at Camden Lock. From here Camden Market stretches either side of the canal. The largest (and in our opinion) most interesting market in London is well worth exploring.

A melting pot of music, fashion, experiences and food, the market is split into 4 quarters:

  • Camden Stables Market
  • Camden Lock Market
  • Camden Hawley Wharf Market
  • Camden Buck Street Market

Wind through the stalls and passages of Camden’s Stables Market (see map) and grab lunch in Camden Lock Market.

When you’ve finished exploring, cross over Camden High Street and head through Camden Hawley Wharf market to re-join the Regent’s Canal towpath signed towards King’s Cross.

COAL DROPS YARD

After leaving Camden the crowds disappear as the walk winds between a mix of old and new architecture.

Graffiti lines many of walls and hoardings until you reach the regenerated area of King’s Cross. Over the last 20 years an underused industrial site famed for prostitutes and drugs has been rejuvenated with new streets, squares, and parks.

First up Gasholder’s Park has transformed two enormous gas cylinders into stylish accommodation.

Next, Coal Drops Yard is packed with cool shops, good restaurants, and a mix of coffee shops and bars. Out the back of the yard is Lewis Cubitt Square. It has an outdoor photo collection and Lightroom Gallery which houses an intriguing mix of artist-led exhibitions.

Finally, Granary Square is home to the popular Caravan restaurant and an array of dancing fountains. The steps down to the canal is a popular spot to sit on a sunny day.

KING’S CROSS

Cross over the bridge (opposite Granary Square) and follow the pedestrianised footpath signed to King’s Cross Station. Harry Potter fans should make a detour into the station for the Harry Potter shop and platform 9 ¾.

Architecture fans should head into St Pancras station to see the magnificent arches, architecture, and concourse of the Eurostar.

Our Regent’s Canal walk ends at Kings Cross / St Pancras station. We hope you enjoyed it.

MORE LONDON SELF-GUIDED WALKING GUIDES

Walking is a great way to see London. Here’s a list of some of our favourite walks in London.

Also, check out all the fantastic day hikes near London and soak up some beautiful country landscapes.

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