London Diary – To Canal Museum and Granary Square With the Bronte Group

Jul 27, 2017

Courtesy of the Bronte group in London, I discovered the Canal Museum. It is located at Battle Basin of Regent Canal and a short walk from British Library, Kings Cross and St Pancras International.

Albeit small, the museum is informative and interesting, telling the story of building and using of the canals and people who built and lived by the canals. Among others, I was surprised to learn that most canal barges were drawn by horses until WWII.

The building that houses the museum is itself a piece of interesting history about the trade of ice importing and ice cream making in the 19th century.

After museum visit, we walked to Granary Square along the canal. As we sat down by Regent Canal to eat our sandwiches, weather turned favorably, sun was shining on us and warming it up nicely. I couldn’t have asked for better timing.

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London Diary – Regent Canal

 

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Feb 22, 2016

Somehow London’s fascinating canals had escaped my radar until only this past weekend. But I was immediately intrigued and set to learn and explore. This extensive network of waterways has been around for a long time in the heart of the city and although these canals had not been employed the way they were intended due to the emergence of railways, they deservingly have been preserved and became permanently charming part of London’s landscape.

The two major canal systems north of River Thames are Grand Union Canal and Regent Canal. There are boat tours available but we opted for walking Regent Canal, which is about 8.5 miles between Paddington on the west and Limehouse basin on its east end.

In about 3.5 hours we traveled about 4 miles, roughly half of the Regent Canal, starting from Paddington Station, and stopped at King’s Cross Station. Except a few disappointing trash strewn spots, it was overall a fabulous jaunt and many highlights along the way.

Paddington Station; pretty Little Venice; fascinatingly colorful House boats that you’d see at certain parts of the canal near Little Venice and more down the road and yes people do live on these boats; many Locks and bridges; gorgeous mega mansions just before reaching Regent Park, each of which touts a price tag of 80 million pounds and up, and, the park itself; Feng Shang Princess, which is a Chinese restaurant in the shape of a boat on the canal; Camden Town, which is vibrant scene with its crowded market right on the canal, where we stopped for a light replenishment, and its long stretching high street lined with quirky store fronts; St Pancras Station is a railway station housed in a magnificent Gothic Revival Grade I listed building, and its expansion into a modern wing; right next to St Pancras is King’s Cross Station, of both rails and underground, which is tremendous with a modern interior and grand exterior, and it is where Harry Porter’s famous Platform ¾ is located. There was a crowd of people waiting for a photo op at the spot and yet no one disappeared into the thin air, Hogwarts must have been closed that day.

The following are websites with wealth of information on the canals:

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk

http://lndn.blogspot.co.uk/2005_05_01_lndn_archive.html

 

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