Best Canal Walks in London

London is full of canals and waterways that offer pedestrians quiet and scenic routes through which to navigate the city and explore some of its most beautiful locations.

Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or a lengthier hike, choosing one of the many canal walks in London is a great way to see different parts of the city while staying away from busy roads and stretching your legs.

Here are our favourite canal walks in London.

The Grand Union Canal in London to the west of Little Venice
The Grand Union Canal west of Little Venice

Camden to Little Venice

One of the most popular canal walks in London is following the Regent’s Canal between Little Venice and Camden.

This route takes you past Regent’s Park and ends in one of the most photogenic areas of London – Little Venice. You can then extend the walk by heading further west along the Grand Union Canal.

Following the walk also gives you the option to have a quick detour up Primrose Hill where you can get incredible views of London that rival those from Hampstead Heath.

Read our blog on the Camden to Little Venice walk for more details.

The Regent's Canal on the approach towards Little Venice in London
The Regent’s Canal in Little Venice

King’s Cross to Limehouse

The other half of the Regent’s Canal can be followed from King’s Cross to Limehouse, where you’ll pass through Islington and have a long stretch along the towpath all the way to the River Thames.

This walk is a useful one as it starts centrally and you can get a train into King’s Cross or St Pancras. 

At roughly around the halfway point the canal will cut alongside Victoria Park, which is worth exploring and a great spot for a picnic.

For a full guide, you can see what we wrote about the King’s Cross to Limehouse canal walk.

Yachts harboured at Limehouse Basin, the end point of many of the best canal walks in London
Limehouse Basin

The Regent’s Canal

While the two walks described above cover each half of the Regent’s Canal, it is also possible to walk from one end to another in a day.

From Little Venice to Limehouse (or vice-versa), this route is 8.6 miles long so you’d probably need to dedicate most of the day to it, but it’s a great way to navigate the city and see many different areas.

Stratford to Limehouse

From Stratford in East London, you can explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before following the River Lea south. The river splits before reaching the Thames, and one fork veers off down the Limehouse Cut.

This straight canal heads southwest and connects the River Lea to the Limehouse Basin, which makes for a good end point for a walk by the Thames.

Alternatively, you can double the length of the walk and make it circular by then heading north up the Regent’s Canal before cutting northeast up the Hertford Union Canal which takes you back to the Olympic Park.

Other London walks by the water

While there are many great London canal walks, if you’re looking for a quiet stroll along some of its scenic waterways then don’t forget to check out some of the routes along the Thames.

The distinctive skyline of Canary Wharf as seen from the Thames Path on the south bank of the Thames
Canary Wharf as seen from the Thames Path

Some of the best walks in London follow the Thames Path which offers a great way for walkers to see the city on both sides of the river and from both the very western and eastern limits of London.

Here are some of our favourite walks along the Thames Path:

  • London Bridge to Greenwich. Starting off on the Southbank where you can see famous landmarks like Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, this route takes you through Bermondsey and Rotherhithe and past the canals around Surrey Quays. As it finishes in Greenwich, there’s plenty to see and do when you get to the end.
  • Greenwich to Woolwich. Continuing from Greenwich, you can follow the Thames Path east and pass by impressive structures like the Millennium Dome and the Thames Barrier, before ending in Woolwich where you can either get a train or a Thames Clipper back into central London.
  • Blackfriars to Battersea. Another walk beginning at the busy Southbank, this route takes you south and west where you can see top attractions like the London Eye and Big Ben. You’ll then end up at the impressive Battersea Power Station which offers many great shopping and eating options.

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