Canal Walks in London

The iconic River Thames isn’t the only waterway that winds its way across London. Our network of canals have been a vital infrastructure for the city for centuries. Think transport for barges and home to canal boats. And now, their towpaths are hotspots for cyclists, dog walkers and visitors to the many chic canalside cafes as well as our oh-so knowledgeable walking tour guides.

Canal walks can take you from West London, through Central London and across to East London. As you follow canal paths, you’ll take in sights like Regent’s Park, London Zoo, Olympic Park and Camden Market.

Our Docklands walks open your eyes to the history of this ever-changing area beside the Thames, including Limehouse Cut which is London’s oldest canal. Or, discover the fascinating stories of East London, walking via Hackney Wick, Mile End park, Victoria Park and more.

Regent’s Canal is particularly popular, flowing from Little Venice via Kings Cross and along to Docklands. It’s known as “the loveliest inland waterway in England” for good reason, as our Regent’s Canal walk reveals. Our expert guides will show you pretty green spaces, hidden nooks and historic sites on our Regent’s Canal walking tour. All the guides are members of the Inland Waterways Association and many of them are  barge owners themselves, so have amazing insights and stories to tell. They’ll give you their personal perspective of London life from the waterways.

Below you’ll find our best canal walks which range from London towpath walks, out to the Grand Union Canal and beyond.

The Regent's Canal - Little Venice to Camden Town
The Regent's Canal - Little Venice to Camden Town

Sunday, 04 December 2022 @ 2.30 pm

Life's better by water...

The Regent's Canal - King's Cross, Granary Square, St. Pancras
The Regent's Canal - King's Cross, Granary Square, St. Pancras

Sunday, 18 December 2022 @ 2.30 pm

"unseen, untrodden, unexplored, unknown London beckons"

Tours available upon request

We run a ton of private walks. If you to go on any of the walks below, it’s eezy peezy as well. Just give Fiona, Peter, Niamh or Mary a ring on 020 7624 3978 – or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up for you and make it happen.

The Grand Union Canal – Kensal Green to Alperton
The Grand Union Canal – Kensal Green to Alperton

"there are places along the towpath that are little changed"

Grand Surrey Canal – Rotherhithe, Russia Dock Woodland, Greenland Dock
Grand Surrey Canal – Rotherhithe, Russia Dock Woodland, Greenland Dock

We could be in 1620. Or May 28, 1940. Or June 6, 1944.

The Regent's Canal – King's Cross to the New River
The Regent's Canal – King's Cross to the New River

a stretch of London – a secret way across London – you won't have seen before

The Regent's Canal – River Tyburn to Camden
The Regent's Canal – River Tyburn to Camden

Bucolic to huzzah and colour and panache and buzz

Four Hundred Years of the New River
Four Hundred Years of the New River

It's not new and it's not a river

Royal Victoria Dock to East India Dock Towpath Walk
Royal Victoria Dock to East India Dock Towpath Walk

A new towpath walk created by the London Walks team of Regent's Canal guides (in conjunction with the IWA – Inland Waterways Association)

The Secrets of the Northern Queen Elizabeth Olympics Park
The Secrets of the Northern Queen Elizabeth Olympics Park

"unique in Britain. A double radial gate lock, it was designed to cope with floods and tides..."

The Regent's Canal – Mile End to Haggerston
The Regent's Canal – Mile End to Haggerston

"Welcome to an English rainforest of different types of trees and plants. Then a POW! of a contrast..."

Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock
Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock

A get away from it all walk – down on that towpath it's 200 years ago. 

The Grand Union Canal – Kensal Green to Little Venice
The Grand Union Canal – Kensal Green to Little Venice

"the least well known of London's canal network"

The Grand Union Canal – Little Venice & Paddington Green
The Grand Union Canal – Little Venice & Paddington Green

"a secret corner of London closed to the public for 200 years"

East India Docks – Thames – Docklands
East India Docks – Thames – Docklands

"London's only lighthouse...then on to East India Dock"

Regent's Canal – Islington to Mile End
Regent's Canal – Islington to Mile End

Jollying our way along a handsome, tree-lined canal on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Perfect.

The Grand Union Canal – Uxbridge to Denham
The Grand Union Canal – Uxbridge to Denham

"just what one might imagine a classic English village should look like"

The Regent's Canal:   King's Cross-Granary Square-Camden
The Regent's Canal: King's Cross-Granary Square-Camden

The London of a couple of centuries ago. A London of tunnels and bridges and narrowboats and locks.

The Regent's Canal – Islington to Hoxton
The Regent's Canal – Islington to Hoxton

"ankle power, water power, horsepower, steam engine power, electric power, internal combustion engine power – the walk, er, runs the gamut"

Limehouse - Thames - Docklands
Limehouse - Thames - Docklands

"part gentrified, part solidly working class"

The Regent's Canal – Mile End to Limehouse
The Regent's Canal – Mile End to Limehouse

"from the Age of Canals to cutting edge, 21-st century London"

The Regent's Canal – King's Cross to Hitchcock's Hackney
The Regent's Canal – King's Cross to Hitchcock's Hackney

out of the chrysalis of old 19th-century industrial London into the buzz of a new London

The Regent's Canal – River Tyburn to Little Venice
The Regent's Canal – River Tyburn to Little Venice

"we step into a different world here, a different world bouquet’d with incidental delights – 'The Upside Down House', for example..."

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Three Mills & Bow Back Rivers
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Three Mills & Bow Back Rivers

An out-of-the-way, hardscrabble, forgotten corner of London is now a jaw-dropping contrast of old and new..."