Canal Walks 

Canal Walks. Something different. Something special.



There are now 20 London Walks canal walks. A repertory that has been built up over many years by the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) members who guide the walks in partnership with London Walks.

There are always at least two – and sometimes more – canal walks every month. The fixed “berth” for the canal walks is the 2.30 pm Tour du Jour slot on the first and third Sunday of every month. That regular, bi-monthly canal walks fare is then often topped up with one or two “canal walks specials” seeded here and there in the London Walks programme. You can “take survey” simply by doing a search for “canal” on the search engine.

Why go on a canal walk? Why not? The reasons are manifold.

There’s the lure of the new – canal walks take you into a London you won’t have seen before, a London that will surprise and delight you.

There’s the lure of the old – this is a bygone London that hasn’t gone by. It’s still here, living history. Everything slows right down on a canal walk, slows down to the speed of “the canal age.”

A canal walk is by the water.

Canal walks are sequential, they come in tranches: aficionados get hooked, they get a lot of knowledge and a pleasing sense of achievement from walking the stages, getting the I Walked the Regent’s Canal tee-shirt.

Canal walks guides have specialist knowledge. They are all IWA members. They are boat and barge owners. They have many years’ experience plying these waters. That’s the sine qua non to a successful canal walk because there are features throughout the canal network that a “lay person” wouldn’t notice, let alone fathom. These guides – these IWA members – know where to go, where to look, what it is you’re looking at. Why it’s there. What purpose it served. Things snap into focus.

You go on a canal walk you’re supporting a good cause: the canal walks guides donate their fee to the IWA.

A canal walk is car-free.