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A guide to

Regent’s Canal

Regent’s Canal

A guide for boaters

Looking to explore London’s iconic Regent’s Canal? This is the perfect guide for you.

Here, we’ll give you everything you need to explore the world-famous London canal, including:

  • Maximum boat dimensions
  • The best things to do along the Regent’s Canal
  • The best places to moor along or near the Regent’s Canal

And much more.


Let’s get started:


What and where is the Regent’s Canal?

Starting at Paddington Arm on the Grand Union Canal before joining the River Thames, the Regent’s Canal is one of London's most famous canal routes. 

Winding through some of London’s busiest neighbourhoods across an 8-mile stretch, Regent’s Canal is often referred to as Camden Canal or Islington Canal, and is one of London’s most famous waterways.

Whether you want to see areas like Little Venice or Camden, Regent’s Canal is a must-visit for boating enthusiasts in the South East.

And you won’t be alone - the canal is always bustling with visitors and leisure boaters who come to cruise its waters, which stretch over 8 miles. 

As it winds through some of the most well-known London neighbourhoods, this historic canal offers boaters a unique perspective of the ‘Big Smoke’ and an opportunity to take in sights and views not visible from roads and motorways.


Regent’s Canal facts

  • Length -  8.6 miles
  • Number of Locks - 12
  • Start Point - Paddington Arm, Grand Union Canal
  • End Point - River Thames


Maximum boat dimensions

  • Length - 22.36m (73ft 4")
  • Width - 4.22m (13ft 10")
  • Draught - 1.28m (4ft 2")
  • Headroom - 2.64m (8ft 8")


Best places to moor near the Regent’s Canal

There are a tonne of places to take a break and moor up alongside the Regent’s Canal.  And if you plan on staying for a few days (or even permanently), Aquavista’s London Marinas are the place to be.

Conveniently located next to the River Thames between the capital's centre and Canary Wharf lies Aquavista’s Limehouse Marina, a secure marina offering a mix of residential, leisure and visitor moorings that are subject to availability.

Unserviced spaces on the linear wall are also available at a low cost, or CRT licence holders can get one night free.

The marina provides a range of modern amenities and provides boaters with easy access to Regent’s Canal alongside over 2000 miles of waterways.

For leisure boaters exploring the Regent’s Canal, an alternative option is  Aquavista’s Poplar Waterside & Marina, which is linked to the Thames by the West India Dock and Canary Wharf. 

Shops, pubs, and restaurants are abundant, with easy access to transportation links.  

This prime location features modern facilities that you’d expect from modern waterside living, including: 

  • Six luxury ensuite bathrooms
  • Laundry facilities
  • Free high-speed Wi-fi 
  • Pump-out
  • Elsan disposal point
  • Secure undercover bike store

With residential moorings being highly sought after in both marinas, the best way to make it your home without the wait is to buy one of our boats for sale with moorings included.  

At Poplar, there are also opportunities to purchase a brand new wide beam or a luxury floating lodge as an alternate way to experience life on the water in the capital city!


Things to do on the Regent’s Canal

Since its revitalisation, Regent’s Canal has become a bustling tourist area that is popular with London locals. 

With plenty of activities and things to do, the canal is a well-frequented and lively area, full of sight-seers, visitors, walkers, and joggers. 


Fun activities


The waters of the Regent’s Canal offer plenty of opportunities to reel in an impressive catch. 

The canal has several designated fishing spots along its banks, which provide the perfect setting for a peaceful day of angling. 

Lucky fishermen can expect to catch roach, bream, chub, perch, and carp.


Boating routes

Exploring the Regent’s Canal by boat brings a unique view of London into focus. 

Scenic areas, landmarks, and historic buildings can all be seen along the way. 

Boaters can chart a course that showcases the best of London’s canals and see celebrity hotspots, London zoo, and even a floating Chinese restaurant.


Canoeing and kayaking

Adventurous people take to the waters of the Regent’s Canal aboard a canoe or kayak, and some opt for the increasingly popular stand-up paddle boarding. 


The calm waters around Maida Hill provide an ideal setting for canoers and kayakers to explore and paddle around, travelling under bridges and through tunnels. 


Walking and cycling

The Regent’s Canal towpath attracts many walkers, joggers, and cyclists who travel along the waterside. 

The terrain is relatively flat and provides impressive city views, taking travellers and dog walkers through the heart of London. 

Popular routes include the stretch between King’s Cross and Regent’s Park, where visitors can enjoy the peaceful waters of the canal and explore the area’s neighbourhoods.


Days out

The Regent’s Canal passes through some of London's busiest and most active areas, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a day out. 

Sip a coffee at a waterside cafe in Little Venice or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants. Take a boat trip, cruise along the water, or travel across the canal on a water bus. 

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have a great time. Some of the most popular spots include:

  • Camden Market offers bargains, clothes, and other items. 
  • Kings Cross offers the fountains at Granary Square, boutique shopping, and plenty of family-friendly eateries. 
  • Experience fine examples of London’s industrial past at The Old Ford Lock and Bow Wharf. 
  • Victoria Park is one of the city’s most visited green spaces with walking trails and wildlife. 
  • For a further glimpse into London’s history, the London Canal Museum describes the life and history of the Regents Canal, other waterways, and the people who lived and worked on them. 
  • For a fun family day out, the London Zoo is a fun destination for all age groups. 
  • Visitors can connect with the natural world and see animals such as lions, monkeys, zebras, and giraffes, as well as other big cats, small mammals, reptiles, and insects. 


Best restaurants

Pubs, eateries, cafes and restaurants are plentiful along Regent’s Canal, but depending on whether you are looking for fine dining or a casual bite, here are some of the best places:

  1. The Pavilion Cafe offers baked goods, brunch, and coffee and is a popular spot in Victoria Park for tourists and locals alike. 
  2. Cafe Cecilia is another great place to go, offering modern contemporary food. You can find the popular cafe opposite the old Hackney gasworks.
  3. For those who prefer relaxed and casual dining in an easy atmosphere, Studio Kitchen offers burgers and drinks on the water in a converted barge along with US southern and BBQ food.
  4. Baltic Barge supplies a range of seafood like squid and octopus paired with fresh salads in its Turkish-style floating restaurant. 
  5. Sons and Daughters is also great for casual food. This casual walk-in eaterie is located near Coal Drops Yard in Granary Square and offers delicious and gigantic sandwiches. 
  6. If you want authentic Italian food visit Little Venice’s Cafe Laville. This hidden gem spans Regent’s Canal and affords fantastic views of the area. 
  7. Japanese food fans will enjoy Toconoco overlooking the Kingsland Basin, which has the bonus of being extremely kid-friendly. 


History of the Regent’s Canal

The Regent's Canal was initially constructed to facilitate the transportation of goods and materials to the rapidly expanding city of London. 

The population and industrial growth were accelerating at a rapid rate. Connectivity and infrastructure were desperately needed to transport goods across the city. 

Commissioned by the Prince Regent, who would later become King George IV, the canal's construction began in 1812 and was completed in 1820. 

The finished waterway spanned almost 9 miles and ran from Paddington to Limehouse in a masterful piece of engineering and construction. 

Regent’s Canal travelled through numerous neighbourhoods, featuring locks and tunnels along its route. 

The longest of these is The Islington Tunnel which extends 960 yards and is still standing today as one of the canal’s most iconic features.

By the time the canal was completed, railways were becoming the primary method of transportation for goods and materials. The canal was not an economic or commercial success even though it had been used heavily for transporting coal and timber. 

Parts of the canal were closed in the late 1960s and remained unused for several of years. 

As interest in boating and leisure cruising increased, the canal found a new lease of life and is now a vibrant part of London’s landscape. 

With over 8 miles of cruising waters, boaters can enjoy leisurely days sailing along the canal. And it offers a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle for city dwellers and visitors.

London's Regent's Canal FAQs


How deep is Regent's Canal?

The Regent's Canal has an average depth of about 5 feet (1.5 meters).


How long is Regent's Canal?

The Regent’s canal is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) long.


Where does Regent's Canal start and finish?

Regent’s Canal starts at Paddington Arm on the Grand Union Canal, travels through North London and ends after joining the River Thames.


Can you walk along Regent's Canal?

The towpath along the Regent's Canal is open for pedestrians to walk, jog, or cycle along most of its length, making it a popular area for both locals and visitors.


Can you walk from Camden to Kings Cross along the canal?

It’s possible to walk or cycle from Camden Lock to King's Cross along the Regent's Canal. The total journey covers approximately 1.5 miles.


Can you walk from Paddington to Camden along the canal?

Using the towpath, the entire length of the canal from Paddington to Camden can be travelled on foot, covering a distance of around 4.5 miles.

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