Jo’s Monday walk : to Camden and beyond!

Isn't this a heart warming sight?

Isn’t this a heart warming sight?

I don’t know if any of you have been watching ‘Great Canal Journeys’, presented by Timothy West and Prunella Scales?  I have a real fondness for this couple and the way in which they are dealing with advancing years and health issues.  For me, they are fulfilling a dream that I’ve always had, to take to a boat and putter away my days.  As near as I’ve come is the towpath so far, unless you count a long ago week in a narrowboat in a permanent mooring at Reading!

It was pure coincidence that last week’s episode featured Regent’s Canal, because that is precisely where I had planned on taking you.  Sadly for all of us, we’re on foot!  Still, as a bonus we can pick up a book before we start, and keep a lookout for a sunny bench.  I begin my journey along the canal behind King’s Cross railway station. With time to spare you could pop into the London Canal Museum, but I need to be in Camden Town by 11.00, so it’s best foot forward.

Goodbye bookshop!  Nice meeting you.

Goodbye bookshop! Nice meeting you.

The boardwalk looks brand new!

The boardwalk looks brand new!

Apparently this gas tower is a listed building

Apparently this gas tower is a listed building

There'd been a spot of overnight rain

There’d been a spot of overnight rain

Super smart canalside living

Super smart canalside living

But no escaping graffiti!

But there’s no escaping graffiti!

More desirable housing

More desirable housing

Lots of it!

Lots of it!

I'd love to do this!

I’d love to do this!

Approaching my first destination

Approaching my first destination

Camden Lock

Camden Lock

I think I’ll have to split this walk into two halves.  My eventual destination along the towpath is Little Venice, but in Camden Town I take a small detour to join Judith from London Walks.

A guided tour of ‘Old Camden Town’ sounded irresistible to me, and so it proved.  Judith, a local artist with a twinkle in her eye, regaled us with stories of characters as diverse as Dickens, Amy Winehouse, George Bernard Shaw and Dylan Thomas.  Better yet, she showed me a London that, in all my years of first living there and then return visits to the capital, I had never managed to find for myself.  Now that’s what I call a good walk leader!  If given the opportunity, do join her. You won’t regret it.

There can be few high streets that look like this!

There can be very few high streets that look like this!

I’ve been to Camden Town several times and it’s a favourite of my daughter.  The mix of quirky shops, outrageous clothing and sparkly things is a magnet to her magpie nature.  It was just 11.00 when I arrived and anxiously scanned the High St., looking for Judith in the Saturday morning swell.  As promised, she was outside the Metro Station entrance, cheerfully rounding up her flock.  Introductions made, we were off at a brisk pace, on our 2 hour Camden tour.

The Town Crier seemed perfectly happy to chat

The Town Crier seemed perfectly happy to chat

Click on any photo to view gallery

We head back towards the canal and cross over Hampstead Road Lock- arguably the most picturesque lock on the canal- about to delve into Camden Market.

Hampstead Road Lock

Hampstead Road Lock

Judith, recounting a little history to the group

Judith, recounting a little history to the group

And I think that is a good place to leave her.  I hope that you’ll come back next week, when we’ll explore the incredible Stables, and I’ll continue on along the Regent’s Canal.

Many thanks to Jude for reminding me about ‘Take a walk in the park day’, which just happens to be today.  I’ve linked back to Ailsa’s Outdoors.  What could be more outdoors than the canals?

walking logo

Time to look at my contributors and to say a big thank you for their kindness in joining me. Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walks page, or simply click on the logo above.  All you need right now are a cuppa and a comfy seat.


Debbie first this week!  A boardwalk and boats are just my style.  Thanks, Debs!

Walking the boardwalk at Wicken Fen

Geoff is staying with the Street Art, which seems highly popular at the moment  :

Dulwich Street Art- part two

Amy has some more of her beautiful captures, and guess what?  It’s Spring!

Monday walk : Spring is here…

Gilly has us wandering on the Exe Trail.  The dogs needed a gentle stroll  :

Strolling Route 2

Can you find a dog on Meg’s post this week?

Eurobodalla beaches : Yabbara Beach

Meanwhile, Esther has a tempting proposition?

Walk on Mars

And Anabel has some wonderful tapestry for us to look at  :

New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde

Drake gives us a glimpse of summer time in Denmark.  It’s beautiful!

Walkabout last Summer

Next a delightful surprise from Cloud of Lace in Lebanon.  Byblos is almost as beautiful as her blog.  Please go and say ‘hi!’ to Hiba.

Walking around in Byblos

Tobias uses light and shade brilliantly.  Take a look!

A Walk in Berlin 

Hooray!!!  Jude’s back!  I know you’ll have missed her walks.  I did!

Take a Walk in the Park Day

It will be Easter Monday next week.  I’ll still be hosting my walk, and if the weather cooperates I’m hoping lots of you will be out there walking too.  Whatever happens, I wish you all a very happy Easter holiday.


  1. I love everything about the book barge, the name, the tag line…everything! It’s inspiring to learn about people who live their dreams, especially if their dream is out of the ordinary.

    1. Hi Elaine, and thanks 🙂 Canals are one of my passions so I really enjoyed both the being there and the writing of this one. Looking forward to writing part 2, when I can fit it in 🙂

  2. how cool to see a book barge – and yet my favorite photo of the many tasty ones is the “More desirable housing” photo – the circle windows – and reflection you give us is stunning. what a great place London is…
    ❤ ❤

    1. Could be another entry for ‘Reflections’, couldn’t it, Yvette? I thought that as I was writing the post 🙂 And it’s never hard to find something beguiling in London. Many thanks, hon, and Happy Easter!

  3. I love that canals offer a quieter more tranquil side to the city while at the same time aren’t too far from the bustle. Love those trendy buildings that look like boats. Happy Easter Jo 🙂

  4. Wonderful Jo, thanks for sharing as always. Must visit that bookshop one day. Have you read the book about another floating bookshop – The Bookshop that Floated Away.

  5. Thank you for this. I have never seen this part of London. I am going to be there for a few days in July, so this has inspired me to search out this part of town.

  6. I love the Bookbarge! What a clever idea. If I were on this walk, I’d get so distracted by the books, I’d end up spending the whole day searching for books and never leave the barge. 🙂

    I agree with you that I’d love to be a volunteer lock keeper! A cool gig.

  7. Jo, you must be so fit and energetic, you seemed to have walked for hours and hours. I enjoyed come along with you on this walk, I think canals to do much to enhance city life. I especially like the book shop on the water, such a clever idea. 😉

    1. I have to admit I was tired by the end of this day, but I am so seldom in London and I had to make the most of the opportunity. I was tired but happy 🙂

  8. Ah Camden Market … I remember it being a great haunt of my DD too Jo ! many wacky and weird stuff there Lol
    Thanks for this stroll round a lesser know part of the Big Smoke … now where did that come from .. isn’t it funny how words just drop onto the page Lolol
    Super pictures of the canal and just love the Book Barge !

    1. I was astounded how much more of it there was than I realised, Poppy. I must’ve had my eyes shut in the past. Then again, I often glazed over when I was standing around waiting for Lisa. How can anyone look at one stall for so long? 🙂 🙂
      I tried visiting you yesterday, Poppy, but got the ‘this is a private site’ message. You haven’t blacklisted me have you? (I could understand it- really I could!) I’ll try again now. 🙂

      1. I know now why 🙂 The new site is beyond gorgeous, Poppy, but there’s nowhere to comment and tell you how spellbinding your photos are.

      2. I know what you mean about gazing Lolol
        And thanks Jo I see you managed to visit ! I’ve been theme faffing and thought I need more than a day to get it right …

      3. Aah so nice of you Jo tnank you ! I’ve sorted that out now too Lol Eergh Doh technology …

    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia. I dare not add any more because my Inbox groans as it is. 😦 I rely on visiting commenters and ‘likers’ these days and even then struggle to get around. The WP Reader is a capricious creature anyway and I very much appreciate your joining me. 🙂

      1. We will visit each other when we can, Jo. Know that I appreciate your blog. I rarely travel these days, and your posts help me to do so vicariously.

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