Tuesday, 22 April 2014

An afternoon on The Grand Union Canal

I have lived in north London for over five years yet I've never been east of Camden along the canal towpath. Last Saturday, after a ridiculously long lie-in to get over the first week at my new job, was the perfect day to remedy that.

Only in London could you go round a corner where the view changes from this...

...to this.

Even though it was overcast and grey, the amazing colours and names of the boats we’re totally enchanting. There’s a sort of whimsical, Wind In The Willows aspect to life on the water that just makes it seem so fun. People were BBQing on-deck, or teaming up to open the locks, and everyone seemed so joyful. I’ve always harboured a little ambition to live on a boat (I think it’s a combination of my love for water teamed with my affinity for cosy, wooden interiors) and this afternoon stroll just confirmed that. I’m sure in reality there are leaks, security and warmth issues, and expensive mooring fees to contend with but this is a daydream, and in my daydream, life onboard is a perfect mixture of starlit open-air dinners and friendly towpath banter. K? 

I find ex-industrial architecture like this fascinating – there is some serious window p*rn going on along this stretch of the canal.

We walked all the way from Angel to De Beauvoir Town in Hackney. De Beauvoir, as the name implies, is a little oasis of posh old-fashioned houses just off the scummy-but-vibey Kingsland Road – a more crazy juxtaposition I can’t imagine. You walk off a main road into a quiet oasis of wide, tree-lined streets and this gothic-style 19th century square suddenly opens up, all mullioned windows and fancy gables.

We stopped on the way for a well-earned Aspall in the Narrow Boat pub, a super-cute Islington gem above the towpath with balconies overlooking the canal. I was pumped to realise I'd pinned it to visit aaaaages ago, so I was able to cross something off my Pinterest to-go-to list.

Cheers to London Saturdays! 

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