Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Back in London once more

We enjoyed our weekend at a family reunion in deepest Surrey and we are now back on the Regent's Canal, moored tonight in Islington.  On Monday morning we set off from our mooring at Broxbourne, a stretch of the River Lee that we thought was really lovely.  We said our goodbyes to Ray on his boat Adventura who had kindly kept a watchful eye on Leo while we were away and to Steve and Kevin who sell ice cream from a boat at Broxbourne.

Surprisingly while cruising Helen spotted this deer which we identified as a Muntjac.  It was just peeping through the vegetation by the River:
We went into Waltham Abbey again intent on shopping but found the museum was open.  Among the exhibits was this panelling which dates from the 16th century and has different images on each of the panels.  It came from the Abbey itself though has been in several houses since then.
On Monday evening we moored by Pickett's Lock and went through the lock on Tuesday morning.

In the evening it rained and we saw this wonderful rainbow.

The chap who lives in the bungalow at Pickett's Lock certainly has a sense of humour.  The Nicholson's Guide to the Waterways coyly mentions the payment of a fee at this lock so we were amused to see what this meant!

Tuesday took us down the remainder of the River Lee but we did not follow our outward route via the Duckett's Cut but instead went on down to Limehouse Basin right by the River Thames.

As on our travels up the Lee, the lower reaches were full of weed.  Here is the track we made.
Our route led us right past the Olympic Stadium

Bow Locks in the picture can take you down onto the tidal Bow Creek which takes you out on the Thames downstream of Docklands and opposite Greenwich.  We didn't go this way.

Bow locks have gates facing both ways to cater for really high tides.
Three Mills, where we stopped for lunch - a rare example of a tide driven mill

Here is Limehouse Basin a meeting point of yachts, cruisers and narrowboats, not to mention the Thames Barge you can see between the two right hand blocks of flats.
This is Limehouse Lock which leads to the tidal Thames

And here is the view towards Docklands from the Limehouse Lock.

Yesterday evening we  had a pleasant meal with Angela (Ian's neice) and Soji at the Cruising Association restaurant where they welcome visiting boaters as well as members.  Today we came up the Regent's Canal to Islington, sharing locks with Richard and Freya on 'Narrow Escape'.

This is Commercial Road Lock which leads  out of Limehouse Basin which you can see the other side of the bridge.

This block of flats has faces on some of the windows.  We're not sure why, nor who the people are.  Perhaps they are previous residents?

Here's a close up of some of the photos.

And here we are waiting for a lock behind 'Narrow Escape'.

This afternoon we visited the London Canal Museum nearby.  It is a small but well presented museum setting out the history of London's Canals as well as being situated in a building previously used for storing ice and ice cream in the 19th century.  So a museum of canals and ice cream!!  Well worth a visit if you're in this area, but it isn't open on Mondays.

Tomorrow we will set off up the remaining four locks of the Regent's canal and out of London to the West to join the Grand Union Canal heading North towards Hemel Hempsted, Milton Keynes and the Midlands.  New waters for Leo!


  1. How was your night mooring in Islington? We have always been warned not to moor there.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    1. We've now moored both sides of the Islington Tunnel without problems. Perhaps we we're just lucky. The towpath on the East side is supposed to be locked at night but I don't think anyone came to lock it last night.


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