Pedal too fast and you could miss it

I wondered ” Where would London’s canal paths take me on my bike?” It was going to be my objective to find out…I had only cycled a tiny section of the Regents Canal and that wasn’t going to be enough to satisfy my curiosity of the hidden waterways that quietly trickle through London.

I had enjoyed pedalling west alongside Regents canal.  It was quiet and peaceful.  The nature of the canal seemed to mix happily with the urban sprawl.  This time I was going to cycle in the opposite direction and head east.

I joined the canal at Angel and found that some of the canal path was a little tight for space, especially if there were people walking. Thank goodness for bells!   The Graffiti out this way is pretty impressive and large in size and I found myself stopping frequently to admire it.  There are lots of low bridges and hidden bends so going slow is vital on this route.

Derelict warehouses can be spotted dotted about and you cant miss Hackney’s gas works structure. At times this path can look a bit worn and industrial, but you if you are patient and give it a chance this canal surprises you.

I soon cycled upon the edge of Victoria park with its leafy trees sheltering the colourful canal boats moored as a pit stop.  Further along lots of new apartments and offices have sprung up and it seems to give the tired canal a fresh new look.

I enjoyed watching a group of laughing children splashing about with paddles as they experienced a kayaking lesson.  I encountered little spaces of green cluttered with sculptures and dog walkers.

I stopped and locked my bike up to experience a slice of history at the Ragged School Museum.  The museum is housed in a group of three canalside buildings which once formed the largest “ragged” or free school in London.  It has a Victorian East End Kitchen and a reconstructed Victorian classroom for visitors to explore.   The place allows you the opportunity to experience what life was like for the Victorian poor of the East End of London.  It is a real hands on museum and the volunteers who work here are more than happy to chat to you about the area’s history and its artefacts.

Not far from the museum my bike ride came to an end at the Limehouse basin where the canal meets the Thames. Limehouse basin is full of yachts and towering modern apartments. I cycled around the basin and ventured off the canal to discover a couple of very old cosy pubs which sit on the River Thames. A great spot for lunch and chance for a drink.  The question I asked myself was “Where do I go next?”

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110 Responses to Pedal too fast and you could miss it

  1. Scott says:

    I love this. It is so nice to see London from a different perspective. This post definitely inspires to get out there and ride!!

    Thanks so much for sharing

  2. We love these photos! Riding your bike from place to place will really tighten up your hip flexors. Feel free to try out our Yoga for Bikings webisodes coming soon! xoxo

  3. Magnetic Entrepreneurial Skills says:

    Love your photos.If you can drop in to my blog:

  4. Zach says:

    The Hackney’s gas works structure looks amazing.
    Great post,

  5. altercc says:

    Beautiful scenes. Makes me want to get on my bike first thing tomorrow and see what would make a great picture for phone photography.

  6. Kenda says:

    This looks like it was very fun! I have only been to the major tourist spots in London, next time I will have to try and look for some off the beaten path places like this. Great pictures.

  7. Nice stuff and story… i like it!

  8. Pingback: Inspirational Cyclist « Jeremy Osborne's Blog

  9. CONIEFOX says:

    Great shot! very beautiful. i like the first pic.

  10. sheokhanda says:

    nice post, pics were very real…

  11. saramitchell says:

    Love it! I live in London too and it’s so much fun to go somewhere and just stop and look. I sometimes just walk through the city and go down random streets because you never know what you’ll find. One time I randomly saw Rowan Atkinson shooting a scene for Johnny English 2!

  12. thatboytim says:

    Good stuff. I have started biking and taking my camera with me is a no brainer!

  13. Lorna says:

    Wow! What beautiful pictures! The first one, with the painted (?) door, really grabbed me.
    I love taking my bike on holiday – gives you a chance to explore slower than by car but faster than by foot, perfect!

    • lovethybike says:

      Thank you for the comments – I love being able to take things a slower pace especially with a camera to hand!

  14. Angec2011 says:

    i need to get back on my bike again and do more cycling which i havent done in a long while, used to enjoy cycling yet to me stoke on trent was my city, not by choice tho, but like many cities it does have its hidden secrets, like london we have a canal that runs through it,

    thank you for sharing you photographs and blog 🙂 and well done to freshly pressed 🙂

    • lovethybike says:

      Thank you for the comments – I bet you would love exploring the canal in your city… maybe I might get to cycle it one day?

  15. whatafy says:

    Great photos, you have taken me into a journey in the underground London. Thanks 🙂

    So, have you thought where to go next?

  16. Great photographs. Have you thought about posting them on Geograph?

  17. genobz says:

    Great post! and congrats for being ‘freshly pressed”!
    I have always loved cycling. and this post reminds me of the same. Too bad that my cycle is a junk state right now. Should fix it soon.
    Keep writing and keep clicking 🙂

  18. I would love to be able to travel around the UK, but unfortunately, that dream has not come true yet. However, I am able to get a glimpse of it through this post. Thanks for giving me that opportunity.

    • lovethybike says:

      Thank you – I am glad you enjoyed my blog. The U.K. has so many beautiful areas to visit and I hope you can get more of glimpse of these with my blog.

  19. paddy corneby says:

    Great photos -fascinating tale – tell us more! We obviously are missing interesting
    parts of London

  20. Olivia K says:

    Thanks for the reminder to pedal slower. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  21. maru says:

    I’m glad I’ve found this, it’s certainly a nice ride.

    …by the way congratos for being Freshly Pressed.

  22. trialsinfood says:

    great photos and post!

  23. theloosespoke says:

    Fantastic narrative style that really sucks you in! I felt like I was there. Keep up the great work!

  24. 7des7iny says:

    Nice toning on the wall art.

  25. infovillages says:

    beautifull scene, and beautifull story, It is interesting and amazing thank you . keep sharing .

  26. spicegirlfla says:

    Great post and pics, I felt like I was riding right along with you!

  27. Jean says:

    I love cycling so much..that I have 3 blogs on cycling but each has a different purpose and focus.

  28. Jean says:

    I am a long-time cyclist. Here we don’t have canal paths…being out in the Canadian prairies.
    Bike is always there for one, at any whim, any time.

    But I’ll be going back to Vancouver, BC our 2nd home for rest and more cycling. Better views, more hills to challenge. Hope you try cycling somewhere in Canada one day.

    (I was in Europe last year, cycling and taking the trains for a month.)

    • lovethybike says:

      I bet Canada would be beautiful to cycle. Maybe one day I might get the chance? Europe is a fun place on two wheels – I intend to write about that at a later date so keep an eye out!

  29. Wonderful, keep it up thanks.

  30. brianbond3 says:

    These pictures are really awesome, I love the rustic feel of them. More of these kinds of pictures would be great!

    • lovethybike says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the pictures – I love being able to capture my journey’s on the lense. There will be more of them soon!

  31. anonnickus says:

    Where do you go next? Who cares? Just take us with you. What an exquisite adventure story. Great post. Thanks for the ride.

  32. olivemore says:

    Wow, great photos. Wish I was there.

  33. terryportraits says:

    Gotta love discovering landscapes we so often overlook when driving fast. Good post.

  34. Влад Правиця says:

    Very beautiful photos!

  35. shortweird says:

    Nice stuff – thanks for posting 🙂 We’ve got some nice grafitti here in Toronto, hope you come visit one day. If you do, don’t miss taking a walk in the alleys just south behind Queen Street West between Spadina and Bloor streets 🙂

    • lovethybike says:

      I love the grafitti in the canals as they are constantly changing. Everytime I visit it makes it a new experience – its great!

  36. pezcita says:

    Amazing! I didn’t know you had such well-done graffiti in London. Is Regents Canal anywhere near Regents College, by chance?

  37. ournote2self says:

    Looks like a beautiful bike ride. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  38. Awesome photos! Thank you for sharing with us!


  39. Tony Werner says:

    Fantastic, really enjoyed reading your blog and the photos
    I am intending to cycle on the Grand Union canal path from London to Birmingham for charity next year and would like to record this, like you have

    • lovethybike says:

      Thanks a lot for your comment… I have cycled some of the Grand union already and am looking forward to sharing my tale soon. Look out for it!

  40. tmso says:

    I recently read Midnight Riot and it got me thinking about city water ways in general, and particularly the ones in London. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity about these canals. I look forward to more pics.

    I ride my bike to work on a bike path that runs next to my city’s main waterway – the Santa Rosa Creek (in Santa Rosa, CA, of course). It is peaceful. Despite the homeless camps, it’s a wonderful way to get to work.

    • lovethybike says:

      I have read about the Santa Rosa Creek ride. Sounded interesting. When I was in L.A. we cycled the coastal path from Venice beach to Hermosa beach. Loved it!

  41. Tattoos, love and lunacy... says:

    First pic is the best (in my humble opinion haha) but they’re all great. I love bike rides!!!

  42. FinallyFast says:

    Amazing photos, I really loved seeing the low bridges and murky waters, Congrats on being FP

  43. flatland57 says:

    Nice blog. Great pictures & great fun. Wish I was there. Cheers!

  44. Bill Chance says:

    Great photos and blog. Though I live in a much less attractive part of the world (North Texas) I’ve always enjoyed the sights to be seen from a bicycle, especially one not going a Tour de France speed. I tell people, “Walking is too slow – you can’t cover enough country, and driving is too fast, you miss most sights, plus all the sounds and smells.”

    Looking forward to more entries that can take me away from the Texas Killer Summer Heat. Keep up the great work.

    • lovethybike says:

      Thanks very much for your comments. Glad I am taking your mind off the summer heat… I have more on the way!

  45. slowmovement says:

    this is beautiful. I am hoping to move to London within the next 12 months and posts like this keep me motivated!

    • lovethybike says:

      Glad you enjoyed it.. London is full of hidden surprises and it is great to keep on finding them even after so many years of living here.

  46. Chatter Master says:

    Traveling by bike is a great way to experience life and history. I love that you slowed down, stopped and got off of the bike. So many times we pass by things full of interest. Thank you for sharing!

  47. grimleyed says:

    What a big adventure! I just love to hear about people’s trips around the world.

  48. I love the choice of shots!

  49. Beautiful photos! The first one is my favourite. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing them, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  50. gaycarboys says:

    I should have added that big round thing at the gas works is the GASOMETER just in case you didn’t know what it was called:)

  51. gaycarboys says:

    I LOVE the Gasometer. They always look so spooky and the little door was quite clever too. You’re right, pedal too fast and WHOOSH it’s gone by…..

  52. Tee says:

    What a cool idea for blog post. I’m all about slowing down and drinking in little sips of life. You’ve inspired me.

  53. joehoover76 says:

    I live by the canal in Camden Town, and cycle to work along it towards Harlesden, I was sitting on the canal for my lunch today, always thinking how lucky the people are loving on the narrowboats along the way, I’ll have to try the trip Eastbound some time, looks cool.

  54. itsmike08 says:

    Very nice photos!

  55. Tracey says:

    Excellent photos! Every time I’m in London I think, “I wish I had my bike here” Thanks so much for sharing!

  56. I love these pictures, gritty, pretty and real!

  57. distractedgourmet says:

    What a lovely trip that must have been! I found myself walking alongside a canal in London during a charity walk earlier in the year, and I was completely shocked that such a thing existed in the capital, and just how rural it seemed…

  58. Very beautiful photos! Sounds like an interesting bike ride. : )

  59. be awake says:

    i love to go for a walk/ride in my city, just to be lost. it’s good opportunity to find indescover places, to be surprised. actually, yesterday i bought a bike and i’m so happy with that! let’s begin our descovery-riding 🙂

  60. What a great adventure. I’d love to see that school — it’s rare the poor get any attention in historical sites and museums. In NYC, the Tenement Museum is a good example of this.

    • lovethybike says:

      The school was a lot a of fun as they had a dress up box full of Victorian clothes! I could imagine children having a good time in this museum.

  61. Varney says:


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