Thursday, April 21, 2016

On our way to Paddington Basin (retrospectively!)

We loved the journey towards Paddington Basin. Yes, there's a lot of tattiness and dereliction, old and new rubbing shoulders uncomfortably at times. One stretch close to Little Venice in particular has expensive modern apartments glaring across the canal at squalid, Victorian houses, glaring back at them.

But increasingly, the canal develops a coherent character, a bohemian feel created by the now continuous line of boats down both sides, often two deep, liveaboards, often quite quirky, and bars and câfés full of locals and visitors from land and water, sitting out, socializing and watching the boats pass.

This comes to an abrupt end at Little Venice, where one parts company with the throng. The junction where the Regents Canal turns north away from the Paddington Arm surprised me. It's a lake-like expanse with a small island in the middle. Boats moor in this pound only by prior arrangement. Pleasure boats pick up their passengers here. It's bustling and beautiful.

The approach to the Paddington Basin is crowded with boats, and with people. Businessmen and women, tourists, boaters, many in a great hurry, many simply enjoying the ambience, or drinking coffee at one of the several câfés. It's very odd to see the entrance to the Tube station just a few metres from the canal.

And then the canal turns a bend and you face a remarkable skyline that frames the basin itself.


  1. Just lovely, Roger! I am very fond of this neck of the woods too! By the way, I started reading your book yesterday. I'm enjoying it very much. It might take me a while as I only read at bedtime, but I shall enjoy immersing myself in your travels!

  2. PS to my last comment. Roger, I've seen you have a Facebook account (I've sent a friend request), but have you considered joining the We Love Memoirs group? They've been very supportive to me and it's a huge group with over three thousand members. I've gained lots of readers through the group. Marie Brown is just one other boat book writer who'd a member.It all helps :)

    1. Thanks, Val. Now that I have electricity at last I'll join the group. Thanks for the heads-up. I hope you enjoy your slow read of "Feet" :-)