Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Regent’s Canal is one of London’s best-kept secrets - a peaceful haven often hidden by the surrounding buildings. Today it is well-loved by boaters, walkers and cyclists all looking to escape the capital’s busy streets, but this gem of a canal was all too nearly converted into a railway.
13th January 2018 11:00am to 18th March 2018 3:00pm
Puppet Theatre Barge
13th Dec 2017 12:00am onwards
Due to emergency works being carried out, the towpath from Mare Street Bridge to the access point at Vicar's Close will be closed until further notice. Please follow onsite diversion notices.
8th Sep 2017 9:00am to 14th May 2018 5:00pm
Third Party Works Contractor will be completely closing the towpath around their works to facilitate the brickwork phase of buildings which straddle the canal towpath and the landscaping works. Due to...
Bespoke Boating Solutions Ltd is a small family run business operating the Stone Wharf mooring site on the Paddington Arm, just off Little Venice Pool in Maida Vale.
London Canal Museum tells the story of London's canals, their people, horses, boats and cargoes, on two floors in a waterside building dating from the 1860s, when it was built as an ice warehouse. Two...
Workshops in aromatherapy and natural skincare
We are Roving Traders travelling the inland waterways on our narrow-boat Islonian trading as Flavoursfloat.
Join us at Hidden Depths Canal Cruises for a trip down the canal, and celebrate your special day with family and friends in a unique and memorable way. Our trips are based in the King's Cross, Camden and...
We operate the Lady A, a small passenger narrowboat based in London's lovely Little Venice, for private parties of 1 to 12 people. Ideal for celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, hen parties or...
Our Charity: The Floating Classroom.
Canoe and cycle hire along with Broxbourne Riverside Chalets. We are in the Lee Valley Park with beautiful cycle routes. We run river trips on the River Lee in canoes and kayaks We hire our cycles and...
The canal links a diverse cross-section of London’s attractions. From the colourful collection of narrowboats at Little Venice basin in Maida Vale, it runs on through Regent’s Park. Here it is overlooked by a vast aviary - part of London Zoo. In Camden, it passes the craft stalls and quirky clothing shops of the famous market, a centre for London’s alternative culture.
Walking along the Regent's Canal is always a pleasant experience. Step of the busy pavement, onto the towpath and recharge your batteries.
What's happening near you?
Look at our Local to You pages to find all the latest in your local area, including news, events, stories and details of how you can get involved with our work
In 1812, the Regent's Canal Company was formed to cut a new canal from the Grand Junction Canal's Paddington Arm to Limehouse, where a dock was planned at the junction with the Thames. The architect John Nash played a part in its construction, using his idea of 'barges moving through an urban landscape'.
Completed in 1820, it was built too close to the start of the railway age to be financially successful and at one stage the Regent’s only narrowly escaped being turned into a railway. But the canal went on to become a vital part in southern England's transport system.
Together with the Grand Junction Canal and the associated routes to the Midlands and north, the Regent’s Canal carried huge quantities of timber, coal, building materials and foodstuffs into and out of London. In fact long-distance traffic continued to use the canal into the 1960s.
However, by the time the canal was nationalised in 1948, commercial traffic had started to dwindle.
Like all canals, the Regent’s lost commercial traffic to the railways and by the 1960’s, lorries were taking much of the rest. The Regent’s Canal Dock, at the junction with the Thames, closed to shipping in 1969 and this was the final nail in the coffin for this once bustling waterway. Unused and unloved, its future looked bleak.
Canals are wonderfully versatile, and in 1979 the British Waterways Board allowed underground electricity cables to be laid in a trough below the towpath between St John’s Wood and City Road. Pumped canal water is used to cool these high voltage cables, which now form part of the National Grid.
We’re pleased and proud that this most interesting canal is alive today, to play a part in the lives of so many Londoners and visitors to the capital. Its towpaths form alternative routes to work for walkers and cyclists, its peaceful scenery grants a breath of fresh air to all. Boaters gain a whole new perspective on some of London’s most well-known sights as they travel along its waters.
After the buzz of Camden there are quieter reaches, but the canal is still at the heart of a vibrant cultural scene. As it continues towards the East End, it passes close by many small independent art galleries and studios, displaying exciting and cutting-edge work.
The Regent’s Canal finally joins the River Thames at Limehouse Basin, always busy with boats of all kinds
The Regent's Canal is a highly attractive waterway in itself, offering you the chance to see a side of London missed by others.
It's also a useful through-route to the rivers Lee and Stort, and for the more adventurous boater, forms part of the London Ring which incorporates a trip along the Thames tideway. Access onto the River Thames is via Limehouse Lock or Bow Locks, and from the Grand Union Canal via Thames Lock at Brentford. Remember that the Thames has fickle currents and tide runs.
Our towpaths connect many of the capital's famous green spaces with central routes from Regent's Park to Victoria Park and even right across London from the Lee Valley Regional Park in the east to the Colne Valley Regional Park in the west.
Find out more about our famous London Waterways, what's going on near you and all the latest news.