Keeping calm in the capital

London can be a stressful place at times, with reports from the Office for National Statistics reporting levels of anxiety in the city are often higher than the national average.

We believe that spending time by our canals and rivers can make us all feel better and so we’ve put together our favourite ways to stay calm in the capital.

Friends walking along towpath Regent's Canal

We care for around 100km of canals, rivers and docks in London and by incorporating them into your everyday routine we think you’ll be both happier and heathier.

Lunch with a view

We all know that eating at your desk isn’t great for our physical or mental health. Whether you work in a high rise in London’s Docklands, work from home in Hanwell or from an office in Islington, lunch by the canal is just a short stroll away.

Challenge yourself to leave your desk to eat your lunch at least once a week and it will soon become one of your favourite habits. Find your favourite bench whether you work along the Haggerston Riviera in east London, or near Brentford in west London, come and watch the world drift past at a gentler pace.

Little Venice Bridge Little Venice Bridge

A calmer commute

Could you incorporate our canals into your daily commute? Swap the congested underground and polluted roads for the towpath and get to work with a smile on your face rather than a grimace.

Cassie Clarke is a regular towpath commuter to her office near Paddington Basin and says: “I have been commuting to my job by bicycle almost daily for the past five years. After dodging black cabs and squeezing through gaps on the congested roads of central London, cycling onto the towpath feels like a sweet reward.

“You don’t have to worry about traffic anymore and the pace is a lot slower, everyone is walking or cycling and they seem relaxed, a rare thing in rush hour. Occasionally you might spot a heron or a family of swans on the canal which you wouldn’t see on the streets in central London.”

Cassie Clarke Cassie Clarke

Watch some wildlife

Feeling connected to nature can ease anxiety and makes us feel happier and healthier. Thanks to the work of our environment team in London, our canals and rivers are teeming with wildlife.

From community vegetable gardens along the Regent’s Canal to colourful birds, bats and butterflies along the River Lee, you’ll see a huge range of wildlife on a ten-minute walk along your local stretch of water. From Camden to Canary Wharf, Alperton to Little Venice, come and see what you can see by the canal.

Last date edited: 11 May 2018