London's canals on film

London’s canals and rivers are increasingly appearing on TV and in feature films.

Imelda Staunton Finding your feet

The increase in canals on film is reflected in the surge in popularity of living aboard or even just hanging out by the canal in London.

Bars have popped up along the Regent’s Canal and it’s become a favourite route for East London’s joggers and cyclists. With this increase in filming, there have been more depictions of characters living afloat on our screens.

Earlier this year Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall starred in 'Finding Your Feet'. Charlie, who is played by Spall lives on a canal boat moored in Maida Vale in West London. Meanwhile over at the Olympic Park in East London, Rupert Graves’ character lives alone on a narrowboat in the film 'Swimming With Men'.

Photo of three actors on a boat from the film Anchor and Hope Anchor & Hope

'Anchor & Hope' is released in cinemas this month, the film follows the story of a lesbian couple living on a wide beam called Tipsy Otter and continuously cruising London’s waterways.

Lead actress Natalia Tena was already living aboard in London which sparked the idea for setting 'Anchor & Hope' on a houseboat. The film is an ode to life afloat on London’s canal and rivers.

Director Carlos Marques-Marcet said: "The canal is a character of its own in the film, playing many different roles: a home, a passageway from one place to another, a symbol of freedom at times, a symbol of separation at others. This fluid universe of water and boats contrasts with the intensity of the manic 'dry land' London."

One thread that joins all these films together is the slower pace of life on the canal, the idea of being able to get away from it all is catching on and inspiring more people to spend time by water.

Anchor and Hope is in cinemas 28 September 2018.

Last date edited: 1 October 2018