Man riding bicycle on Regent's Canal walkway

I love going for long walks. Some would say it’s a little cliché, but I must admit, taking walks around my local area is actually one of my favourite pastimes – my partner and I frequently spend a few hours at the weekend ‘going for a wonder’ when there’s nothing pencilled in the diary.

As a Hackney local, I’ve often used the canal walkways to circumvent the borough and get away from the busy streets to clear my head.

While the 8.5-mile length of Regent’s Canal starts at Paddington and ends at the River Thames in Limehouse, it’s a great opportunity to observe a different side of my local borough that most people aren’t used to seeing.

As areas including Dalston, Hackney Central, Hoxton and Haggerston have sailed the murky waters of gentrification, Regent’s Canal has become a beacon for leisurely pursuits over the last few years for new locals.

Regent's Canal walkway

While cyclists, runners, and canoeists have historically used the canal in the past, there’s definitely a larger sense of community among these unique walkways as locals begin to use them more during their leisure time to get out and about.

You’ll also notice a significant number of canal boats too. Rising house prices in London have led many young Londoners venturing to London’s rivers and canals to find better value homes. In fact, according to the Canal & River Trust, the number of boats registered to be moored on London’s waterways has increased by nearly 60% in the last five years.

Wenlock Basin in Regent's Canal

Between Victoria Park and Broadway Market, you get a mixture of Victoria Park’s lush green landscape, intriguing views of pre-21st-century homes and structural relics that harkens back to East London’s industrial roots.

Old warehouse along Regent's Canal walkway

From Broadway market, everything becomes a little more trendy. At this point, the canal takes you through the more hipster areas of Haggerston and Hoxton which are a stone throw away from Hackney’s uber-cool Shoreditch district.

Here, you can grab yourself a coffee at Proud East and watch boat owners navigate the cumbersome locks, enjoy a light bite in the rustic interiors of Arepa and Co or even kick-back and have brunch with friends at The Barge House.

Outside a cafe on Regent's Canal walkway

If you’ve started walking from Victoria Park, it’s a great opportunity to make a pit stop to refuel and enjoy the vibe around this part of the canal.

As you move away from Hoxton and enter of borders of Islington, the scenery and atmosphere become a lot more relaxed and little refined. Here, old office buildings that have been converted into modern apartments, such as Eagle House, meet the stylish residential new-builds along Wenlock Basin. By the time you actually get to the Angel Tunnel, you’re left feeling like you want to buy a house in the area.

Wenlock Basin on Regent's Canal

Although the walkway ends at the Angel Tunnel, you can always reconnect at the Regent’s Canal Towpath on Muriel Street.

Signs pointing to Islington or Victoria Park on Regent's Canal walkway

Personally, I’ve usually had my fill of walking by then, but if you feel like you want to go the extra mile, the walkway takes you to the recently redeveloped area of King’s Cross, which plays host to a myriad of restaurants, shops and the prestigious Central Saint Martins, as well as Camden Town famed for its infamous market situated near the lock.

All images were taken by Demetrius Williams unless otherwise stated.