Full disclosure: This is a paid blogpost for the #HipmunkCityLove project. As a part of the project, I will be creating content about London, Edinburgh, and Vancouver. Opinions are my own.
Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled
A Walk in Little Venice
I first came across “Little Venice” on my third trip to London, while I was sitting on my hostel bed flipping through tourist maps and searching for a new area to explore.
I have always been attracted to canal cities and also wanted to see another side of England’s capital, so I hopped on a bus, rode past Hyde Park and London hotels, and got off near the outskirts of Paddington.
Then, I walked down a nondescript alleyway that seemed to go nowhere, yet actually led to Paddington Basin and the start of Little Venice. “Word on the Water,” a floating bookstore, was docked nearby, showcasing rows of books. I took out my camera and began photographing the area’s quiet canals and pastel-colored boats.
- Take advantage of the water and reflections
- Be prepared for unexpected weather conditions
- The area is also great for wildlife photography (swans, ducks, birds, etc.)
Boat Ride down Regent’s Canal
As noon approached, the sky clouded over, and raindrops fell in a dramatic downpour. I had my raincoat and no umbrella, so I ducked under a bridge and waited for the rain to stop.
It weakened after a while but never paused completely. A ship glided past with a group of people, all protected by the boat’s roof. I tried to follow it down the canal, but the canal’s banks had no sidewalks, only private lots with houses and gardens.
The only way to fully explore the canals was by boat. I joined a boat ride down Regent’s Canal, floating by houseboats, murals, graffiti, squeaking ducks, and the London Zoo. Rain continued to patter on the water and roof. Wind sent spring leaves spiraling down, rocked the boat back and forth.
- Arrive early to choose an ideal photography spot on the boat
- Look out for interesting backyard gardens, floating houses, and graffiti that are only visible from the canal
- Most ships offer only limited seating space, so you won’t be able to shoot with any tripods/monopods
- If you want to photograph both banks, take a round trip and focus on one side at a time
Wandering around Camden Lock Market
By the time the ship docked at Camden Lock Market, the rain had stopped. I wandered among stands selling fresh made sushi, falafel salads, and grilled meats.
The clothing and jewellery stalls seemed overpriced, perhaps because the market attracted many tourists. I bought some golden baked potatoes instead, wolfed them down to warm myself after the wet morning, and lingered by the banks to people-watch.
When I left the market that afternoon, the sky remained iron-gray. I smiled at the arrival of a new boat and at my heavy camera. The impressions I had about London were still that of a tourist, but for one day, I had glimpsed another side of the metropolis in the waters of Little Venice.
- Like other markets, this one is a great location for street photography and candid portraits
- The nearby bridges offer a unique vantage point for photographing the canal and boats below
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment, subscribe, and share. Thanks very much for reading!