Places to visit in Europe

Jason's Trip - traditional canal boats

To visit Little Venice, on the Regents Canal, is to find yourself at the heart of London's waterways. Working canal boats, originally horsedrawn, used to transport coal, timber, oil and refuse. Today Jason's traditional canal boats operate guided historical cruises along the canal, from Little Venice through Regents Park to busy Camden Lock Craft Market.

Regents Canal was built in 1820's to link the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham in the Midlands to London's Docklands. Little Venice was so named by the famous poet Robert Browning who lived overlooking the canal.

Leaving Little Venice today, the boat trip passes the many gaily painted narrowboats moored along the canal, towards the Maida Hill Tunnel, all 272 yards of it. In days gone by, the horses would be unhitched and sent over the top, while the men would have to lie on their backs and 'leg it' through the tunnel by pushing against the ceiling of the tunnel.

Modern day is recaptured by the sight of a new power station and close by is Lords Cricket Ground - glancing back you can see the famous 'up-side-down house' the only residence built over the canal and so called because the kitchen is up-stairs and the bedrooms downstairs.

The canal then winds through Regents Park with its grand buildings and gardens, glimpsing the London Mosque with its golden dome and wailing tower, and past 'Blow up Bridge' so called because in 1890's a barge carrying gunpowder exploded there causing the bridge to be rebuilt.

Before reaching Camden Lock market, the canal passes through London Zoo, where the animals can be observed and Lord Snowdons's Aviary.

The 90 minute return trip appeals to all ages.

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