Old friends, down for the weekend, provided an ideal excuse for a short walk along the section of canal from Cumberland Basin to Camden (Hampstead Road) Lock. In this first photo we’ve dropped off Prince Albert Road having walked across Primrose Hill. The chinese restaurant looms over the basin, which is the remnant of the Cumberland Arm that once went down towards Euston Station. The Cumberland Arm served the market gardens and military facilities that once existed to the north of the Euston Road and was about a half mile in length. It was built at the same time as the rest of the Regents Canal and opened in 1816. The arm saw heavy active service during the wars. Nowadays there is very little to see of the Cumberland Arm. The most prominent features at the junction, which is known as Waters Meeting, are the stump end of the arm, known as Cumberland Basin and the Feng Shang Chinese restaurant. This oversized floating barge seems an anomalous misfit on the canal. Its decidedly un-canalish style and patently oversized upper structure would tip over if it were not for the addition of support struts rammed into both the bank and canal bed to stabalise the whole thing.

Reflections animate the graffiti-ed underside of Prince Albert Road Bridge 14.
Autumn hasn’t quite fully coloured the trees that create an almost rural feel to the canal despite it running through the heart of London…
Red brick and graffiti. Litter and leaves. Crowds and fast bikes. Yet there still remains something close to soothing about a slow meander along the towpath…
Autumn on the Regent’s; boats jostle for spaces, whilst canoes (hired from the ‘Pirate Castle’) pass by with a splashy kind of momentary mayhem…
Joe declares he wants a canoe and would like to choose it’s colour – sounds a fine idea to me – in fact his dad wants one too!
Yep, canoes would be great, though perhaps not quite yet. That said, I’ve picked up a information leaflet from The Pirate Castle, to see when canoe lessons might be available…
Our group passing a large, modern Dutch-style wide barge… comfortable and spacious living on a wide canal…
Historic Jason (one of the local trip boats) heads towards Gloucester Avenue Bridge 16
With no passengers the steerer’s not faffing about, and is rapidly across the pool at what was once Gilbey’s Gin Wharf and now base for The Pirate Castle.
‘Pirate Viscount’ one of the ‘Pirate’ fleet.
Cleaning out the canoes…
Entering Camden Market, almost at Hampstead Road Lock
Even on a damp Monday morning in late October the area around Camden Lock is bustling with tourists and activity… It’s where our short towpath meander ended and the temptations of the Markets proved too strong a temptation for our visitors….
I couldn’t resist this photo of our Fin acting very ‘Camden-ish’, with the iconic painted railway bridge in the background…

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