Where to Stop on a Canalside Walk in East London
From Hackney Wick to Camden Lock—if you’re walking alongside London’s iconic canals, here’s where eat, drink and drop by…
It’s a sunny Sunday in London and you have a day to explore, where do you go? London’s Canal network was once the city’s best-kept secret—mainly reserved for imports and barges in the early days of its history, it’s now a bustling waterside oasis for cyclists, runners and adventure-seekers across the city. For us, it’s one of the easiest ways to explore London by foot (or bike) with plenty of cool places to discover along the way. Check out some of our picks, in order, from Hackney Wick to Camden Lock…
Alfred Le Roy
Our first canalside stop? A canal boat with a remix. Docked at Hackney Wick, Alfred Le Roy is a speakeasy on water—all open-top and airy in the summer, cosy and candle-lit in the winter. Hop on for one of their signature cocktails and while you’re at it, grab a cold one at Crate Brewery next door.
Where: Canalside Mooring 7 Queens Yard, White Post Ln E9 5EN
From Alfred Le Roy, make your way down the Hertford Union Canal and take a detour around Victoria Park—known around these parts as ‘the lungs of the east end’ (we just call it Vicky Park). If you do anything, bring your board, the skatepark (open 9am-8pm) is worth a roll.
Where: Grove Rd, London E3 5TB
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Where can you find a great coffee, cool boutiques, a legendary weekend market and an entrance to Regent Canal, all in one place? Broadway Market, that’s where. It’s a short walk from our front door, so if you’re staying with us and going for a day on the canals, this is the route to take. Make sure to drop into Climpson & Sons for a flat white and have a look around the stalls at the weekend.
Where: Broadway Market, London Fields, London, E8 4PH
With its floor-to-ceiling windows, huge sharing tables and outside seating, The Bargehouse is a canalside hot spot. If that’s not enough to tempt you—have you ever heard of their breakfast in bed? The now-famous brunch dish takes a hollowed-out sourdough loaf and stuffs it with your filling of choice, from a full English, to chilli beans and avocado. Recommended serve: Enjoy with mates and a Bloody Mary.
Where: 46a De Beauvoir Cres, De Beauvoir Town, London N1 5RY
2&4 Vintage Furniture
Mid-century interiors still inspire spaces today (including ours) and thanks to people like Maurice, the founder of 2&4 Vintage Furniture, you can bag yourself an original. Just off the canal path, 2&4 isn’t the chaotic thrift store we’ve come to associate with second-hand finds—expect nothing less than perfectly-curated, mint-condition and ready to take home.
Where: 2-4 Southgate Rd, London N1 3JJ
The Island Queen
Picture a traditional, dark wood-panelled London pub, but with a tropical twist. We don’t know how it works either, but it does. Craft beer on tap, outdoor seating and a local crowd, it’s a slice of canalside paradise.
Where: 87 Noel Rd, Islington, London N1 8HD
Culpeper Community Garden
At this point, the canal path ends and you have to walk through Islington to get to the next part, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worth your while. The Culpeper Community Garden is the perfect place to hang out and take a break from the canalside bike-dodging, plus it has all the good vibes of Londoners coming together.
Where: 1 Cloudesley Rd, The Angel, London N1 0EJ
The Grassy Steps
It sounds like a smoothie bar, but it’s literally just a set of big, grass-covered stairs. Every spring, the turf comes out and this canalside spot at Kings Cross becomes the epicentre of lunching al-fresco and the occasional outdoor movie. Hands down, it’s one of the best places in the city for people-watching.
Where: 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA
Coal Drop’s Yard
Coal Drop’s Yard is an indoor/outdoor shopping space built around restored railway arches that are bursting with some seriously cool stores. We’re talking Form&Thread, Miller Harris and Rains, amongst others—at Coal Drop’s Yard, you’re almost guaranteed to find your next brand crush.
Where: Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DQ
You made it! If you’ve worked up an appetite on your walk or cycle, Camden’s KERB street food market’s got you covered. Just follow your nose and pick from the dozens of chefs cooking up a storm with recipes from all over the world. If you’ve already eaten, don’t sweat—Camden is home to one of the most iconic markets in the city and a bustling event schedule that’s always on.
Where: Camden Market, Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF
The canal walk from Hackney Wick to Camden takes about 2 hours, by bike, it’s even faster, but that’s only if you don’t stop along the way. Pick a day where you have some time, soak up the London sun and hey, if you miss a stop on the way there, you can always make up for it on the way back.
Staying with us? We’ve got free bike hire for that canal adventure. Just book your stay and ask at reception, we’ll hook you up.