There is an amazing amount of visitors in London trying to orientate themselves in the city, through the TFL Journey Planner.
It is a great service helping millions of people find their way through the labyrinths of the capital which also provides maps and is considered to be the best London underground journey planner, but I found a major discrepancy, if I may say so.
In the tfl train journey planner, there are maps of the tube and the river, primarily.
TFL journey planner regards tube stations, tube connections, river and road buses and their stops along the Thames or the inner city.
These maps are used as the main traffic arteries of the city, helping the visitor find his/her way.
But, there is one more main artery that could orientate the visitors of how to “navigate” the city.
It’s an artery that cuts through the north part of the river, in a parallel way with it, and goes through parts of London that are relatively unknown to the typical tourist and which allows the visitor to not only walk the length of London, in the time of a bus ride but also, literally, to navigate it.
That “artery” is The Regent’s Canal and its western extension, The Grand Union Canal.
The canal offers another kind of London skyline. It’s the skyline of the city’s communities. Communities who do not compete with the city’s prime tourist attractions but who exist harmoniously right next to wild life as well as the city’s historical past and industrial.
TFL journey planner should include the canal and waterways of London!
Visitors in the city cannot really enjoy a peaceful stroll by the river. It’s noisy, polluted and busy!
On the contrary, one can delight in a stroll along the canal where he can enjoy nature, the local communities and their ways, local pubs and eateries, cruises on barges and/or smaller vessels with unique charms, picnics on them or on the towpaths.
It is indeed impressive seeing the skylines of Canary Wharf, the City, the Houses of Parliament, etc, but one gets a better picture of all this if he actually visits the canal, because the canal is an achievement of the industrial revolution and the infrastructure for it! Because had it not been for the canals, through which all industrial material traveled the length and width of this country, there would not be The City or Canary Wharf today, for the tourist to admire.
Because had it not been for the canals, through which all industrial material traveled the length and width of this country, there would not be The City or Canary Wharf today, for the tourist to admire.
So, TFL journey planner, please include the canal in your journey planning!
There is though one canal reference in the TFL journey planner, if you look close enough (or maybe, there should be)!
That’s the London Water Bus company. http://www.londonwaterbus.com/
They offer an informative and charming trip from Little Venice, near Paddington Station, to Camden Lock/Market, passing through and also stopping for the zoo in Regent’s Park. Why would anyone want to take the tube or the bus to the zoo rather than a boat!
I am linking here a couple of websites regarding the canal and activities there.
I feel that it’s overlooked and it’s a pity! I believe that the waterways of London are some of its best features and I will keep trying to promote them through this website and our Facebook page.
Take a look at it and like us, https://m.facebook.com/thegatsbycruises/
Here is the first and most important website regarding the London waterways and canals. They are no other than the custodians of the waterways, The Canal and River Trust.
In their website, one can find everything regarding the canals, from activities to spots for fishing!
Do check it out!
I’ll be back with more info, soon.
Thanks for reading and do drop us a line with info or anything else you would like to talk about as long as it’s regarding the canal and the life around it.