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Narrowboats and trains

UK rail trip – 2022

Day 54 – 26th May, 2022

Today, I’ve decided to walk some of the Regent’s Canal. I could have caught the London Underground directly to somewhere like St. Pancras. Instead, I decided to take an around about way. I made my way to Aldgate London Underground station and caught a train to Finchley Road station. A short walk up Finchley Road, I came to Finchley Road & Frognal station. This station serves both the London Underground and the London Overground. I entered the station and caught a train to Camden Road.

Finchley Road & Frognal (10:02)
London Overground
0:09 (212:52)
Camden Road (10:11)
4.3 km (19670.4 km)

Even though the distance is only just over 4 kilometres distance between Finchley Road & Frognal and Camden Road, it still took just shy of 10 minutes. This can be due to three station stops between them. The train is a class 378. In line with most trains serving suburban London, they have longitudinal seating. This is to allow as much capacity as possible.

Leaving Camden Road station, it was only about 100 metres to the Regent’s Canal. As it was an overcast day, it wasn’t too bad. No direct sunlight to contend with.

The Regent’s Canal, Near Camden Road.

A short walk along, I realised I wasn’t the only one enjoying the day on the canal.


Of course, I wasn’t the only human. As this is pretty much Central London, the towpath by the canal is very heavily used by people walking, running or riding bicycles. As the towpath can be narrow in places, particularly under bridges, it’s generally considered good manners to let oncoming people by if they’re faster than one who may be dawdling (like myself!). After walking for about ten minutes, I found myself at St. Pancras Basin. I decided to stop here for an hour or two, watching the traffic go by, whether it be on foot, wheels, water or across the railway bridge nearby.

St. Pancras Lock.
Gasholder Park.
New flats built inside the framework of the old gas holders.
Narrowboats await their turn to enter the lock, while a Eurostar e300 crosses the railway bridge to (or from) London St. Pancras International.
A narrowboat cleared to enter the lock.
Narrowboats exiting St. Pancras Lock.

After spending a couple of hours by the canal, I decided it was time to go and get lunch. I walked down to London St. Pancras and dropped into a pub. I ordered a pizza and a pint of cider. After lunch, I decided I’d try out some more of the Elizabeth Line. I caught the London Underground to London Liverpool Street and walked the passageways to the Elizabeth Line platforms.

A passageway to the Elizabeth Line platforms.
Down the escalator.
Train at the station.

I hopped on a train to Abbey Wood.

London Liverpool Street (14:13)
Elizabeth Line
0:19 (213:11)
Abbey Wood (14:32)
16.1 km (19686.5 km)
Inside a class 345.

The trip takes about 20 minutes from London Liverpool Street to Abbey Wood, stopping at a few stations along the way. The line is not fully open, yet, though. To travel from London Paddington to either Heathrow or Reading, a change is required. A change is also required to travel from London Liverpool Street to Shenfield. The remaining sections should be open in their entirety by mid-2023.

Abbey Wood station.
Train arriving at Abbey Wood.
Abbey Wood station entrance.

After checking out the station, I hopped on a train one station back to Woolwich.

Abbey Wood (15:07)
Elizabeth Line
0:07 (213:18)
Woolwich (15:14)
3.4 km (19689.9 km)
Woolwich station.

I didn’t know how much further back down the line I’d go. I did want to exit the station and take a look around though.

Exterior of Woolwich station.
Dial Arch Square.

After looking at the local map just outside the station, I decided I’d walk down to the Thames. I’d never been along that part of the river before. So, I thought, why not? I left the station and made my way in a northerly direction. Passing through the Royal Arsenal Heritage Site, I saw the River Thames. The Royal Arsenel was where armaments and ammunition was manufactured, along with research. It is now a residental and greeen area, with many of the buildings left intact.

Royal Arsenal Heritage Site.

I made my way along the Thames Path to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. I decided I’d walk through it. The temperature in the foot tunnel was quite cool. Even though bicycles are prohibited from using the tunnel, many still pass through. I can’t blame them, though. It provides the necessary short cut across (or under!) the river. Upon reaching the other side, I made my way to the King George V DLR station. Time for dinner. I made my way back to the hostel, dropped off my DSLR camera, and went to the pub. Since I had pizza for lunch, I knew I’d have to have steak for dinner – and a couple of pints of cider of course! After dinner, I walked down to Tower Bridge again. This will be my last night, so I hung around for a bit. Tomorrow evening, I fly back to Sydney.

Wombat’s City Hostel London

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