London Canal Museum
12-13 New Wharf Road, London, United Kingdom
www.canalmuseum.org.uk - 020 7713 0836
London Canal Museum Reviews
Find out about the history of London's Regent Canal Aug 07, 2013
Off the beaten track museum to learn about London's canal system
I visited this museum as part of my college class field study, and here's what I learned about London's Regents Canal:
About Regents Canal: In the beginning of 1800 these canals were built to transport goods through London and away from the Thames. The canals would connect natural waterways with each other. The 14km long Regents Canal connects the Thames with the Grand Union Canal. Tunnels had to be built in some places and the boats that carried the goods were pulled by horses or sometimes even people. The footpath along the canals was the horses' walkway. Today you can stroll along the water, but watch out for the bicycles.
About the ice well at the museum: Large blocks of ice were brought to London on boats from Norway. The ice would then be transported on the canal and stored in these ice wells. One ice well could hold up to 750 tons of ice. The temperature below ground was stable throughout the summer so the ice wouldn't melt. As you can imagine, ice was considered a luxury.
All in all the museum is well equipped with audio-tours that you can download prior to your visit. There are stations with video commentary and the museum staff is very knowledgeable. On the top floor you can watch original video footage of how the canal operated. Our group was able to book a staff member to take us on a walking tour of the canal afterwards.
The museum is wheelchair accessible.
If any of this sounded interesting to you, you'll enjoy this small museum. It is put together well, and doesn't leave any questions open.
I've included pictures of the canal walking tour since it is a natural next step after visiting the museum. The walk takes you all the way to Camden Market.
Part of the One week in London travel blog
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