Some week ago, strolling around Marylebone, we stumbled upon Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street. We spent almost two hours looking at books, maps, travel guides and the one that intrigued us the most was “33 walks in London that you shouldn’t miss” by Nicola H. Perry (published just one month ago!), a very good insider’s walking guide to London featuring unusual places not found in traditional travel guides. We took a chance!
The first walk was a success! Actually we combined two walk ideas together and changed them a little bit: the Arcadian walk, from Little Venice to Regent’s Park, and The Rock’n’Retire Walk, from Camden to Primrose Hill.
We started our day heading Little Venice. I was a little skeptic about what I would have found in Little Venice (I’m Italian! And my husband is Venetian!), it does have a Venetian vibe, with its appreciation for beauty, its coziness and of course its canals: just replace elegant stilt houses with beautiful mansions and gondolas with colorful narrow boats.
We decided to escape the crowded street and we enjoyed a picturesque boat trip along Regent’s Canal: departing from Brownings Pool at Little Venice, surrounded by the elegant graciousness of 19th century architecture, through the green and leafy fringes of Regents Park, the dark mysteriousness of the Maida Hill tunnel, interesting and historic buildings and bridges to Camden, where we disembark to soak up the sights, sounds, energy and the smells of Camden Market.
Hidden beneath the Camden Market, where stalls and shops sell everything from vintage clothing to music and more, food from all over the world, lies a secret unknown to many, the Camden Catacombs, a long forgotten labyrinth of tunnels and vaults built in the 19th century as stable for horses, sadly no one is allow to access due to the danger of flooding.
When you are ready to get away from the noise and crowds, walk on Chalk Farm Road, the Roundhouse is a legendary music venue, hub of inspiration for many! From here Nicola H. Perry’s tips were just perfect. We headed straight back down to Regent’s Park Road into the heart of the district and cut down Gloucester Ave first then Berkley Road, strolling around Chalcot Square with its family gatherings, little friends plays and its pastel-colored houses. It seemed to us we were on a movie set!
Back to Regent’s Park Road, heading Primerose Hills Park, up to the summit of the hill, crossing the park diagonally: what a gorgeous view! Have a wander down to Primerose hill and come off at Prince Albert Road entering the Regent’s Park. Tennis clubs, cricket fields, roses, fountains and sculptures, University, royal gardens, theatre, zoo, everything is clean and well taken care of. It was Saturday afternoon, it was like walking in a Woody Allen’s movie.
Place | Things i like:
Regents canal waterbus | www.londonwaterbus.com
Camden Market | shops and stalls selling fashion, music, art and food | www.camdenmarket.com
Roundhouse | performing arts and concert venue | www.roundhouse.org.uk
Primrose Hill Books | rare, out-of-print, used, and hard-to-find books | www.primrosehillbooks.com
Lemonia | serving exquisite Greek dishes to customers from near and far | www.lemonia.co.uk
Odettes | iconic restaurant, attracting illustrious patrons for decades | www.odettesprimrosehill.com
Regent’s Park | www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park
Open Air Theatre | oldest, permanent outdoor theatre in Britain | www.openairtheatre.com