Jubilee Greenway 1 & 2 – Buckingham Palace to Camden

Finally, two years after we first planned this, the sun was shining and we were both free to start our “joint” walk around London.
The Jubilee Greenway was completed in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Games. The most recent addition to the Walk London routes, the Jubilee Greenway is 60km (37 miles) long – one km for each year of the Queen’s reign, to link together all the major Games sites.

The official start is at Buckingham Palace; we went to St James’s Park Underground station and walked through the very pleasant St James’s Park to get there:

Unfortunately, our arrival at Buckingham Palace coincided with the Changing of the Guard, so the place was heaving with tourists:
and we couldn’t actually get to the start of the walk! So we nipped through Green Park to get to Constitution Hill and back to the Jubilee Greenway route.

Neither of us had seen the Commonwealth Gates (erected 2001) before:

Next was Hyde Park Corner:

and a subway into Hyde Park itself, with some lovely planting:

and a very strange object in the Serpentine:

(we never did find out what this was!).

Kensington Gardens was next (with Kensington Palace in the background):

Finally, we’re back to ordinary London Streets, though I suspect we couldn’t afford to live in Porchester Terrace:

We detoured to Leinster Gardens, which “has two false facades at numbers 23 and 24, constructed when the original Underground trains were steam-powered. Locomotives were fitted with condensers to reduce fumes, but ‘venting off’ was still needed in open-air sections to relieve the condensers and keep the tunnels free from smoke. In this upmarket area, the railway company hid this unsightly practice from residents behind a false facade. The facade is 5 feet (1.5 metres) thick with 18 blackened windows and the doors have no letter boxes.

You can see the blanked out windows on the right.

The route then followed streets towards Paddington Station, and after a stop for a beer, we reached the canal at Paddington Basin:

Paddington Basin is the terminus of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. It was opened in 1801 and chosen because of its position on the New Road which led to the east, providing for onward transport. In its heyday, the basin was a major trans-shipment facility, and a hive of activity.
The Grand Union Canal is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 220 kilometres (137 miles) with 166 locks.

From here, we followed the canal to Little Venice and the end of section 1.
The Pool of Little Venice is a basin between the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal, with an island called Browning’s Island. The island is named after the poet Robert Browning, who lived as a widower at nearby Beauchamp Lodge in Warwick Crescent (now demolished). 2012 was the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Notice the Jubilee Greenway marker in the pavement.

Section 2

This section follows the Regent’s Canal to Camden.
The Regent’s Canal provides a link from the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in east London. The canal is 8.6 miles (13.8 kilometres) long.

The route leaves the canal before Maida Hill Tunnel as there is no towpath through the tunnel:

Further on, permanently moored boaters have made the towpath quite interesting!

but then it’s back to a normal towpath:

The canal goes past (well through!) London Zoo:

then on to Cumberland Basin, where we left the canal to get to Camden Town station:

7.2 miles of Jubilee Greenway walking today.

For more information on the Jubilee Greenway, see https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/jubilee-greenway

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