Out & About Walk: Paddington to Little Venice walk, London

14 August 2011: Out & About Walk: Paddington to Little Venice walk

Graham will be leading another of his guided historic walks, this time strolling gently from Paddington to Little Venice. If you can't afford the Orient Express to Venice this year, this is the next best thing :-)

Paddington Basin was opened in 1801 to provide a link from London to the rest of the country via the Grand Junction Canal (now called the Grand Union Canal). Later, Paddington Station and the Great Western Railway were built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1837. Queen Victoria made her first railway journey to Paddington in 1842. Paddington Basin is over 400 metres long and about 30 metres wide. The building of the canal and the railway changed Paddington from a small village on the edge of London to one of its main industrial areas. It was surrounded by warehouses and industry, including wharves for hay, salt, coal, china, glass, bricks, timber, manure and beer. Rubbish from all over London was brought here and taken by barge to be dumped at sea. By late Victorian times, it was already a very unpleasant place!
By the end of the 20th century the area had become an industrial ruin, rundown and neglected. In January 2000, Paddington Basin was drained for the first time since 1909 at the start of a large building project to improve the area. There are now many new offices, flats, shops and restaurants next to the canal. There are new towpaths for walking, linking the basin to Little Venice to the north.

Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield Road, the streets in the south of Maida Vale overlooking Browning's Pool, including the section of Randolph Avenue south of Clifton Gardens, are known as Little Venice. The name is believed to have been coined by the English poet Robert Browning who lived here from 1862 to 1887. Browning's Pool is named after the poet, and is the junction of Regent's Canal and the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal. This is one of London's prime residential areas, and it is also known for its shops and restaurants, as well as the Canal Cafe Theatre, the Puppet Theatre Barge, the Waterside Café and the Warwick Castle pub, where the walk will end.

OUTeverywhere member organiser

This event has been added to the OUTeverywhere calendar by Andrew MIlton from Hither Green in the London area.

photoHave been busy with local politics but that's all over now. Have taken early retirement from the civil service. From January 2012, have been travelling in Asia. Currently in Malaysia. Next stop: Singapore & Australia.

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