Beneath the streets of West London there are lengthy tunnels the place boats nonetheless cruise.
Out of sight and out of thoughts, lots of the individuals that stroll the streets above them do not learn about these hidden gems.
Originally constructed to permit the town to thrive, the tunnels let the Regent’s Canal lower by the hillier areas of Maida Vale and St John’s Wood.
This meant important provides reminiscent of coal could possibly be transported round with out sophisticated programs of locks.
The 48m-long Eyre’s Tunnel passes beneath Lisson Grove and the Maida Hill Tunnel stretches for 249 metres beneath the hill it is named after.
The Eyre’s Tunnel has a towpath alongside one facet permitting walkers to see the Victorian workmanship.
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(Image: Phillip Perry)
The Maida Hill one however is a bit more mysterious to these on foot.
The partitions go straight down into the water which means the one option to see it’s by boat.
Before engines had been commonplace on boats, with out the towpath for a horse to tow the boat, the crew needed to lie on their backs and primarily stroll the boat by the tunnel.
This course of was known as ‘legging’ a ship by.
Above the western finish of the tunnel, a restaurant has been constructed, the place anybody can sit and watch the comings and goings of the boats.
(Image: Nigel Cox)
These relics of a unique time have fortunately been preserved whereas many different canals in London had been misplaced.
South London had two nice canals, the Croydon Canal and the Grand Surrey Canal, however these fell into decline and had been ultimately stuffed in.
Those north of the River are extra fortunate, with the canals nicely preserved for everybody to get pleasure from.
In current years they’ve seen an important renaissance, with individuals trying to these as soon as forgotten waterways for his or her livelihoods.
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Thousands of individuals have moved to get pleasure from a life afloat, and this neighborhood is served by floating bakers, bookshops, barbers and bars.
If you travel east alongside the Regent’s Canal you can discover the Islington Tunnel that runs beneath that space.
This tunnel is the longest in London at 880 metres however, as I’m usually assured, size is not every little thing.
Each tunnel permits the canal to wind by London, creating that important route that has introduced so a lot to the town.
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