Next month, one of East London’s canals will be drained for repairs to be carried out, and you can walk along the bottom of it.

The Hertford Union Canal runs along the southern edge of Victoria Park linking Stratford with the Regent’s Canal, and at almost 200 years old, the walls which make up the side of the canal are in need of restoration and repair.

Hertford Union Canal during the 2021 drainage

Winter happens to be the quietest time for the canals, so that’s when major restoration works are carried out.

To do this, the Canal River Trust will be draining the stretch of canal between Junction Bridge and Lock 1 – rehoming the fish to the adjacent stretch of canal which will remain full of water – and then repairing the walls using traditional building techniques.

And while that’s going on, you will be able to take a walk along the bottom of the drained canal for a rare ‘fish-eye’s-view’ of the repairs to one of London’s waterway gems.

The walks take place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th February, and you can reserve free tickets from here.

IMPORTANT – as at 9:30am 29th Jan, tickets are now sold out, but you can ask to be put on a waitlist – select a date/time and select the waitlist option.

The walks in Feb were cancelled due to the stormy weather – and have been rescheduled for Fri 4th and Sat 5th March. Past ticket holders were offered early options for tickets, and the rest are now available from here.

The walk starts at Gunmakers Lane, which is about halfway along the canal. Do wear sensible shoes!

In addition to this, there will be canal-bed cleans taking place each week where they are asking for volunteers to help out – more details here.


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  1. ChrisC says:

    Hope someone keeps a count of all the stuff they find that’s been dumped or lost in the canal. Must be a good few mobile phones for starters and who knows maybe a few illicit guns and knives as well as the odd bike and shopping trolley.

    Perhaps even the glint of a lost piece of jewellery.

  2. Maz tim says:

    Dont forget the hundreds of bags of dog poo thrown into the canal .

  3. Keith Chilvers says:

    The only thing of interest I’ve seen from the bridge is an old lamp post

  4. steve says:

    There is a few clamps I cut off and threw in there when the cowboy clampers were about a few years ago

  5. Andrew says:

    I assume one can just turn up and walk it anyway without a ticket given it’s a canal?

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