Today's walk was an after work stroll home via the Limehouse Cut, which I have previously walked before as part of the Lea Valley walk but this time I had a closer look at this 1.5 mile stretch of canal.
The Limehouse Cut was authorised by the River Lee Act obtained through Parliament in 1767, making it the oldest canal in London, and one of the oldest in the UK. The intention was to create a short-cut from the Lee Navigation at Bromley by Bow to the Thames at Limehouse in order for barges to avoid the curves of the lower reaches of the River Lee/Lea and to stop them having to wait for the tide before taking the long detour around the Isle of Dogs.
By 1769 barges were using the cut but a series of setbacks and construction problems meant that it didn't open properly until September 1770. The cut at this time was only wide enough for one barge and a passing point was added in 1772 but, due to the popularity of the route, it was decided to widen the entire length and the cut was operational again from September 1777.
Today, the once working waterway, is mainly used for pleasure both on and off the water. A new floating walkway was opened in 2003 providing walkers, joggers and cyclists an easy route under the Blackwall Tunnel approach road. The canal is also home to wildlife including swans, ducks, geese, cormorants, moorhens and coots. The former Regent's Canal Dock, now known as the Limehouse Basin, is no longer used for transhipment between canal and costal vessels, and has been transformed into a marina and housing.
Distance: around 1.5 miles.