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Surprising vistas of a wintery dawn walk along the Regent’s Canal [photoessay]

These photos of Regent’s Canal taken recently on a dark dawn walk capture a moment in time in the history of the East End. 

Normally busy with cyclists and walkers on their way to work in the city, there is barely a soul in sight during this time of lockdown. This walk from Bow to the Limehouse Basin, along the peaceful canals, is now an opportunity for quiet reflection and appreciation of the nature that exists at the heart of our capital.

Winding its way along Mile End Park this section of Regent’s canal is teaming with nature including pairs of swans and ducks in peaceful companionship.

The neon pink lights of the Art Pavilion, normally heralding a festival or arts exhibition, cast a watery reflection on the ground, guiding local people to what is now a covid testing centre.

And as we edge through the final narrow brick bridge, the landscape widens dramatically to take in the boats of Limehouse Basin and the glittering lights of Canary Wharf beyond, the Emerald City that twinkles year round on our horizon. At this point we are reminded afresh of the layers of history that make up the East End.

As life in lockdown becomes the new normal, this series of photos serve a pleasant reminder – if at all needed – of a serene alternative walk to the regular lap of Victoria Park

Two swans in the water illuminated by moon
Two ducks glide across the water
The Art's Pavilion lights shining in the darkness
Limehouse section of Regent's Canal
Canal flowing underneath a bridge in London
View under a bridge water to the side
Canary Wharf looms over the canal

All photos taken by Tabitha Stapely

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to explore Rose Palmer’s photo essay on life in lockdown in a canal boat.

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Tabitha Stapely

Tabitha Stapely is the founder of Social Streets C.I.C, a not-for-profit media company using journalism to strengthen communities, particularly those in disadvantaged or neglected areas. Prior, Stapely was a writer and editor for national titles including The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Elle and Red magazines.

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