We left Bull’s Bridge last Friday morning heading towards London with plans to pick up my grandson Jamie at Alperton – his first visit to the boat!
It looked very like we weren’t going to get a central London mooring at all when, just below Camden Lock, a space appeared. Thank you Gladys (goddess of parking, mooring and generally getting a space where you need one).
It was going to be busy but there was another boat there and the owner assured us that it was a generally safe area. Noisy but not prone to break-ins or ‘bother’. It was Ellie’s dream location, virtually beside Camden Market.
The tow path here is very busy with tourists, many of whom want to stop for a chat. One dripping chappie in nothing but a soaking wet pair of pants asked us for the use of a towel to dry off. He’d just swum across the canal and back for a bet and had scored himself £60. The canal’s busy too with trip boats and this enterprising gondola. It cruises up and down from 10am to 7 or 8 pm, treating passengers to some gentle music along the way. Looked like bloody hard work in the heat!
Our first stop was to the Ice Locker – a Wetherspoons beside Camden Lock – we were all hot and thirsty.
Wetherspoons was busy and, bizarrely for the start of a summer weekend, running short of beer. By Saturday they had absolutely no real ales or cider. Not the best bit of stock keeping! We had a wander around and found The Hawley Arms – a great pub with a core clientelle of uber cool youth but with a good atmosphere and ample stock.
A couple more drinks were just about all we could manage before heading back to the boat. It had been a hot and tiring day and we wanted to save ourselves for a bit of birthday sight seeing on Saturday.