London Canal Museum

North London

This little museum on the Regent's Canal traces the history and everyday life of families living and working on London's impressively long and historic canal system. The exhibits in the stables upstairs are dedicated to the history of canal transport, including more recent developments such as the clean-up of the Lea River for the 2012 Olympic Games. The museum is housed in a warehouse dating from 1857, where ice was once stored in two deep wells.

The ice trade was huge in refrigeration-less Victorian London, with 35,000 tonnes imported from Norway in 1899 alone, arriving in the city at Regent's Canal Dock before being transported along the canal. You can access the wharf at the back of the museum where narrow boats are moored. Pick up a copy of the museum’s The East End Canal Tales by Carolyn Clark to sail through the canal and its industries' fascinating history, meeting a colourful cast of characters who lived and worked on them along the way. Bon voyage!