Through London by docks and waterways

Tower of London to Angel, Islington

7.5 miles / 12 km


Tower of London | St Katherine Docks | Thames | Shadwell Basin |Tobacco Dock| Limehouse Basin| Regent’s Canal| Victoria Park

Regent’s Canal, Hackney


This walk starts near the world famous Tower of London, then heads under Tower Bridge to St Katherine Docks to follow a docklands and waterways route all the way to Islington in North London, hardly stepping on a road.

Along the way, you pass Shadwell Basin and the former home of legendary explorer, Captain Cook. At Limehouse Basin, you join the Regent’s Canal, skirting the edge of the vibrant East End and popular Victoria Park.

By the time you leave the canal just before Islington Tunnel (and by Boris Johnson’s old house!) you’ll arrive in North London with a fresh perspective.

Route details

An easy flat walk mainly on car free routes, along many waterways. The start of the route from Tower Hill to St Katherine Docks can be very busy in peak tourist season.

Start Tower Hill Underground –  Circle & District Line
End Angel Underground – Northern Line
OS Route  WALKING POST Tower Hill to Angel
Difficulty Easy
Length 7.5 miles
Average time 3-4 hours
Total ascent 104 ft

Tower of London to Angel walk

Tower of London & Tower Bridge

Tower of London to Angel walk  Tobacco Dock Pirate ships

Tobacco Dock

Tower of London to Angel walk  Limehouse Basin

Limehouse Basin

Tower of London to Angel walk Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Regent's Canal, Commercial Road walk

Regent's Canal, Commercial Road

Sharks  Hackney regents canal

Sharks! Hackney

Along the way

Tower of London
Old and big! The white tower was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s and it has been expanded many times since. Home to the Crown Jewels, Yeoman warders and ravens. Very popular tourist attraction and well worth a visit, at a price.

St Katherine Docks
This area dates from at least the 12th century and is named after a local hospital. The dock was built by Scottish engineer Thomas Telford in 1825 and became one of the most successful in London due to the proximity of newly-built warehouses. It is now a popular leisure boat harbour and is lined with restaurants, cafés and shops.

Tobacco Dock & Pirate Ships
Tobacco Dock is a Grade 1 listed warehouse built in 1812 to store… you guessed it, tobacco. It fell into decline with the rest of the docklands in the 1960s and in the 80s, it was briefly a shopping centre when the two pirate ships were built to entertain children. It shut within two years and has never really got off the ground since.

Regent’s Canal
This short canal (8 miles) links the Thames at Limehouse with the Grand Union Canal at Paddington. It is very popular with walkers and cyclists and has many canal side cafés and pubs.

After Islington Tunnel, you can extend the walk along the canal to the bustling market at Camden Lock and then on by Regents Park Zoo, where you may spot a warthog or two.

Useful info


Tower Hill Underground is on the District & Circle lines and Angel on the Northern Line. Find out more at TFL (Transport for London)


There are public toilets by the Tower of London ticket office and in Victoria Park by the Pavilion Cafe. Plus there are toilets close to Angel in Chapel Street Market. The route passes various cafes and pubs with toilets for customers.


St Katherine Docks
The Dickens Inn
Popular pub in a large 18th-century timber-framed warehouse with pizza, balcony dining and garden.

The Grapes
Just beyond Limehouse Basin, this is one of the oldest pubs in London and owned by Sir Ian McKellen. It has a downstairs bar with Thames-side terrace and upstairs restaurant.

Victoria Park
The Pavillion
Covered outdoor seating offers a small seasonal menu for breakfast and lunch.

By the Bridge Cafe
Cozy hangout with full bar, coffee drinks & smoothies plus comfort foods such as pizza & sandwiches.