London’s Three Canal Tunnels – Maida Hill/Lisson Grove access paths

Maida Hill has no towpath so one has to walk over the top of the tunnel via Edgware Road, then walk along Aberdeen Place towards the junction with Cunningham Place, where a side passage between a block of flats and a electricity substation leads to the top of the eastern portal of the tunnel. Here can be found an information board and the steps leading down to the towpath towards Lisson Grove and Camden Lock. The towpath between Little Venice and the Zoo used to be known as Canal Way. A number of Canal Way signs were still in existence until at least late in 2005, and it is obvious that some grubby canal enthusiast has removed these for their own collection

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From Blomfield Road one walks up the slope towards Edgware Road past Cafe Laville (above left). The Edgware Road must be crossed and its a very busy road so take care (above right.) Maida Vale is to the north side. The pedestrian crossing here is not that well protected from traffic because five roads meet here, and the layout can cause confusion as to which direction traffic is coming from – even if the pedestrian crossing lights are in favour motorists sometimes emerge from Maida Avenue and cross over into Aberdeen Place through the wrong island (this route is not authorised, but it is the particular road layout that causes many errors such as this to happen.) A major modification of this busy junction with greater pedestrian priority is of course a pressing need. Footnote: Whoever is stealing the historic Canal Way signs please stop! The big one by Edgware Road went missing at Easter 2006

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Aberdeen Place leads eastwards away from Edgware Road to Cunningham Place, passing Lyons Place en route (above.) The canal tunnel is directly beneath Aberdeen Place itself

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The Crockers Folly public House stands on one corner at the far end of Aberdeen Place. It was a large hostelry built in anticipation of a new railway terminal which was eventually built further south east at Marylebone! The owner was Frank Crocker hence the name Crocker’s Folly. On the opposite corner, at the junction with Cunningham Place, there is a side passage leading to an information baord and the top of the stairs which leads down to the canal towpath and Maida Hill tunnel’s eastern portal. The view (below left) looks along the entire stretch of overground route between both portals of Maida Hill tunnel – Cafe Laville can just be discerned in the far distance in the centre of the photograph

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When the towpath from Maida Hill (east portal) to the other side of the Lisson Grove moorings (including Lisson Grove tunnel) is closed, one must walk along the top of the canal cutting, across Lisson Grove itself and along the other the canal cutting on its south side. The footbridge on the far side of Marylebone (or Lisson) Wide (adjacent to the Metropolitan/Chiltern Railway crossing) gives access to the remainder of the towpath to Regents Park/Camden Town

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On the eastern side of Lisson Grove there’s a dramatically steep path next door to the Upside Down House down to the canal (the gate is next door to 120 Lisson Grove opposite the Westminster Council Social Services offices and is open during the day)

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The London Canal Tunnels pages:

introduction / islington / maida hill / lisson grove / tunnel paths

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