Travel by boat through Islington tunnel on the Regent’s Canal, opened in 1820, and around three quarters of a mile in length.
When it first opened boats had to be pushed through by a process of “legging” where men lay on the boat and pushed against the walls with their legs.
Now trips are more easily achieved on board one of London’s community narrowboats. They use the historic converted working narrowboat Tarporley, usually.
The tunnel was opened in 1820 with a procession of boats carrying dignitaries. The engineer was the canal’s engineer James Morgan, and is the major work of his life.
Originally it was worked by “legging”, which means that men lay on their backs on planks mounted on boats and pushed against the walls or roof of the tunnel to propel the boat. This was necessary because there is no towpath through the tunnel.
Later, in 1826, a steam chain tug was introduced. An iron chain rang the whole length of the tunnel and was wound around a drum on board the tug, which was turned by a steam engine. Thus, the tug was pulled along the chain and it could tow several barges behind it. This speeded up traffic considerably.
The tunnel has lasted well since 1820 and remains in frequent use. Your guide on the trip will tell you more!
Prices for 2011 are £8.00 adult, £6.00 children. This is inclusive of admission to the museum. The boat trip is not offered on its own without museum admission. Please visit the museum before the boat departs if travelling on the 1500 or 1600 trips.
- Dates for 2011 are:
- Sunday 8th May – Bookings Open
- Sunday 15th May – bookings open
- Sunday 12th June – bookings open
- Sunday 19th June – bookings open
- Sunday 17th July
- Sunday 31st July
- Sunday 14th August
- Sunday 21st August
- Sunday 18th September
- Sunday 25th September
Departure times from the museum:
- 1600 (no re-entry to museum after this trip, which will return to York Way, close to King’s Cross station)