A summer evening stroll along the Regent's Canal – today a linear park open to all, lined with colourful houseboats, waterside apartments and well-maintained cycle paths

But it wasn't always so lovely. This waterway has a rich history.

This 200 year old canal links Limehouse on the River Thames with Paddington Basin, interrupted only by the magnificent Islington Tunnel. Walkers, joggers, cyclists and Sunday strollers can all experience a bit of calm and quiet away from the bustle of the shops and the cars.

But, until the 1970s it was illegal for the general public to access these towpaths. Canals were the distribution network before trunk roads and motorways. The businesses that lined the water's edge were dirty, noisy, dangerous hives of industry.

Our walk takes us along and above the canal on a section that follows the boundaries between Islington (old Finsbury) and Hackney (old Shoreditch) and we'll see evidence how much this section has been regenerated in the past few decades. Run-down, damp, derelict buildings have been transformed into offices and airy living spaces. The canal has now become a selling point rather than a no go area.

Hear how times have changed. Learn about the various products manufactured, stored and distributed from here. Learn about boats and boxes, rubber and metals, fancy goods and pleasure gardens.

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