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Little Venice
Meopham U3A trip on the Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Market

We will travel by executive coach to  Little Venice where we will join our London Waterbus Company boat.


Little Venice is a small section of water where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet and has attracted a number of waterside pubs, cafes and restaurant businesses over the years.

It is a hidden, quaint corner of London where life is laid-back from the hustle and bustle of central London. In the heart of Little Venice, among barges and nearby parks, there is a tranquil atmosphere and it can feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside, thanks to its canals, parks and waterside establishments.

It is widely believed that Lord Byron gave the area its name, as it reminded him of the canal network of Venice, although the poet Robert Browning claimed it was he that coined it. The main junction of the canal, Browning’s Pool, is named after him.

The area is surrounded by elegant 19th century houses, with white stucco facades forming a striking frame for the greenery and tranquil waters. Look out for resident swans, mallards, geese, coots and moorhens as well as the occasional visiting cormorant or heron.

From Little Venice we will travel by boat along the Regents Canal.


The Regents Canal was opened in 1820 linking the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice and the River Thames at Limehouse, providing an important industrial transport route. Today the canal is a leisurely corridor through London, navigated by leisure boats and lined with houseboats. It passes through Regent’s Park, London Zoo and the Maida Hill tunnel.

Passing through the north edge of Regents Park, the Regent’s Canal provides a green and tranquil backdrop to what was once an urban industrial waterway. The Waterbus passes contrasting scenery of expansive landscaped back gardens of Victorian and Georgian houses, including stately modern villas used by Ambassadors and international diplomats.

Opened in 1847, is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Spread over 36 acres it is home to over 19,000 species. The Zoo participates in international research across the world to protect endangered species.


As we pass through London Zoo, keep an eye out for the Painted Wolves - wild African hunting dogs - the pack can often be seen as we pass their canal side enclosure. The Snowden Aviary, built in 1965, was the world's first walk through aviary and can also be seen from the canal.

We will later reach Camden Lock (actually 2!)


The locks were built between 1818 and 1820. The two locks are arranged side by side with an island platform between them. Each chamber has two gates at both ends and they have been Grade 2 listed since 1992. They were the first of 12 pairs of similar locks which dropped the level of the canal by 96 feet (29 m) to reach Limehouse Basin. Because water saving was important it

was transferred between the chambers which made operation of the locks more complex. During the heyday of the canal they were permanently manned with lock-keepers working a shift system to provide 24-hour cover. As the use of the canal declined, in part due to railway competition, manning levels were cut.

We will end our boat journey at a former timber yard which in 1974 was turned into the world famous Camden Market. There there will be plenty of time to walk around and soak up the atmosphere and find somewhere to eat and drink.


The vibrant market includes a vast array of traders with everything from fashion and footwear, to jewellery, art, housewares and antiques.

The area is a hub for artists, creatives, designers and makers. From handmade to vintage, there’s some hidden gems waiting to be found.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, with cult cafes, terrace bars, top-notch street food and fresh-baked sweet stuff. There are literally hundreds of choices in the Market to tempt your taste buds whilst exploring maze of shops nestled in former warehouses and quirky converted stables.

We will return to Meopham by coach and expect to arrive back by 5.30.

Hello, I said Hello....

Yes we are still open, Its about time for a change of attitude.... Things will be a long time getting back to the old normal so let's get busy being positive and planning for our continuing Meopham U3A future.
Group contacts have been emailed by Heather and me, (Gus) asking for information about your groups and your website page and if not much has happened PLEASE be courteous and at least reply  as it all helps us to understand how our U3A is coping.
Face to face meetings of any type are going to be difficult as we all have our own "Bubbles" to feel safe in but online group quizes, coffee mornings or just a phone call can be helpful for many who miss personal contact. 
Help is available and dont be scared to ask / email someone on committee who will point you in the right direction and for many try asking grandchildren for help, I do!!
As you can see from this list many of the groups are keeping the members informed of what is going on.

Amblers:   have done one distanced outdoor walk
Art Appreciation:   meeting fortnightly via Zoom - temporary members welcome
Bee Watch:   email bee sightings
Book Club 1/2/3:   all meeting via Zoom
Bridge:   hoping to organise meetings in gardens in groups of 4
Canasta:   weekly newsletter to keep in touch
Current Affairs1:   meeting fortnightly via Zoom
Cycling/For Softies:   have held one outdoor ride
French Advanced:   meet on Tuesday via Zoom
Improvers 1:   meeting via Zoom
Improvers 2:   meet via Zoom / WhatsApp
Intermediate:   Zoom on Tuesday evening
Genealogy:   Zoom meeting planned for July - new members welcome
German:   meeting twice monthly via Zoom
Guitar:   fortnightly Zoom / WhatsApp contact
History1:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Italian Beginners:   have met in gardens.
Italian Intermediate:
  Reviewing the situation ready for re-start in September
Meditation:   using WhatsApp for guided meditations
Music for Pleasure:   monthly Zoom - have honorary members
Needlecraft:   all active on WhatsApp
Painting/Drawing:   using WhatsApp to share and discuss work
Patchwork:   garden meetings planned
Petanque:  Awaiting goverment advice as to when restart is possible

Photography:   meet on Cluster to post photos
Quilting:   using WhatsApp to share work
Singing- ladies:   meet weekly on Tuesday morning via Zoom
Singing - men:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Spanish:   fortnightly Zoom meetings
Wine Appreciation 1:   Zoom meeting on usual Thursday
2:   Zoom meet on Wednesday / WhatsApp group
3:   weekly Zoom meeting