Walking on water. Digging for coal.

Coal Drops Yard.

I've walked around quite a bit of London, but I could easily accuse myself of hitting the same old places and taking the same old pictures.

And while there's loads to see and tonnes to photograph in Shoreditch or Soho, there are other parts where I've been either rarely or never which I'm keen to explore.

So let's try something new.

Usually once escaping GWR's finest at Paddington, I'll head down the tube or if feeling particularly fruity venture into Hyde Park to shoot some parrots (Parklife!). Not today.

Instead it was up and away to Little Venice for a long (ish) walk along the towpath.

The Regent's Canal stretches from somewhere near Hayes right through Limehouse in the East, but my little feet weren't doing all that. I've got shoe leather to think about.

Instead, I decided to go from the Paddington basin through to Kings Cross whilst having the side aim of checking out and taking some pics of the newly opened Coal Drops Yard.

Paddington Central coffee.

The area around Paddington is really coming along now with new offices, shops and a nice grassed amphitheatre which is excellent for lunchtime people shooting (with a camera, FBI) when the sun's in it's low November setting.

Little Venice is one of those little London gems. If you don't know it's there then you could easily miss it, but never being short of a brightly jacketed tourist knocking around, plenty of boats with attendant paraphernalia - hello red-hatted gnome! - and at this time of year, a hefty download of orange leafage, it remains quite photogenic.

As I meandered down slowly towards Camden passing under bridges and - unfortunately - quite a bit of London's left behind, I took a mild detour through Regent's Park. And it was worth it.

Apart from the odd buggy wielding, Cockapoo chasing new Mum, it was largely quiet so passing London Zoo on my left I could hear the monkeys obviously keen for lunch. The football fields had zero players but plenty of open goals, meaning some horizon shot framing fun could be had.

He shoots. He scores.

I pretty much sidestepped Camden, as it was one of those places I've shot before, and got back down onto the canal all the way to Coal Drops Yard.

Rather grandly positioned as 'a place where art, commerce and culture come together' - which I take to mean somewhere you can eat and shop - Coal Drops Yard had a much more prosaic and practical past - it was Victorian London's coal store.

In those days, the black stuff was king and it stayed that way until road transport took over and the area fell into disuse.

More recently, it's been a urban film set fave and (it says here) hosted some of London's biggest rave parties and clubs including Fabric and Canvas. As a low to non-existent 90's clubber, I'll take their word for it, but I agree it was probably used in The Sweeney.

Of course, like all things in London, the rough edges are now getting smoothed off, but I have to say while it's still getting finished I really quite enjoyed walking around the 'new' Coal Drops Yard. The walkway on the first level has some ace views and great angles for photography if the sun is right and it feels like it's been designed in a really sympathetic way to the rest of its surroundings whilst having a fresh, new character.

My time had nearly run out in town, but there was enough light and minutes to walk down via Granary Square - with its kid-friendly fountains - and capture some late afternoon commuters on the way back into Kings Cross. It's still a great place to photograph as all life is there.

Granary Square.

So, more or less I'd been somewhere new in London. From a photography point of view, I found the canal area a little dull (so drown me) but I was really impressed with the angles and newness of the Coal Drops Yard area and that seemed to be where I got most of my keepers of the day, and I want to go back when the light and weather are different.

But not today. I was fit to Drop.


Tech Corner:
Sony A7R ii
Zeiss Batis 85mm
Voigtlander 40mm
Sony Zeiss 35mm