Little Venice, idyllic canal boat diversion
Less than 5 minutes from bustling Paddington Station lies idyllic and peaceful "Little Venice", a neighborhood in Central London that seems to escape the radar of the masses.
Dozens of canal boats and water restaurants line this calm oasis, where the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent's Canal.
The easiest way to get to Little Venice is to take the Underground to Warwick Station, and then mosey up the street to the first canal overpass, where you will have a wonderful view of the canal boats.
Looking to your right is a small park, named Rembrandt Gardens in 1975, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the founding of Amsterdam. On either side of the park are walkways that can take you down to the canal level.
The area's lovely mansions provide a backdrop for Browning's Island, a small piece of land, complete with weeping willows in the center of a triangular pond. The Island was named after poet Robert Browning, who lived nearby.
If you meander down the walkway, you can cross the canal at the bridge, which will put you at a lovely restaurant.
Here, at the Waterside Cafe, you can enjoy a nice canal-side lunch, and watch the boats turn around prior to taking a boat ride through the canal.
There are many ways to travel through the canals, but we enjoy the London Waterbus. It leaves pretty much every hour, and although you can reserve in advance, every time we have taken it, we have just queued up, with cash in hand, about 20 minutes in advance of departure, and we have always gotten on.
... in case you are wondering what all the green stuff in the water is... its a tiny, crisp feeling 4 leaf clover shaped plant that grows when it is very hot out, like summer 2018 was. The canal people do not like it at all, but it was kind of fun to run my fingers through, as it wasn't gooey or slimy at all.
The water ferry goes down the canal, stopping at two places---the London Zoo, and at Camden Market. The ride to Camden Market takes about an hour. (we have never stopped at the zoo, but what a nice way to arrive there!)
The trip is beautiful. It's fun to see the other boats journeying down the waterway, and I love the surprise ending: going from peaceful quiet idyllic paradise to the exciting hustle bustle of Camden Market. This canal ride is a not-to-be-missed London diversion.
Above is the ending spot, at Camden Market. Please see my blog post about Camden market--It is such a fun study in contrasts to do both Little Venice and Camden on the same day!
Hope you enjoyed this afternoon diversion in
Little Venice, London!
Here are some other ideas and travel info for you!
1. The Puppet Theatre stages canal-side performances in a converted barge, between October and July.
2. Every May Bank holiday, Little Venice stages "The Canalway Cavalcade", a colorful festival which has happened every year since 1983.