I have always wanted to ride on a canal boat, having seen them leaving Camden many times, we finally took a trip down the Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Town.
I booked with the London Waterbus Company - they have three traditional long boats in their fleet, ours was called Perseus. Each boat has been converted and is fully enclosed with sliding windows and forward facing seating. We booked our trip for Monday, the boats run every hour and the journey down the canal takes 45 minutes (it's a one way trip).
It cost £11 each for adults, £7 each for the children, under 4's go free. We boarded at 12.30pm and there were probably six other passengers on board, so plenty of space. At the weekend it is £12 (adult) £8 (child) - I have heard that they are also dog-friendly.
We chose to go from Little Venice to Camden but you can also board at Camden and get off at Little Venice.
To get to Little Venice from London Victoria you will need to use the underground and take the Victoria line to Oxford Circus (two stops); then change for the Bakerloo line northbound to Warwick Avenue.
From Warwick Avenue station follow the exit for Little Venice and walk straight towards the traffic lights and crossing. Turn right at the crossing and walk down Blomfield Road, you'll see Browning's Pool on your left where the boats are docked. There are steps down to the water where you will find the London Waterbus. It's a very short walk from the station, around four minutes.
Little Venice is really pretty, it is close to Paddington and Maida Vale so expect to see some very impressive property along the way.
The narrow boats are steered from the back and on board we had a lovely tour guide who explained lots of history about the canal and also told us loads of interesting facts - it was really cool to see and hear where certain celebrities live.
The ride is smooth and takes you through the Maida Vale tunnel, through Primrose Hill and Regents Park. Going past London Zoo we could even see the African Hunting Dogs in their enclosure.
Currently the boat doesn't stop off at London Zoo due to Covid but they are hoping to start doing that again next year (2022). As well as seeing pretty weeping willows, house boats and mansions you'll also get the urban side of things too with plenty of graffiti.
You will also pass the beautiful Feng Shang Princess floating Chinese restaurant - it looks like something from Spirited Away, I have only ever past it on foot. It must look even more beautiful lit up at night time.
The long boat then enters Camden and docks right in the market. It was our first trip to Camden in about two years, but it is a place we always love to stroll around.
Below are the Love Locks on Camden Lock bridge.
Camden is very eclectic, full of stalls to suit all tastes in the market. I particularly like Saddle Row with its colourful umbrellas and also the Stables area of the market is full of lots of great shops, plenty of vintage, hippy style shops. As I've said in previous posts be prepared for very over-enthusiastic sellers who will really try to convince you to try the street food and then buy. You just have to be confident and say "no thanks" then smile and walk away.
Above is Saddle Row.
Turkish De-Light is one of my favourite shops on Saddle Row.
Camden High Street also has lots of shops as well as Inverness Street market, which mostly sells touristy stuff there is also a new eco-market called Buck Street Market which we didn't look round this time.
Namaste is on the High Street, many of the shops along here are brightly coloured.
The tube station is on the High Street, it is often quite busy, especially at the weekends. We got the Northern Line to Euston and from Euston we headed back to Victoria.
Our travelcards came to just over £20 for two adults and three children. We have a Family and Friends railcard which gives us 1/3 off adult tickets and 60% off children's tickets. I pay £30 per year to have this Railcard. Below is an affiliate advert, I earn commission of any travel cards are purchased through the link.
All of us really enjoyed the boat ride, we love Camden anyway, so this was a novel way to arrive.