London Drum

Little Venice – Houseboats & Regent’s Canal

Where? Little Venice, The area around Warwick Avenue and Maida Avenue, Paddington Time required? A typical visit is 30 mins, but more if you want to stop for a drink Buses: 6, 18, 46, 187, 414 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Warwick Avenue Bakerloo Other nearby stations: Royal Oak Train fares

Craig’s review… Little Venice is up past Paddington, about two minutes from the Edgware Flyover. When you’re coming out of Paddington station and making your way under the thundering road the first thought that enters your head will not be the Italian city of Venice – you can trust me on this. Paddington is 95% concrete and 5% bin bags. Happily by the time you reach Warwick Avenue it starts to quiet down and pretty up considerably. That’s where Little Venice really begins.

Houseboats in Maida Avenue

The prettiest stretch is by Blomfield Road and Maida Avenue (two roads that run either side of the same canal). This is the picture postcard place that everyone comes to see. You probably won’t believe that it’s as twee as this, but here are some of the things I’m seeing this morning: piles of chopped logs and fairy lights wound around the railings, rainbow coloured water-cans with flowers poking out the spout, and wind chimes tinkling in the spindly winter trees.

I’ve just had a quick little look inside one of the portholes and seen a collection of pottery frogs on a fridge – that is a perfect example of what this place is all about. It’s the kind of place where people leave out saucers of milk for the robins. Everyone seems to have a pushbike with a bell on it.

I can see one guy sitting on an upturned plant pot whilst he tightens up his shoelaces. It’s that kind of place – nice and relaxed. Every day is a Sunday. Everybody has breakfast at eleven in the morning and says hello to their neighbours. That is Maida Avenue.

Jason’s Trip & Camden Waterbus

But then you cross over the bridge and everything turns into concrete. (I’m talking about the junction between Warwick Avenue and Westbourne Terrace, where the two canals meet.) This is where you can catch a canal bus up to Camden. The most popular one is Jason’s Canal Trip (check out my separate review because it’s well-worth a try), but there’s also a cheapo waterbus on the opposite side if you prefer. Or you can grab a cup of tea from the little houseboat cafe.

Don’t bother walking any further into Delamere Terrace. The ornate blue bridge might look inviting but the overgrown towpaths don’t have plant pots and petals over there – they have old Coke cans, cigarette ends and stooping, drooping trees that trail their wooden fingers in the water. They have weeds instead of flowers. A punctured football instead of a swan.

The boat owners down Maida Avenue put country knick-knacks on top of their houseboats whereas these people just use them as a dumping ground for giant blue tarpaulins and empty Calor Gas bottles.

Maida Avenue is still very nice though, and definitely worth a visit.

Worth a visit? Value for money? n/aGood for kids? Easy to get to?

I also recommend… If you enjoy this then try Jason’s Trip (you can walk there in less than 1 min). If you fancy an afternoon stroll then try our self-guided walk down the Regent’s Canal

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Related articles and events

Today Jason’s Trip - Canal boat from Little Venice to Camden

Jason’s Trip - Canal boat from Little Venice to Camden16

Your comments and questions

Lenore Does the boat trip run every day, if so, what times please

Craig Hi. Jason's Trip (the most popular boat) only runs between April and November, 10:30 to 4:30 PM -​events/​?p=16701. There's also a waterbus which runs all year -

Faith Hello, I want to thank you for your reviews. We used them on our recent trip to London. We visited Little Venice and went on Jason's Trip based on your reviews - spot on! When we alighted from the #46 bus at Blomfield Road, there was the lovely Rembrandt Gardens. We headed down the steps into this cool and quiet space along the canal, on what was very hot and sticky day, and had a picnic lunch before went went on the boat trip.

asim Do we still have to book if we have a London Pass?

Craig Hi Asim. Assuming that you're talking about Jason's Trip, you don't have to book but I would still recommend it. The boat has never been full when I've tried it, but it's not very big and you might get unlucky. If that happens then you'll probably be asked to come back two hours later when the next one leaves

Dee We had such a lovely day walking around Little Venice. We had planned to catch the boat to Camden but it was such a lovely day that we decided to walk all the way along the Regent's Canal

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