Venice in the heart of London.

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Amongst the hustle and bustle of this great city is a rather quaint corner known as Little Venice. One of the many hidden gems that London has to offer.

Based in the heart of the city is a small section of waterways that provide a tranquil spot for Londoners and the millions of visitors each year. This is where the Grand and Union Canal meet and provides home on narrowboats which have been here for many years.

Little Venice boats


Historically parts of Paddington and Maida Vale around the canals were referred as London’s Venice due to the waterways but only later on Little was added to this. The origin of the name are attributed to the poet Robert Browning who lived here and Lord Byron who compared this to Venice.

Living in London for many years I have started discovering these gems that almost make you think and feel that you are not in one of the busiest cities of the world for a moment.

Waterside Cafe

Little Venice is easily accessible by Public transport both by bus or Warwick Avenue tube station on the Bakerloo Line. If you are looking to travel by car then the closest post code would be W9 2PF. If you visit the area on a Sunday there is plenty of free parking around this area.

There are a few private companies that operate a lunch cruise on their boats and can be anothethat offer lunches as well. There is a waterbus service that operates from Little Venice to Camden Town and is a great way to enjoy the Canal on a bright summer’s day. The water bus passes through Regent’s Park and you can hop off at the famous London Zoo if you want.

Narrowboats

With the sun shining I could not think of a better way of enjoying Little Venice than getting on a GoBoat with a beverage and picnic on board. GoBoat London is the only self-drive, powered boating experience and the best way to see the life on the Canal. You could start your ride from their base on Merchants Square and sail down the Canal to Little Venice and require no previous experience to get on one of their boats. The boats are eco friendly and made from 80% recycled bottles and wood so get ready to go GoBoat.

GoBoat London

You can get all the details about GoBoat here https://goboat.co.uk/

Little Venice is the perfect get away from the crowds and rush of the City and a very popular spot for Londoners especially in the summer.

It is not just the canal but the whole area itself is beautiful with majority of the buildings built in Regency style architecture with white painted stucco facades and a photographer’s paradise. Little Venice is one of London’s prime residential areas and a house could set you back millions. The area boasts of some of the finest independent shops and restaurants that you could walk into and spend a few hours as well.

Architecture Little Venice

There are a few pubs and restaurants that have become synonymous with the area such as the Waterside café, The Summerhouse Restaurant and Café LaVille. The Summerhouse is a favorite and can be very busy on a sunny day so make sure to book a table in advance. We visited the Café La Ville which has some stunning views overlooking the canal and for a moment I forgot I was in London.

Summerhouse Restaurant
Cafe Laville

Waterside Cafe . Little Venice

There are a few attractions along the canal one of them being the Canal Café Theatre which hosts several shows, dramas and comedy events through the summer months. The Bridge House a traditional English pub is in the same building as the Canal Cafe Theatre and is the perfect place to have a pint in the old fashion English way.


Another great attraction which you could visit is The Puppet Theatre which is on a converted barge and seats around 55 people. It is mainly moored in Little Venice through the year but makes its way down the Thames touring in the summer months.

The perfect afternoon spent exploring Little Venice and whether it is travelling along the canal on board a traditional narrowboat or simply taking a walk you cannot miss this hidden gem in the heart of London.

Cafe LaVille

Canal Boats
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36 COMMENTS

  1. When I read the title I thought it will be about Venice, but I was surprised to read that there is one portion in London which is called Little Venice. A great way to explore a city is to see what’s hidden from the usual eyes, you brought the same out. I always perceived london as a historic and busy city. To add, view from cafe la ville looks peaceful.

  2. I haven’t visited Little Venice in London – after reading your article I must. Such a pretty area! Cafe Laville has got my name on it – what a great place to have a cafe. I can see myself enjoying an afternoon there with friends. I wonder if you can spend a night or two on one of the narrowboats?

  3. I really need to go back here! I went to a part of Little Venice a few years ago but the canal was green and smelt. It looks like I either went to the wrong part or on a bad day as your photos make the area look simply gorgeous! Thank you for sharing as I had pretty much written this off as somewhere never to go again!

  4. Actually it reminded me more of Giethrron in Netherlands. Similar canals and adjacent hotels and houses. It was amazing and Im sure this trip would be similarly awesome too!

  5. Gran Union Canal is definitely one of the hidden gems of the city. So quaint and peaceful compared to some of the more busy areas of the city. Would love to be able to navigate through the canal by boat. And I love that the boat is eco friendly.

  6. I love such peaceful and relaxed places in the corners of city which are not very crowded also. This canal really looks beautiful and not very crowded and truly it deserves the name Little Venice. Also boating in this canal must be fun. Good to know that Goboat are made up of recycled materials and a nice example of ecofriendly tourism. Would love to watch some drama or show in Canal cafe theatre during summer months.

  7. I haven’t visited London yet and never heard about this part of the city before. It looks very different from the rest of the city and quite interesting. I would definitely like to visit if I ever make it to London.

  8. I haven’t been to London or Venice before, but from your pictures and what I heard of Venice, I do get why the area is named little venice. The waterways and the architecture are so beautiful.. it somewhat reminds me of the canals of Amsterdam. I like the idea of taking a goboat tour with picnic onboard!

  9. What a fantastic example of escaping the city without even leaving the city! This is a great find and something I never knew existed, even though I have been around London on previous visits to the UK. The Go Boats look like so much fun and a great way to leisurely cruise down the canal taking the atmosphere in and forgetting you are in a major city. The table and picnic set up on these boats look really good. Just a great way to spend a few hours, especially in summer if it isn’t too crowded.

  10. I was watching Vlog about London little Venice few weeks ago. I noticed that is better vibe, than Camden Town or other parts of London. My plan is to visit the place in June. Do you think will be still quiet?

    • It’s a great place and might not be as quiet in peak summer but still a great vibe away from the hustle and bustle.

  11. The town of Little Venice is adorable!!! I would love to do the GoBoat when I do, as well as eat on a Lunch Boat.

    I have never heard of The Puppet Theatre, but that sounds awesome and I would love to visit that!

  12. Oh lovely, I’ve not been to Little Venice for ages, but remember some lovely walking there and a visit to the charming garden centre. I like the sound of the boat picnic experience, what fun!

  13. Your discovery of Little Venice makes me very envious indeed. I’ve spent 10 days in London, yet didn’t have any idea about the existence of this place. It looks so unlike London though, which is very interesting. I’m hoping to return to London this summer, so I’ll make it a point to visit Little Venice. Thanks for sharing this.

  14. This year I wish to visit London and definitely this place will be on my checklist. The title itself intrigued me by knowing a place which resembles Venice in London.

  15. I love reading your London posts. You always manage to find something in the city and around.Little Venice seems like a great place for relaxing evening. I love waterways and spending times with your friends and family. Its a great idea to go on a picnic on a boat. I would love to visit this place whenever I travel to london.

    • There are a few hidden gems in and around London that needs to be promoted and that’s what I try to do. Hope you can visit soon

  16. Wow, Little Venice looks like a natural paradise in the heart of London. I am sure such a place will be quite refreshing in the midst of a busy city. Also, the place is quite environment friendly.

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