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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.