A city that has inspired many a romantic poem, paintings, and architecture. Venice is glorious, seductive and timeless in its beauty and appeal. If you manage to avoid the crowds, you can spend a day getting lost in the cultural districts and marvel at historic and charming displays of art that is on offer or you can take to the streets and mingle with Venetians or maybe wine and dine where locals dine. With that picture in mind, if you scale it down a little bit(maybe a lot!) and change destination to London we should have ourselves Little Venice in the midst of a bustling London.
Little Venice is a little village in the borough of Westminster where Regent’s Canal meets Grand Junction Canal. It’s cut between Paddington, Maida Vale and Warrick Avenue. Lined with beautiful Georgian and Victorian town houses, willow trees, and canal waterways. Beautiful architecture, some of which was designed by John Nash who designed the beautiful Regents Park that I showed you over the summer. Now, you won’t find gondolas here and the whole village doesn’t float on water like Venice, but nonetheless, Little Venice has a certain charm about it. You can take canal boat trips and navigate through the picturesque routes along Regents Canal in this affluent part of London. It’s a haven for beautiful architecture, restaurants offering to din with views of canal boats floating by. With its close proximity to Abbey Road, recording studios don’t be too surprised if you spot a musician or two in the area.
Getting There: Unlike Venice where visitors will most likely arrive by boats, water taxi or the Vaporetto water buses. You will get to Little Venice by Train or bus if you choose. The nearest tube stations are Warrick Avenue and Paddington Station.
Where to eat: There is a vast array of cafes and restaurants ensuring you never leave it long between exploring and refueling. My favourite is the Little Venice Waterside Cafe. Here you can sit on the boat or on the pavement next to the boat. You can pretend to be in Venice while dining in the many restaurants or gastropub surround in the area; from a Scandinavian-inspired -The Waterway eatery on the bank of the canal to highly rated dim sum at Pearl Liang
Active Sports: If you are up for something a little more active or perhaps you want to work off a hearty English breakfast eaten from the many food stops along the canal, then you can work off the calories and take to the water by way of paddle boarding. This seems to have made its way to London. In my mind, I always picture this activity in more tropical and sunnier destination. Hey, what ever floats your board! There is also Kayaking if paddle boarding is not your thing.
Canal Museum: This is not in Little Venice but still on the canals by in Kings Cross. You can also head to the London Canal Museum which is housed in a nineteenth-century ice warehouse. The museum looks at the history of the waterways and those who worked in them. It also includes an exhibit of the little-known trade in ice imported from Norway which was once stored in the huge wells beneath the museum. From here you can also walk to Camden Lock or head back to Little Venice
Where To Stay In Little Venice + London River/Canal Side Accommodation.
Little Venice sits along the Regents Canal. Its also close to Paddington which is a fairly busy area(due to being close to Paddington Station – one of London’s main transport hubs) and not one that is easy on the budget but you will definitely find something for everyone. For hotels near Little Venice check out the list of hotels in Camden, Paddington, Regents Park and Kings Cross. You want to specifically stay on a boat in London then check out The Good Hotel(former dutch prison) and Sunborn Hotel that are both beautiful hotel boats located on the Royal Victoria Docks. Another one is an Airbnb called Jessie the Narrow Boat. You can get £14 off Airbnb with my link. For a full list of London accommodation option covering all budgets and includes apartments, hotels, hostels, and boats in London check out this list of hotels in London.