Boating in London with Go Boat

We recently spent a lovely afternoon Boating along the Grand Union and Regent’s Canal with Go Boat in London 

Now, call me stupid (alright, not so fast) but it never really occurred to me that there were canals in London. I mean. I KNOW there are rivers (hello, Thames!) but I never really considered canals, despite visiting Camden more than once… OK I am a tad daft!

I’ve always wanted to go on a boat trip down the Thames, I’ve only ever been on a party boat for a friends eighteenth birthday about a million years ago *cough* twenty three *cough*. Ahh the nineties… I digress

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Go Boat, Merchant Square, Paddington 

We were invited by Go Boat to review a two hour trip for up to 8 people

Go Boat is situated on the canal near Paddington & Edgeware Stations.

Be aware that Paddington Station has no lift and therefore is an absolute pain in the arse if you have a pushchair, and other rail users have little patience.

That aside Go Boat is a short walk from the station. There is a huge Marks & Spencers which is fab for picking up picnic bits. We grabbed a load of sandwiches and wotnot – I’m sure you are uninterested in our lunch. 

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The view along the canal

We went to the Go Boat kiosk at the canalside and waited for our safety brief

Monsieur Incidental was democratically elected our Captain and therefore was left to listen to the instructions (let’s say no more about that – you’ll see what I mean later).

Under 16s are given life jackets which some children are resistant to wear, but they aren’t mandatory. To be honest the chances of falling in are slim but better to be safe than sorry and all that.

We were shown to our boat. They are a decent size, they seat up to 8 and have a table in the middle for the aforementioned picnic.

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The boats seat 8 and have a large table in the middle – perfect for a picnic, as you can see!

Monsieur Incidental was shown how to use the boat. After a quick tutorial we were off.

We were very lucky with the weather. It was a glorious Spring day.

We pootled along for half an hour or so before it dawned on us that we had, in fact, pootled in the wrong direction down the Grand Union Canal. We did wonder why there wasn’t much to see. We about-turned and went back the way we came.

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Happy faces boating down Regents Canal on the way to London Zoo 

Boating down the Regents Canal was lovely 

The houseboats at Little Venice are beautiful – exactly as you see in films. You feel transported back in time. 

There was so much more to see this way. Shortly after setting off there is a very long Maida Hill Tunnel. The kids loved it as you can see from our video.

There are some beautiful houses to see when boating along the canal but the piece de resistance for us was the fact that you travel through London zoo!

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Don’t get too jealous – I’ve put down a deposit on this one

London Zoo is on both sides of the Regents Canal and you can see warthogs and painted dogs roaming around (behind the fence, obviously).

What did we think of our Go Boat experience?

The boats are very nice and clean and the staff knowledgeable and approachable.

The boats go at a very leisurely pace and we found other boaters to be very friendly.

The kids had a whale of a time waving to everyone on the riverbanks and in other boats as you can see…

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Doing a dab on Regents Canal – and why not

We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are planning another trip in the summer. It makes for a great afternoon out and I would happily do it as a birthday treat with a bottle of fizz – you can make it as special or casual as you like.

We went with our family, including our toddler and 7 year old, it is easily family friendly and neither got bored. There are no loos though – just be aware of that! 

A two hour trip with Go Boat costs from £89

I think this is very reasonable, especially if you split it between 8 of you. It’s definitely a great way to spend an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the London streets and a quirky way to take in the sights. For more information and to book check out Go Boat’s website here

For other ideas of things to do check out my Travel and Days Out section here

*We were gifted a two hour boat trip in return for this review. All words and pictures are my own

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