London By Boat: A Guide
Why travel any other way?
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Discover the best that London’s rivers have to offer. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to London by boat, be it commuting, dining or hiring your own. Explore the waterways of the capital…
With London’s transport infrastructure more strained than ever, C&TH have compiled the essential guide to the most serene way to navigate the capital – by boat! You already know the Thames plays a vital role as both a channel for transporting people through the heart of London and as a playground for people to explore the wonders of the city. But there are also 400 other individual rivers and canals flowing through London, making it one of the most liquid capitals in the world.
London By Boat: A Guide
Transport for London runs six River Bus routes daily between Putney Pier in West London and Woolwich Pier in East London. (The River Bus Express runs before and after events at the O2 in North Greenwich.) Annually, London River Services carry more than 10 million passengers, connecting over 30 separate piers and docks along the Thames. Why not join the other 2,000 Londoners who commute by river daily? Undoubtedly the perfect way to begin and end your day, especially during the warmer months. Unsurprisingly, the number of commuters travelling by River Bus increases by over 50% during the summer months. For over 600 years, the Thames has served as a fundamental transport link in London and in 1997, Thames 2000 was launched. The £21-million project has regenerated the Thames and propelled the popularity of passenger transport services on the river. tfl.gov.uk
Whilst GoBoat is one of the more recent companies to offer private boat hire in London, it has certainly made a splash! GoBoat offers a truly unique way to explore the canals of London as it allows you to be the captain of your boat and choose up to 8 friends to form your crew. No previous boating experience is required. The boats have been designed around the dining table for you to enjoy a chilled glass of bubbles whilst taking in the splendour of London’s waterways. Sustainability is a fundamental tenet of GoBoat. All materials are sourced responsibly and 80% of their boats are made from recycled plastic. There is also no need to be concerned that your journey on a GoBoat is causing any harm to the environment; the electric engines are charged after use, meaning no harmful pollutants contaminate the water. Set sail from their base in Merchant Square and cruise up to Little Venice, along the Regent’s canal to Camden Lock. Prices start from £59, goboat.co.uk
London Party Boats
The fleet at London Party Boats is monumental, with vessels that can hold up to 360 people. The company have been organising private hire boat parties in London for more than thirty years, so whether you’re planning a birthday, wedding or just fancy being spoilt onboard, London Party Boats have experience with all group sizes and budgets. Map your route as you take to the water or leave the navigation to the crew and unwind at the onboard bar! Prices start from £175, londonpartyboats.co.uk
Capital Pleasure Boats
Capital Pleasure Boats are committed to catering for every type of London boat party event. Designated event managers will create a party event individual to you – from club nights and 18th birthdays to 60th wedding anniversary parties. Their luxury party boats hold between 40 and 240 passengers and are available to hire year round, taking you from Greenwich Pier in the East all the way to Putney Pier in the West. Sit back and relax as you’re escorted along the 12 mile route, passing some of London’s most notable landmarks. Prices start from £205, cpbs.co.uk
London Duck Tours
Hop aboard one of London Duck Tours’ iconic yellow vehicles and enter the wonderful world of amphibious travel. It is far more exciting than just an ordinary sightseeing bus tour or river trip. Families can see some of London’s most famous sights before the thrilling splashdown onto the river Thames! There is a fabulous range of sightseeing and themed tours including the historical D-Day Duck Tour, which explores the history of the Ducks, originally used in the Second World War. Do not fret, they have been completely rebuilt and modified to meet the stringent safety regulations of today. All scheduled tours leave from Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1. Prices from £22, londonducktours.co.uk
Tamesis Dock lies in an unassuming stretch between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge. The converted 1930s Dutch barge is now a restaurant and cocktail bar with killer views of Parliament and Battersea Power Station. Relax on deck with a cocktail in hand as the sun glistens on the river, or perhaps sample one of the ever-changing craft guest ales, coming from both local and international breweries. Tamesis Dock is also available to hire for private events, with a capacity of up to 150 people. The barge regularly holds different music events and has played host to Bastille! Don’t miss out on this eccentric piece of London’s water history. tdock.co.uk
10 Things to Do in London This Week
Spread over three decks, The Yacht is one of the finest examples of a converted boat in London. The precision and quality of finish in the cocktail lounge, terrace and restaurant is unparalleled for a boat of its size or location. For evenings on board, the chefs offer a fine dining, a la carte menu with a less formal dining option for lunches. Given that it is open all year round and has a 3am license, this is also a sensational spot to host your next bash. theyachtlondon.com
London Shell Co.
London Shell Co. have committed to using only the best ingredients and produce available. The restaurant works closely with its suppliers, ensuring their food is fresh, delicious and in season. They spend as much time sourcing and changing their wine list as they do their menus. The extensive list of wines relies on small artisanal producers and has new additions weekly. London Shell Co. offer 24 options by the glass and some hidden treasures in their “Wines of Prince” section. This eclectic restaurant serves the finest British seafood for the ultimate journey along the beautiful, historic Regent’s Canal. Relax as you float through the depths of the Maida Hill Tunnel and past iconic landmarks such as London Zoo and Regent’s Park. londonshellco.com
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