Boating in London

It’s massively hot. None of us expected this, the worst summer in years is being replaced by the best autumn ever! We’ve seen a quick flurry of blog posts about pub gardens to spend this weekend in. Good luck getting to the bar if you choose the Edinboro Castle. It’s parks all the way for us. But we thought we could go one step further and spend the weekend by water…in London. Here’s a handy guide to London’s boating lakes…

Alexandra Palace

Start at the top. Well, the top of London. On a clear day Alexandra Palace has some of the best views across the city. Right from the built up gas rigs and trainlines in Edmonton, past Canary Wharf, the Shard and the City and further still to the BT tower, it’s a clear win over Primrose Hill. Within the park grounds is a lovely little boating lake and cafe. Adults can get a rowing boat or pedalo for £4.50 for half an hour and there is a fishing area too (you need a license). There’s a whole world of activity to do after the boating including a 10 hole pitch and putt that overlooks the city. It’s 7 quid for a round including clubs.

Getting to Alley Pally is relatively easy but you’ll need a bus. The W3 goes from Finsbury Park or you can walk through from Muswell Hill.

For post park drinks try the Villiers Terrace or the Victoria Stakes in nearby Crouch End.

Hyde Park

The pricey Hyde Park boating lake offers more of a bumper car version of boating. It’s £10 per hour for adults and £25 for a family of four. There are often big queues too as tourists flock to the lake. However, once on the water there is a vast lake to pedalo or row around. Set yourself up a post row treat by heading to one of Oxford Street’s many food halls first. John Lewis is particularly good but you can also stock up on pre-cooked chicken legs at M & S and Selfridges on the way to the park.

If you make it to the park on Friday then be sure to wander down to the lates at the V & A. More info here

Regents Park

Regent’s Park never ceases to amaze us. Not only is there an open air theatre, a beautiful plantation and football pitches, but there is a boating lake too on the west side of the park. It’s £6.50 per hour for adults. Try the Honest Sausage for free range sausages and bacon.

For those of you afraid a rowing trip might end up in the water there’s other possibilities when it comes to boating in London. The amazing river boat along the Thames goes all the way from Hampton Court to Woolwhich stopping at an array of places including Richmond, Greenwich, Waterloo and Chelsea. Last time we tried we managed to get a bottle of sparkling wine and plastic cups on board, sat on the deck and enjoyed London’s scenery from the river – you can use your oyster card too! Find out more here. If you manage to take the river cruise out to Richmond then we suggest stopping by Richmond Bridge Boat House where you can hire boats to row on the Thames for £5 per hour and you can hire a boat for the whole day for £25. A real bargain. Find out about it here.

Other notable boat trips include the canal cruise from Camden to Little Venice

more Grey Eagle photos here




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