London Hire Base
The London hire base is an ideal place from which to explore London and its attractions by canal, at an easy pace. It combines the best of the sights along with a more relaxed lifestyle experienced on a narrowboat. The Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm will take you through the heart of London, past most of the attractions of the big city and many hidden gems conveniently accessed via the waterways including the River Thames.
Suggested Routes From London: (Friday and Monday starts only)
44 Miles, 25 Locks, 4 Day or 1 Week Cruise, 4 hours per day (ROUTE A)
The London Ring is followed clockwise into the heart of London. It goes through Little Venice to the Paddington Basin which enables you to visit Portobello Road Market, London Zoo, Regent’s Park and Lord’s Cricket Ground. You can then follow the ring onto the Limehouse Basin which offers great restaurants and pubs as well as the Docklands museum. From there you will go onto the River Thames and head upstream. For this you will require a valid VHF radio licence (full details can be found on the London Base Information ) and tide tables to tell you when the Thames lock will be open. Once travelling up the Thames, you have the opportunity to take in the famous bridges, the Tower of London, the Millenium Wheel, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Further upstream, you will reach Brentford. Within walking distance of Brentford there is the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Kew Bridge Steam museum which are well worth a visit. From Brentford you will enter the Grand Union Canal, up the Hanwell flight and return to base.
42 Miles, 63 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 8 hours per day (ROUTE B)
Travel anti-clockwise from the hire base and join the Grand Union Canal main line at Bull’s Bridge. This picturesque route takes your narrowboat on via Uxbridge, a bustling outer suburb of London, following the course of the River Colne and on through to Harefield. From there you travel through the Chilterns where the you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the scenery aboard our luxury narrow boat. Continue to follow the route over the summit until you reach Leighton Buzzard. Leighton Buzzard is an historic market town which is located in the south west corner of Bedfordshire. It has some great waterside pubs and plenty of shops from where you can stock up on provisions.
50 Miles, 32 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 8.5 hours per day (ROUTE C)
Travel clockwise from base to Little Venice and Camden Town and on to the Hertford Union Canal. From there it’s a short distance to the River Lee Navigation. This surprisingly open waterway runs past well known parts of East London such as Bow, Hackney Marsh and Tottenham and on through the whole length of the beautiful Lee Valley Park. At Waltham Abbey you can visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills. At Rye Park you can turn East if you have time and travel up the River Stort Navigation towards Bishop Stortford or you can choose to continue towards Hertford. Hertford is a country town, despite being less than 20 miles from London. Perhaps you might like to explore the markets which take place in the town twice a week, or soak up the historical atmosphere. You will find some great places to eat and explore along the way.
133 Miles, 33 Locks, 1 Week Cruise, 12.5 hours per day (ROUTE D)
VHF radio is not required for this route. Travel anti-clockwise from base and join the Grand Union Canal main line at Bull’s Bridge and then on to Brentford where you join the River Thames. At Brentford you are within walking distance of Kew Gardens which are always well worth a visit for the unusual flora. There is really so much to be said about this superb and historical stretch of the Thames. Continue at a steady pace past Richmond and on towards Hampton Court, a stately home dating back to the times of Henry VIII. From there, continue up the river at a gentle pace towards Windsor Castle, one of the current Queen’s residences and open to the public. The route takes you on through Henley, where the Regatta takes place during July, to Reading, where the Thames and the River Kennet meet. Reading is a large town with its own abbey, theatres and museums.
|London||Fri 2.30pm to||Mon 2.30pm to|
|Mon 9.30am||Fri 9.30am|