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Top 5: Best Ways To Enjoy London’s Waterways

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Liquid gold we call it. Fancy exploring the city from a different perspective? Cruise along the waterways of London in our top 5 favourite ways.

This summer is gearing up to be rather a nice one and when temperatures go really high, there is nothing quite like being by the water. A walk along the brown Thames is possibly not the most inviting, but London's waterways offer plenty of chilled out and/or adventurous ways to explore the city.

Kayak Tours

For the sporty ones among you, exploring London’s canals by kayak will make you see the city from a whole new perspective. Moo Canoes are located in Hackney, Limehouse and Poplar and rent tandem kayaks for individual adventures as well as guided tours. You can pick a casual 2 hours trip along Regent’s Canal, a mini taster session around the Olympic park, a 4 hour paddle picnic in Victoria Park, or go all out and do a full day in the wild nature reserve around the River Lea. The best thing is after paddling past all those cute canal cafes, you will certainly have earned your lunch. Commendable folks may book one of the monthly canal litter picking tours and help keep the waterways clean.

Moo Canoes are located at Limehouse. Kayak hire is £26 for the first hour + £10 per hour after that.

Canoe hire is £36 for the first hour + £10 per hour after.

Boating in the parks

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Slightly less sporty but all the more romantic, you can get a pedalo boat or rent a good old-fashioned rowboat in many of London’s parks, including Regent’s Park, Victoria Park, Finsbury Park, Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park and the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Now is a great time to take to the water to get a glimpse of all the water birds and their chicks. Or just take a straw boater and a picnic and pretend you are in a Victorian novel.

Boating prices vary from about £10 upwards per hour.

London's Gin Cruise

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Combining two winning elements, cruising and drinking, London’s renowned Gin cruise Gin on the River is back on its maiden voyage, now with an option of a Rum cruise too! Passengers will enjoy a tranquil three-hour cruise around the Olympic Park and East London canal network, while sampling some of the most exquisite gins from around the world. Gin lovers will learn about the most en-vogue drink of the moment, and the story and tasting notes behind each of the gins on board. After sampling the gins, passengers will also be able to enjoy two cocktails each, and keep the Gin on the River custom glasses afterwards as a souvenir. With only 24 seats on board, tickets are limited but don’t worry, there’s plenty of upcoming date for you to nab. Sails will be set at 6.30 pm and the cruise will take off from the Pontoon on the canal, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Tickets for both the Gin and Rum cruise are from £60.00 and can be booked here.

The Sunborn Yacht Hotel

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Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1AA

If you are looking for something seriously fancy, The Sunborn London super yacht hotel is literally a super yacht you can sleep in in the middle of the city. Whilst staying in one of the suites may be a little out of the price range for an every day city stroll, the yacht hosts wonderful events, brunches and a glorious sundown bar champagne deck. Here you can sip specially created champagne cocktails alongside bespoke canapés in an elegant outdoor setting on the top deck overlooking London’s scenic city skyline. 

Moored in the Royal Victoria Docks, the sleek yacht offers breath-taking views across the London cityscape, with sophisticated interiors drawing upon classic sailing glamour. The prohibition-era inspired deck will transport guests to the French Riviera, while remaining in the heart of London.

Bookings for the restaurant can be made here, and bookings for the bar can be made here.

Thames RIB Speedboat Experience

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Victoria Embankment, London, WC2N 6PA

For real adrenaline junkies Thames RIB Experience are offering a thrilling high powered speedboat ride down the Thames. Tours last between 20 minutes and an hour and there are various routes to choose from. If you’ve ever wanted to be Daniel Craig - and if you have the cash - you can book the Ultimate MI6 Spy Experience and power your way along the River Thames while a trained guide will tell you fascinating anecdotes about the life and times of author Ian Fleming and his most famous creation of all - James Bond. Hold on tight as the skipper opens up the engines and you can pretend to be a top secret agent as the boat speeds off down towards the O2 playing the Bond theme. For Queen and country!

Thames RIB Experience start from £29.50. The Ultimate MI6 Spy Experience is a charter booking for £545.