From cruises along the Thames to speedboat rides and canoe hire, there are all sorts of ways to take to the water in London.
Raise the black flag, hoist the mainsail and anchors aweigh – here are some of the best waterborne
1) GoBoat, Paddington Basin
Want to captain your own ship? These hireable electric boats, which seat 8, let you pootle through Paddington, Little Venice and along to Camden or up the Grand Union Canal. Cute! Find out more about Goboats.
2) HotTug, Angel
The only boats where it’s good to be up to your neck in water. Cruise around the Islington stretch of Regents Canal in your very own floating hot tub, each equipped with an icy champagne cooler. Luxury! Find out more about hiring a hot tub boat from Hot Tug.
3) London Shell Co, Paddington Basin
Have a floating dinner on board the London Shell Co boat, which offers fine-dining over two hours, as you sail from Paddington to Camden and back. Find out more about canal boat dinner cruises.
4) Moo Canoes, Lea Valley
If you’d rather travel under your own steam, you can hire kayaks and canoes from Moo Canoes, and embark on your own expeditions around east London’s many waterways, including Regents Canal, Limehouse Cut, the River Lea and Lee Valley Navigation. Find out more about canoe hire in London.
5) Hidden Depths, Kings Cross
For party vibes, you and your friends can hire a narrowboat – with a captain at the wheel – to take you around the canals as you drink and, no doubt, attract admiring glances from land-lubbers. Perfect for big groups. Details here.
6) Thames Rockets, River Thames
Got a need for speed? These speedboats will send you screaming along the Thames, with journeys departing from both the London Eye and Tower Bridge. Their most unlikely offering pairs a speedboat journey with an axe-throwing experience at Whistle Punks, Vauxhall. Visit their website for more.
7) Predator Adventures, Royal Victoria Dock
These semi-submbersible ‘seabreachers’ aren’t afraid of plumbing new depths. Strap in and feel the thrill as your co-pilot sends you zooming around Royal India Docks, diving beneath the water, and then shooting up into the sky, Free Willy-style. Not for the faint of heart – more info on their site.
8) City Cruises, Thames
What if these… but actually practical transport? Thames Clippers run frequent passenger riverboat services along the river Thames, all the way from Putney in the west to Woolwich in the east. You can even touch in with your Oyster Card! There are also special ‘sightseeing’ journeys which offer audio commentary, circular routes, and destinations as far west as Hampton Court in the summer months. Tickets from just £5.60 if you’ve got a travelcard – explore your options on TfL’s River website.
9) White Water Rafting, Lee Valley
You must be having a raft, mate! In the far reaches of London (but just within the travelcard zones, so it still counts!) you can go white water rafting on the course created especially for the Olympics. See more about white water rafting in London.