04/09/2017

AN AFTERNOON WITH GOBOAT LONDON


A few Sunday's ago, my family and I travelled over to Paddington for an afternoon with GoBoat London, after having lunch at Sutton & Sons. It wasn't a great start to the day if you read that review, so we was hoping for a good afternoon on the canals. Pretty much an all round good egg of a trip!

GoBoat London is a fantastic concept that allows Londoners, locals and tourists to float along the canals of London and see some of the top spots too. Each boat is made from 80% recycled plastic and any wood used is sourced sustainably. The electric engines mean no noise and no pollution to the environment.


We had already had lunch, but you can take picnic food and drinks on board for you to really sit back and enjoy the ride. There's limitations on alcohol however and the person driving is not allowed to drink. 


The afternoon started with a 15 minute health and safety talk on the boat. One of the guys from GoBoat gave us instructions on what to do if the engine cut out or if weeds got stuck in the engine. They also showed us where life jackets were kept and showed us our route on the map - giving us tips on things like sharp bends and where the we would most likely experience traffic from other boats and barges. It also gave us a chance to ask any questions we had.


We gave the captain's seat to my sister's boyfriend, in fear that we would end up crashing the boat or turning it over, ha! The boat drives like a normal boat with an engine. Steering is navigated by using a handle, but works in the opposite way. Turning the handle left will make the boat steer right and vice versa. He did an amazing job! 


The base where you pick up and drop off the boats is based in Merchant Square; about a 10 minute walk from Paddington Station. In order to enjoy the experience to its fullest, it's recommended to book a 2 hour trip. This will allow you travel on water from Paddington all the way down to Camden Town and back again. However, three hours is recommended for weekend bookings when you're likely to come up against traffic. Our booking was quite late in the afternoon, so we was lucky and had minimal traffic.


Up to 8 people can be seated in one boat and you pay for the boat, not per person. So, even though the following prices may seem quite expensive, when divided out between each person, it works out to be quite cheap.  2017 prices are currently priced at:

1 hour = £55
2 hours = £85
3 hours = £115
4 hours = £145
5 hours = £175
6 hours = £200



Our boat was booked for a two hour trip at 5:30pm, so the sun was still shining and going strong. It was a really nice atmosphere as we passed other GoBoaters and barge owners. Everyone seemed to be very happy and supporting of this brand new concept to London's famous canals.


Our journey started from Merchant Square through to Little Venice. Passing through Brownings Pool (originally a holding area for boats), we arrived in Rembrant Gardens, which boasts some of the most beautiful planted tulips from Holland.


From there, we entered Regents Canal (which has been there since 1816!), followed closely with Bloomfield Road. This part of the canal has some of the most beautiful barges parked up. 


We then approached Maida Hill tunnel; a mighty 251m long and very dark tunnel. A boat was approaching us from inside of the tunnel, so we had to park up for a short while until it passed safely. It was incredibly eery and the most quiet part of London I have ever experienced. Water dripped from its ceilings and it did feel like I was in a real life horror film!


After passing through a much shorter (48km) second tunnel called Eyre's tunnel, we arrived at The Villas. This is a very pleasant part of the trip where you get to see nine breathtaking villas which are all inside of Regents Park. We did wonder who lives in them!


Passing through the back of Regents Park, we then passed what London calls the 'blow up bridge'. In 1874, a barge underneath the bridge was carrying a lot of gunpowder and it blew up! From there, we passed the gigantic birdhouse and the back of the African hunting dog's enclosure inside of London Zoo. 


We passed by a fantastic looking and floating Chinese restaurant in the waters at Cumberland Basin. We then reached one of my favourite parts of London, Camden Lock; before turning the boat around and heading back again. The journey from A to B took exactly an hour, so our two hour booking was perfect timing. However, if you have a longer booking, you can keep going right down to Kensal Green Cemetery.  

The map you are given makes it very easy to navigate yourself around the canals and have a successful trip from A to B and back again. 


We returned the boat two hours later and it was fairly easy to park up and vacate. On the way home, we had so many positive things to say about our GoBoat experience and cannot recommend it enough to people who enjoy kicking back and enjoying London for what it is. I would go as far to say that it's a MUST to experience for yourself.

GoBoat London can be booked online for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 6 hours. The first rides begin at 9am and the last catch of the day (pardon the pun) is 5.30pm everyday, 7 days a week.

Disclaimer: My family and I were invited along to review GoBoat London in return for an honest review on my blog. All words, opinions and photographs are my own. 
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29 comments

  1. What a fun thing to do for the afternoon and I love that there is a little table in the middle of the boat. You could take a wee picnic!

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  2. This is such a fun idea! Especially if you're in the area. I wish I lived near London so I could take my brother out for an afternoon like this!

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  3. Such stunning photos! It's such fun and the weather seemed perfect for it!

    Arden | HELLO ARDEN

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  4. What an amazing idea, and a great experience! I'd love to do something like this with my family x

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  5. Oh wow I've not heard of GoBoat before but what a lovely idea, I'd love to just drift along the rivers and enjoy the sights.

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  6. What a cool experience, I would be well up for this, next time I'm in London I'm doing this :) x

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  7. This looks incredible! And I had no idea you could even do this in London so thanks for sharing! I'm definitely going to send my friends this so we can organize a boat trip soon!

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  8. What a great concept, sounds like such a fun thing to do! I love how you can take your own food and drink on it too - you can really make a day of it! :)

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  9. this is such a brilliant idea! I'd love to do something like this! x

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  10. Oh wow this looks like so much fun! I would love to do this with my husband, it's my idea of a perfect date!

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  11. Glad to hear that you had a good time during the boat trip. Great that the boat is economical friendly as well.

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  12. Wow, such a great experience. I never tried this one and thanks you include the updated price. Will set this up with some of my friends. The tunnel looks creepy though.

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  13. This is so cool! I've been sailing through Cambridge before, and it was really fun :D

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  14. That's such a cool concept, not something I've ever thought about doing but dividing up the cost does make it pretty affordable x

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  15. This sounds amazing, I'd love to do this, especially as I've been wanting to visit Little Venice for so long now! x

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  16. This looks like a great way to see London from a different viewpoint. I'm really tempted to book one next time we visit!

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  17. This sounds like a really fun experience, may have to give it a go myself the next time I am in London

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  18. I love seeing the sights from the water and this looks like a great way to do it.

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  19. That sounds like a fun way to spend the afternoon and have tons of fun too. I'd like to go on a GoBoat in London sometime soon.

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  20. Oh I love the look of this, what a great thing you can do in London and I absolutely love the fact you can do this from Paddington to Camden. Gorgeous photos.

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  21. This looks fun to me. I would love to do this with my family. Good to know they accept booking online.

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  22. What a great activity! We'd love to try GoBoat and sounds like you had an adventure on the water!

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  23. What a beautiful photo and looks like you had an awesome day there, I love to go there and explore

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  24. We hired a GOBoat in Copenhagen and it was brilliant, I never knew London had them- what a great idea they are!!

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  25. Oh this seems awesome!! I love that you can take a picnic on if you want to! The price is a bit pricey but you're right if it was shared out between all passengers its worth it!! Love all the photos too you look beautiful!

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  26. This looks and sounds like fun, but I agree it's quite pricey. We'd need to get a group of us together to split the cost, or get taken there on a really nice date ;) x

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  27. Looks like a lovely way to spend the afternoon. I'm all for anything on, in or around water.

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  28. I lived in London for 6 years, but have never actually seen it from a boat. Need to do this one day :)

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  29. This looks awesome, i will have to try this some time

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