This post covers things to do in the charming Little Venice area of London.
We include how to get here, where to eat, and a self-guided tour so you can make the most of your time there.
We are a group of local London tour guides and we absolutely love Little Venice, and we encourage you to visit and also walk the Regent's Canal path.
And, in the video below, Tour Guide Sinead, with Free Tours by Foot, takes you on a virtual walk through London's Little Venice.
We also grabbed ideas from the roughly 125k members of our popular London Travel Tips Facebook group.
The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, expats, veteran visitors, and newbies to London.
You don't need to join in order to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.
Check out the group once you are finished reading this post. A link can be found at the end of the post.
WHAT AND WHERE IS LITTLE VENICE?
Little Venice is tucked away in the residential neighborhood of Maida Vale just north of Paddington Station and Paddington Basin.
Many believe the name was coined by the poet Robert Browning, who lived in the area.
Here the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet and form a small intersection of waterways, hence the name Little Venice.
The canal is filled with narrowboats and pubs line the leafy streets. It's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of London and spend a few hours in tranquility.
It was relatively unscathed during the bombings in World War Two, which means the area retains its original attractive and grand Georgian buildings.
From April to November, narrowboats ply Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Lock Market.
In the things to do section of this post, we recommend some boat companies.
For boat rides on the River Thames, be sure to check out our post on London boat tours.
How to Get Here
We recommend using this link for directions to Little Venice from anywhere in the London area.
- Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo line)
- Edgeware Road (Circle, District, and Hammersmith lines)
- Paddington Station
- 6, 16, 18, 46, 98, 187, 332, 414
- You can also reach Little Venice from Camden Town by walking along the Regents Canal.
TIP: We have more information on navigating the London Underground here.
TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO
This section lists the top 10 activities to do and sights to see in Little Venice.
1. Take a Canal Boat Ride
Boat trips along the canal are possible from April to November. This is very relaxing, as well as a unique activity.
For a few pounds, you can try the London Waterbus Company, which has regular services of longboats traveling up and down the canal.
Another company is Jason's Trip.
If you have a London Pass, a boat ride with this company is included for free.
For information on the London Pass and other tourist passes, see our post Which London Tourist Pass is Best?
2. Walk Along Regent's Canal
The walk is beautiful and will take you through Regent’s Park, as well as through London Zoo, giving you a glimpse into some of the animal habitats inside.
In addition to the beautiful foliage, the canal also features some interesting art as well as numerous houseboats.
Keep your eyes out for eclectic pieces, especially as you venture nearer to Camden.
3. Take a Tour of Little Venice
Every Saturday at 2 pm, you can catch a guided tour of Little Venice costing £10.
Our self-guided tour includes this walk along with sites you will see along the way.
As you can see on the map, if you veer away from the canal, you can pop by the iconic Abbey Road Crosswalk and walk where The Beatles did.
4. Catch a Theatre Show
Other things to do include catching a comedy, cabaret, or theatre show at The Canal Café Theatre.
It's one of several independent theatres in Little Venice that has performances regularly and is far cheaper than theatres in the West End.
There is the Puppet Theatre Barge with regularly scheduled puppet shows, which are perfect for children.
5. Rembrandt Gardens
Adjacent to Little Venice is the Rembrandt Gardens, formerly named Warwick Gardens.
The name of the ornamental garden was changed to celebrate the donation of 5,000 tulips and 500 hyacinths to mark the 700th birthday of the City of Amsterdam.
If you fancy a quick walk around, head back up to the sidewalk to have a look before continuing down along the towpath.
6. Find a Restaurant
There is no shortage of places to eat and drink here. The Bridge House Pub serves amazing meals and great pints and drinks to match.
There is also the Warwick Castle, a popular haunt for locals, that is tucked down a small side street. It's a great place to while away the hours.
Another canal-side novelty dining experience is Feng Shang Princess, a giant pagoda-style canal boat that comes complete with Chinese dragons and a bright red paint job.
If you're in need of a drink or snack on your way to Primrose Hill or Regent's Park, pop into Cafe La Ville, a small cafe that has beautiful views of the canal as it is located directly above the water.
7. Explore Regent's Park
If you're walking along the whole canal towards Camden, you'll see a massive park on your right.
Regent's Park is worth exploring if you have the time. There are a merry-go-round and other fun playground toys for children.
Circumnavigate the entirety of the park to end up back along the canal.
8. See Alan Turing's Birthplace
On the other side of Warwick Avenue station is the blue plaque that marks Alan Turing's birthplace on a building at 2 Warrington Cres, Little Venice.
He lived from 1912 - 1954 and was a mathematician, computer scientist, and codebreaker during World War II.
He is famous for pioneering computer science and helping the Allies decipher the Enigma machine.
It is estimated that he helped save 14 million lives with his work.
9. See the Canalway Cavalcade in May
If you're in London in early May, you should see this colorful and exciting waterway festival.
You can expect longboats, live music, trade booths, delicious foods, and a fair with rides for all ages.
You can also attend the floating classroom with lessons for young visitors, puppetry performances, and circus workshops!
Find out more from our list of things to do in London in May.
10. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
The easiest way to save money and see all the major attractions is with a London discount pass.
These passes work by bundling tickets to provide reduced or included admission prices.
Attractions Near Little Venice:
THINGS TO DO NEAR LITTLE VENICE
This section lists a few things to do a short distance from Little Venice.
Camden Lock Market
Finish your walk at Camden Market, which is a must-see destination for all visitors to London.
There are many stalls selling food, clothing, bric-a-brac, and interesting crafts. Many visitors and locals alike also enjoy the abundance of street food.
The area is also known for its music scene and cool pubs.
Climb Primrose Hill
On the opposite side of the canal is Primrose Hill, which offers some of the best views of London.
Read our post on things to see and do here.
Wander to the top for some photo ops, and then continue back down on the canal.
Though this is also a slight detour, Primrose Hill is much more easily accessible from the towpath than Regent's Park.
Abbey Road Crossing
If you veer off the canal path shortly before reaching Regent's Park, you can find Abbey Road Studios and the famous zebra crossing from the Beatles album cover.
It is still a publicly-used road, so you can visit at any time but we suggest avoiding the rush hours from 7:00 am - 9:00 am and 16:00 - 18:00 (4:00 pm - 6:00 pm) on weekdays.
Learn more about the crossing, the live cam, and what to expect in our full Abbey Road Crossing post.
TIP: If you want to see all the Beatles sights, you can take our self-guided tour of The Beatles' London.
ZSL London Zoo
For serious animal lovers, a stop at the zoo might be necessary.
It opened in London in 1828 and is the oldest scientific zoo in the world.
However, those less keen on leaving the canal will be happy to find that a few of the exhibits are located directly along the canal and can, therefore, be easily enjoyed from the path.
Find out more about the London Zoo and how to find discounted tickets here.