Tour Little Venice and Regents Canal
This post can help you plan your visit to the charming neighborhood of Little Venice. We include directions, things to do there, where to eat, and a Self-Guided Tour so you can make the most of your time there.
- What is Little Venice
- How to Get Here
- Things to Do
- Self-Guided Tour
- Other Things to Do in London
- Free Tours by Foot
What is Little Venice
Little Venice is tucked away in the residential neighborhood of Maida Vale. Here the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet and form a small intersection of waterways, hence the name of Little Venice.
The canal is filled with narrow boats and pubs line the leafy streets. It was relatively unscathed during the bombings in World War Two, which means the area retains its original attractive and grand Georgian buildings.
It is a wonderful place to talk a walk, and if you like, use our Self-Guided Tour included in the post. From April to November, narrow boats ply Regents Canal from Little Venice to Camden Lock.
How to get to Little Venice
We recommend using this link for directions to Little Venice from anywhere in the London area.
By tube: Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo line), slightly farther away is Edgeware Road (Circle, District and Hammersmith lines).
By bus: 6, 16, 18, 46, 98, 187, 332, 414.
On foot: You can also reach Little Venice from Camden Town by walking along the Regents Canal.
Things to Do in Little Venice
Boat rides 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 Canal Boat Trips. 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?
You can also take a long walk along the canal starting in Little Venice and walk all the way to Camden Town. 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.
Our self-guided tour below 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
Other things to do include catching a show The Canal Café Theatre has performances regularly and is far cheaper than theatres in the West End. There is the Puppet Theatre Barge which is perfect for children.
There is no shortage of places to eat and drink here. The Bridge House Pub serves amazing meals and great drinks to match. There is also the Warwick Castle, a popular haunt for locals, tucked down a small side street. It’s a great place to while away the hours.
TIP: Annually in the month of May is the colorful festival, The Canalway Cavalcade, with music, food stalls, lots of longboats.
Self-Guided Walking Tour of Little Venice
The tour starts at the Warwick Avenue Station and finishes at Camden Market.
Note: Keep in mind that sometimes certain sections of the towpath along the canal are closed due to weather or construction. Continue to walk along the sidewalk above the canal until you find where the towpath opens up again, and then take the stairs down so you can continue your stroll along the water.
(A) Little Venice: Walk southeast along Warwick Avenue towards Little Venice. The canal intersects with Warwick Avenue and so you should see the canal running below the road on your left and right. Start by turning right and walking on the sidewalk until you come to the stairs leading down to the towpath. Walk down to the towpath and around this circular bit of Little Venice to see some of the most famous boats in the area. There are many businesses that operate out of canal boats such as the Floating Boater Cafe, Waterside Cafe, or the Puppet Theatre Barge!
(B) 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.
(C) The heart of Little Venice: The stretch of the canal located on the other side of Warwick Street is the most famous bit of Little Venice. As each boat is someone’s home, they vary immensely in terms of colour and style.
(D) Cafe LaVille: Continue east along the canal towards Regent’s Park. If you’re in need of a drink or snack, pop into this small cafe which has beautiful views of the canal as it is located directly above the water.
(D) Green walkway: The stretch of the canal after Cafe LaVille is also very idyllic. Several colourful boats are moored along the path, and the walkway itself is shrouded in greenery as many of the permanent boat residents have converted the area into a lengthy garden.
(E) Regent’s Park: As you progress onward, you will see large mansions on your right. Just beyond them is Regent’s Park — a massive park that 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. Keep in mind that a stroll around Regent’s Park will likely add an additional hour to your walk.
(F) Primrose Hill: On the opposite side of the canal is Primrose Hill, which offers some of the best views of London. 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
(G) ZSL London Zoo: Also located along the canal is the London Zoo. For serious animal lovers, a stop at the zoo might be necessary. 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.
(H) Feng Shang Princess: A novelty dining experience, Feng Shang Princess is a giant pagoda-style canal boat that comes complete with Chinese dragons and a bright red paint job. Reviews seem generally positive, though the uniqueness of the dining experience is possibly its greatest appeal.
(J) Camden 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. The area is also known for its music scene and cool pubs.