9 reviews of Little Venice in English
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I've been down here a few times, twice for the annual cavalcade of canal boats where beautifully decorated barges moor up and show off their brasswork.
On those occasions with large crowds mingling along the banks under the bunting and browsing the nick-nacks on offer in the various stalls the canal is a buzzing place, not quite what it was like as a working tributary I suspect but still very different to on other occasions when it is peaceful and serene.
Lots of nice pubs around here as well
From here you can walk up past the back of London Zoo to Camden Town and that is very pleasant.
Technically, Little Venice is the point where the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal meets the Regents Canal - the name was coined by the playwright Robert Browning. However, in most people’s minds it covers the whole area south of Warwick Avenue and its restaurants, pubs and canals.
The Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal (or Grand Junction Canal as it was then known) was opened in 10th July 1801. The Regent’s Canal, built to link it with Limehouse, was opened in 1816 as far as Camden and throughout in 1820.
It remained a busy canal basin, with commercial traffic holding up despite the coming of the railways, until the 1950s when competition from road traffic finally began to cause it to decline. By this stage, however, the use of canals for leisure was firmly established, and the basin has remained busy ever since, both for recreation and for residential use - there are a number of permanent house boats in the area, as well as boat trips along the Regent’s Canal stretch to London Zoo.
As other reviewers have said, it provides a wonderful oasis from which to escape the bustle of London, and the recent completion of the commercial development around the Paddington arm has made it more popular than ever, especially with office workers at lunchtimes.
The Waterway is a gastropub in Little Venice, with good food, good booze (obviously), but best of all must be its position directly on the Grand Union Canal. In winter it’s cosy with a gas fire and flat screen TV for those ever important rugby matches, but rowdy it’s not. Most of the time the sound is turned down, allowing some peace for diners who’d rather eat without the grunts of a scrum echoing around them. For rugby fans like me it comes across as slightly spoilsportish but hey, you can’t have it all.
The Waterways really comes into its own in the summer, however, because this pub has a terrace on the tow-path with lots of seating and a crackling barbecue. However, if it’s a sunny day and you don’t like crowds, The Waterways may not be for you because this place heaves in fine weather; it’s standing room only.
In summer I recommend the barbecued squid - spicy and divine. In winter they do warming classics like confit de canard or tagine of lamb and for a light bite there’s usually a selection of filled focaccias.
If you live in the area, you probably know the Waterway already. If you don’t, it’s a great place to meet up with friends for a leisurely Sunday lunch, but do book ahead. 4 minute walk from Warwick Avenue tube.
Get a bike, get to Little Venice and the day will fly by in a mist of flowers, barges, cute little restaurants, falling leaves and sunshine. This all depends on the time of year, and granted I’ve only been the once (Mid-Sept), but still, it’s a beautiful day out and provides a great alternative to the hustle, bustle, huffing and puffing of central London…
As part of a day out in London for a group of people, I hired a barge (with a bar of course!) for the afternoon and we spent it going up and down the Grand Union Canal. It’s such a pretty place in parts and goes through Regents Park ending in Camden Lock at one end.
Little Venice itself is a very pretty place full of decorated little barges. The walk along the canal would be just as nice too and there are some very pleasant watering holes and eateries along the way.
Little Venice, as other reviews will tell you, is made up of loads of little Canal boats all bunched together in Maida Vale. One of my favourite things to do in London is walk this route starting from Little v. and continuing all the way along the canal, through Regents Park Zoo, on to Camden and finally ending up in Angel. A really interesting alternative to seeing London.
Take a walk along the Grand Union Canal towards Little Venice. The waterways are lined with beautifully decorated barges and coupled with great bars and restaurants the area has a real bohemian vibe about it. Its a great place to start a day out too, their are canal cruises or Camden lock and Regents Park can be found further along the canal routes. I highly reccomend this in the spring summer when many of the barges have flower baskets in bloom.
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