When you think of London waterways, the first place that probably springs to mind is the Thames. The mighty waterway that snakes through our capital is one of London’s greatest tourist attractions, whether it’ll be for people looking for an energetic canoe ride or a more relaxed boat tour through the capital.
The Thames is so iconic that you could be forgiven for thinking it’s the only waterway in central London, but this is far from the truth. Lying only a short walk away from your room at the Park Grand Hotel Lancaster Gate is the stunningly beautiful Paddington Basin. This picturesque canal has seen a huge redevelopment in recent times and has become a destination of choice for millions of visitors to London every year; read on to find out what’s on offer and why you should visit the basin’s waterside.
One thing that you certainly won’t find on the Thames is a floating park. Bobbling in the middle of Paddington Basin, this London-first is a brilliant natural oasis amongst the dazzling buildings surrounding the area, with beds of flowers, open lawns and a wildlife island making it a delightful green getaway in the centre of the capital. The floating park is also equipped with super-fast Wi-Fi that will (almost) rival the speed that you’ll get in our hotels near Lancaster Gate, and there’s even a mooring dock with self-drive electric boats that you can take out to explore the basin by water. How cool is that?
The Prince Regent
If you’re looking for a true grand waterside tour around Paddington Waterside in traditional English style, then step aboard The Prince Regent. Living up to its noble namesake, this Edwardian-era canal boat will take you on a leisurely cruise through London’s waterway, and is a brilliant alternative to touring the capital by foot. You’ll also enjoy a full bar and extensive wine list once you’re aboard.
The scenic trip will take you from Regent’s Park to London Zoo and beyond, and allows you to spend three to four hours inside enjoying the opulent on-board entertainment which can include jazz bands, magicians, casinos and more.
Planning to visit in Winter? Although it may be an old-looking vessel, The Prince Regent’s luxurious oak and mahogany timbered saloons are kitted out with full central heating, meaning you won’t have to worry about a chilly voyage.
The Rolling Bridge
As far as bridges go, this one really is spectacular to marvel at. The Rolling Bridge in Paddington Basin was unveiled to the public in 2009 and continues to attract onlookers in the area almost 10 years later. When uncurled, the bridge resembles a normal, average-looking footpath, until it performs its party trick. Utilizing the strength of powerful hydraulic pistons, The Rolling Bridge curls up on itself in futuristic fashion to allow boats to pass through the canal, forming an amazing octagon shape that’s befitting of the award-winning designer who created it, Thomas Heatherwick.