The Little Venice - Explore The Hidden Waterway of London
Little Venice Guide
When we think of London, we think about the high-rise buildings, the River Thames, the innumerable tourist attractions and so on. However, if I say that there exists a canal system in London, though not as diverse and sprawling as Venice’s but a miniature version, many of you will have a hard time believing it.
After all, your tour itinerary to London last time was so packed that you just did not get enough time to explore the unvisited and rare facets of this mega city. All you would have done would have been going to your London hotel, resting there and then venturing out hastily to complete your tour itinerary. And, the same routine would have been followed on every day of your London trip.
Yes, it is true that London has a hidden canal system aptly named The Little Venice. Just north of Paddington, this picturesque pool of water lies at the confluence point of Grand Union and Regent’s Canal. Historically, the name Little Venice was coined for the meeting point of Grand Union and Regent’s Canal (in fact, poet Robert Browning gave this name, as it resembled Venice in ambience). Now, however, the name Little Venice refers to the whole area at the south of Maida Vale.
The Magic of Venice Relived
While you are at the Little Venice in London, you will not miss Venice much. The interspersing and intricate network of waterways is normally dotted with narrow boat cruises going to and fro between Little Venice and Camden Lock. You can hitch a ride in these cruises or you can go for canal boats for more genuine experience.
While going downstream, you will witness the charming regency streets of Maida Vale. And, if you follow this peaceful corridor upstream to the west, prepare to plunge into the tranquillity of the waterways. During your time at the canal, you will feel as if you have entered a totally new world of greenery and tranquillity.
However, if you are not interested in going for a boat tour, you always have the option of a guided walk. You can follow the canal route towards northeast. At the end of this 2.5 miles long stretch, you will find yourself at the Camden, a bustling town.
More Sightseeing Waiting for You
Couldn’t have enough with Little Venice tour? Then head towards the alternative attractions that surround this divine place. From historic museums to art galleries, Little Venice has some very remarkable tourist attractions.
Location: Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1
Approx. distance from the Little Venice: 19 minute walk
Fulfil your life-long dream of getting up and close with your favourite celebrity at this world-renowned museum. Housing wax sculptures of celebrities from all walks of life, Madame Tussauds is one of the most visited attractions in London. It is the only place in the world, where you can strike a goal with Beckham, sing with Beyoncé, dance with Michael Jackson and go on a ball with Marilyn Monroe.
In recent times, the addition of Stardome4D has added to the charm of the museum. It is a dazzling 360° show of the Wonderful World of Stars. But beware, at peak hours the waiting period at the Stardome 4D can go beyond two hours. So, booking on line would be a better option, if you want to visit the Stardome.
To skip the crowd, you can book online at www.madametussuads.com/london
London Central Mosque
Location: 146 Park Road, Marylebone, London NW8 7RG
Approx. distance from the little Venice: 10 minute walk
A colossal building that reflects Islamic faith and architecture, London Central Mosque is a vast Islamic mosque in the Regent’s Park. Entering this mosque, you will instantly find yourself immersed in a meditative wisdom. The simple architecture and cavernous space are quite beautiful. Regularly visited by hordes of worshippers, this holy place welcomes visitors too.
However, keep note of the fact that shoes are not allowed in this place.
ZSL London Zoo
Location: Regent’s Park Outer Circle, Primrose Hill, London NW1
Approx. distance from the little Venice: 20 minute walk
It is one of the biggest zoos of the world with over 12,000 animals. This world famous zoo houses some very rare creatures. There are different sections in this zoo namely Gorilla Kingdom, the Clore Rainforest Outlook, Butterfly Paradise, and so on.
Zoos are perhaps a bit out-dated but still ZSL London Zoo is the best bet if you are with your kids. There are special facilities for kids in this zoo. Tree Top and Root Zones take kids to an up-close journey of the zoo with close encounters with red panda and other rare animals.
Time for a Food Break
Visiting Little Venice in London and then going for nearby attractions can result in exhaustion and empty stomachs too! So, it would be quite apt that you have the knowledge of restaurants near Little Venice where you can douse the fire in your stomach after your excursion.
Café Rogue-Maida Vale
30 Clifton Road, Maida Vale, London W9 1ST
5 minute walk from the Little Venice
It is your perfect partner for the French dining with the heavenly combination of exquisite wines. The menu at Cafe Rogue covers a range of French classic dishes. From croques to baguettes and more substantive meals like steak frites and bouef bourguignon, you will have your stomachs filled to the brim once you enter this restaurant. Wines too follow the French range.
As far as price range is concerned, most of the main menu dishes are priced around £10. With an economical price tag and a vibrant atmosphere, you are going to love this place.
342 Edgware Road, Marylebone, W2
6 minute walk from the Little Venice
Italian magic will rule your taste buds here. Food that is authentic Italian, price that is quite easy on pockets and ambience that is very soothing, all this and you have a “must-go” restaurant in the form of Zonzo. The signature dishes of this restaurant include Napoleonic pizzas, the tagliatelle and the Zonzo-styled lasagne. Matching the vibrant food would be magical Italian wines.
Rock the World
You had a great day out in this beautiful canal country area. But, what about night? Do not worry; there are plenty of nightclubs at this location, where you can dance the night away.
65 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, London, W2 4UJ
This pub-cum-bar is one of the most popular hangout places in this area. Catering an imaginative array of cocktails (both in drinks and music played), Westbourne House is extremely popular for serving innovative drinks to its customers. Drinks like the Earl Grey Fizz, Kangaroo cocktails are not only unique in name but also unique in taste. Just 15-minute walk away from the Little Venice, this bar is the place to be.
78 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, London W2 5RT
This place boasts a first-rate bar restaurant and a happening club. At the first look, Harlem may look quite expensive; however, the rates here will surprise you. Even though celebrities frequent this place, yet the rates here have an earthy touch to them. In fact, the low rates of this club have become its biggest USPs.
In addition to low rates, one another USP is the music that is played here. The freshest of songs, the best of compositions are in the play here. So, hanging out at this night club will not be a bad option.
Little Venice is truly a gem in the heart of the London city. Once you are in this oasis of calmness, I am sure that you will hardly miss the real Venice. Explore this beautiful country place in your next visit to London and get lost in its dazzling charm.
More by this Author
Planning a solo female travel to London, but searching for tips! Here are some ideas which will help you in achieving this.
Proper planning can go a long way in having a memorable trip to London. This one week guide will help you in prioritising your choices and utilise your time in the most judicious manner.
If you want to choose between London or New York for your next holiday, what would it be? Read this guide to make a better comparison.