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The Little Venice - Explore The Hidden Waterway of London

Updated on August 8, 2013

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.

The Magic of Venice
The Magic of Venice
Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussaud's London Souvenir Guide
Madame Tussaud's London Souvenir Guide

Your guide to this world-renowned wax museum.

 

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.

Madame Tussauds

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
London Central Mosque

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
ZSL London Zoo

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.

Cafe Rogue
Cafe Rogue

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.

Zonzo
Zonzo

Zonzo

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.

Westbourne House
Westbourne House

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.

Westbourne House

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.

Harlem
Harlem

Harlem

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.

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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Sadly, this is part of London that I didn't visit during my own week in London many years ago, and now so wish that I had! But there's always next time! Thanks for sharing such an interesting part of my favorite city in the world! ;D

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Pinto2011, Little Venice is one of the hidden attractions of London. The intricate canal system compare well with Venice's. I am glad that you loved my hub. Thx for your nice comments.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thx Radhika, Little Venice indeed is one gem of a place in London. It is more captivating than my hub! Hope you will visit this little piece of heaven in the future.

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi ameliam.michelle1! I always dream about roaming around free in Venice, but the description for your little Venice seems more enticing with varied other colors to it. Very nice hub.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Nice hub Ameliam, little Venice seems to be very beautiful with your photos and words. I would add this place to my dream list of vacations and thanks for touring us along this magic waterways.

      Up, beautiful and awesome. Sharing with my friends here.

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thanks Amrita

    • profile image

      amrita 

      5 years ago

      Ameliam, the best hub on little venice, i have been there, it is beautiful

    • ameliam.michelle1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ameliam Michelle 

      5 years ago from London, England

      Thank you bydojo.. Plan a trip soon to London. It is beautiful.

    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 

      5 years ago from Romania

      One of my dreams is to visit London. Hope I'll be able to do it this year or the next one. Will surely take into account your tips, it's good to see more than just the few attractions everyone is seeing.

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