Little Venice is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away between Paddington and Regent’s Park in the City of Westminster, it doesn’t feel like its slap bang in the centre of the UK’s busiest city. It has a real locals vibe, with lots of great places to eat and lovely things to see, especially when you consider how small of an area it actually is. It’s an excellent place to spend your day before heading back to the best 5 star hotels London has to offer.
So How Do I Get There?
The quickest and easiest way is, as usual, getting the tube. Warwick Avenue subway station is pretty much in the middle of Little Venice, making it the obvious choice for accessing the area.
However, if the sun is blazing or you simply can’t face getting on a busy tube train, then there are much more interesting ways to get there from your luxury hotel rooms in London. Little Venice is situated where the Regent’s canal meets the Grand Union canal, so heading for that juncture will get you exactly where you need to be! If you can’t manage the walk try hopping on a water taxi from Camden town, there are a few companies that operate along the canal, so sit back and let the captain do all the work!
If you’re heading to Little Venice via the bus then aim for the 18, 187, 27, 36, and 46 lines as they all stop within an easy walking distance to the Little Venice region, just ask your driver where to get off if you are unsure!
What Can I Do While I’m There?
There is a lot to squeeze in, as previously mentioned, it’s a small area but it packs a real punch. Aside from the great things to do, there are great things to eat too, so if you’re looking for great restaurants near the Arch for example, make sure you check out Little Venice! Here is a quick list of the best bits, offering a little insight into where the locals end up, and the area’s unmissable things before you stop to eat!
Take a Boat Ride on The Canal
What better way to get to know an area of London famous for its waterways, than by cruising those waterways with a local expert. Sure it’s no Italian Gondolier, but the little boats have plenty of their own character, often decked out with a unique and quirky decor. The captain will also give you the area’s history if you’re interested, so listen out for a unique locals insight; or ask for tips on where to head next.
Catch a Live Show Like You’ve Never Seen Before
One of the quirkiest things to see in Little Venice, and maybe anywhere in London, is The Puppet Theatre Barge. It’s exactly what it sounds like. An old shipping barge, turned into a mini-theatre, and home to master puppeteers. I know it sounds surreal, but it is an excellent way to spend your time, and a really unique experience that your friends will love hearing about!
Rembrandt Gardens is genuinely one of London’s underappreciated gems. Originally named Warwick Gardens the name was changed to honour one of the Netherlands’ greatest artists after the city of Amsterdam donated thousands, and thousands of tulips to celebrate their birthday. Since then the garden has become a gorgeously manicured and truly peaceful slice of heaven, all this plus its close proximity to Regent’s canal perhaps make it the best small park in London. Don’t believe me? Go check it out for yourself.
London’s Most Important Blue Plaque
This one is for the History buffs reading, although everyone who currently resides in this country owes this person a great debt. Alan Turing’s birthplace was actually in the northern part of Little Venice, just before you reach Maida Vale. Turing was a code breaker and the original computer scientist, arguably making the biggest, and most important contribution to the war effort – as well as developing early computers and actually helping to create the first automated computing machine. The way we live today was unquestionably changed by Turing, so head to his birthplace and feel the history for yourself at his Blue Plaque.
The Canal Cafe Theatre
Another place whose name adequately describes what they offer, and an absolute must visit. The eccentric Canal Cafe Theatre is an old barge given new life as a 60 person theatre, and it’s just as unique as it sounds. Offering comedy shows, cabaret and the political satire show NewsRevue, that holds the Guinness World Record for longest running live comedy. You can grab a drink at the bar and catch a show on the river, sounds pretty perfect right?
Take a Walk Along the Canals; The Camden Lock Walk
This one is pretty self explanatory, but it needs saying regardless. Stroll along the old tow tracks of the canal and take in the sights. It’s such a great way to relax, not only thanks to the peaceful sounds of the nearby water, but also because this is one of London’s most tree covered areas. The 2.5 mile track is a flat, easy walk and won’t take you longer than an hour- that is, if you don’t get distracted along the way. It’s easily done! This walk will take you to Camden Town, so save it for the end of the day perhaps, as Camden can be pretty lively in the evening and you’ll probably want to stay!
We’ve said it before and we will say it again, there is a lot to do in this lovely little neighbourhood. And on top of all this great stuff we have just been through, there are tonnes of great places to grab a bite to eat and a drink. If you’re staying nearby in hotels near Marble Arch London, then you could do a lot worse than the delicious food on offer in Little Venice, it would be well worth the walk. Make sure you add Little Venice to your list of places to visit in our great capital this summer.