So, although this distinctly elegant and rather dreamlike area may not float on water like Italy’s real city that’s Venice; nonetheless, Paddington’s Little Venice offers up an unquestionable charm about it. And it’s not just about standing still and taking in the vibe; from here, you can take canal boat trips and navigate the picturesque routes along Regents Canal by foot. And yet, you may not want to go anywhere else once you’ve arrived because it’s a haven for beautiful architecture, restaurants, traditional country pubs, boutiques and activities, entertainment and more for all the family…
Where is Little Venice?
Just minutes from Paddington Station and Warwick Avenue, Little Venice is a beautiful little honey pot location where the Regent’s Canal meets the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. It’s cut between Paddington, Maida Vale and Warrick Avenue. Lined with beautiful Georgian and Victorian townhouses, willow trees, and canal waterways. You’ll discover beautiful architecture, some of which was designed by John Nash who designed the beautiful Regents Park. Indeed, the name Little Venice is thought to have been coined by the poet Robert Browning and has now come to mean the whole area to the south of Maida Vale.
Where to enjoy dinner?
A favourite of many visitors is the Little Venice Waterside Café. Here you can sit on a boat (the eatery itself) or on the pavement next to it. You can pretend to be in Venice while dining in the many restaurants or gastropub surround in the area; either, say, the Scandinavian-inspired Waterway eatery on the bank of the canal or the highly rated dim sum to be enjoyed at Pearl Liang (you’ll come away believing they’re among the best London restaurants).
Strolling from Little Venice to Camden
Just a short walk away from both Camden Town and Portobello Road – two dramatically different districts that offer a unique shopping experience for foodies and fashion lovers alike – Little Venice is far from cut off from the rest of Central London, Indeed, offering in excess of 1,000 unique shops, stalls, bars and cafés, Camden Market’s fantastic for hunting alternative items and street food, while Portobello Market’s over-spilling with vintage trinkets and handmade wares. And it’s possible to walk to Camden Town from Little Venice or take a boat trip between the two.
Canal trip tours
Speaking of which then, there are a number of operators that offer guided boat- or walking-tours to, from and around Little Venice. Perhaps the most popular is Jason’s Canal Tri; Jason being the name of the canal boat itself, which navigates picturesque routes along Regents canal from Little Venice to Camden Lock, passing London Zoo and Regents Park in the surrounding areas. It comes complete with live commentary that lasts around 45 minutes. Single or return tickets are available, enabling you to stay, mingle and explore all the delights of Camden Market on a return trip to that destination from Little Venice before you catch the boat back. Just for you for your information, walking between the two areas along the canal’s tow path ought to take about half-an-hour.
Events to explore
Given its idyll-like atmos, Little Venice – as you may have guessed – is blessed with many a tourist-friendly event throughout the year; one of which is the unmissable, annual Canalway Cavalcade. The capital’s biggest, brightest and best waterway festival, it’s a canal boat gathering that’s organised by volunteers and has been held in the small area for the past 35 years (since 1983). Taking place on the weekend of the May Day Bank Holiday (the first weekend in May), it offers a vast array of activities and entertainment and is, effectively, just three-minutes’ walk away from Paddington mainline train station and within walking-distance too of accommodation like the Grand Royale London Hyde Park hotel.