London’s waterways are an oasis of calm in such a hectic and dynamic city. It’s a shame that many London visitors miss out on this gem.
It’s even more surprising when you consider that so many tourists arrive from Heathrow into Paddington, just a short stroll from the leafy “Pool of Little Venice” (named by poet Robert Browning).
This spot marks the junction between the Regent’s Canal and the Paddington section of the Grand Union Canal. It’s like a self-contained little village near the Maida Vale residential district.
You’ll find lots of colourful narrowboats alongside the canal as well as delightful pubs and cafes. From here, you can walk towards Camden Lock, Camden Market, Regents Park and London Zoo.
In nice weather it is a lovely stroll!
You can also walk from here to another delightful “London village” in St. John’s Wood, home of the Beatles’ Abbey Road studios – outside which the Fab Four once shot a famous album cover.
You can also check out the Beatles Coffee Shop while you’re there.
And if you want to stay within easy reach of pretty Little Venice, your best bet could be a hotel in and around Paddington.
This will give you fast access into the sights of central London or Heathrow Airport, as well as the area’s own bars, restaurants and amenities.
Here are some top-rated hotels near Paddington and Little Venice:
- Royal Park Hotel. We’ve featured Royal Park Hotel on the blog before because it gets consistently good guest reviews. The staff are polite and professional, management is attentive and everything works as it should. It provides tasteful, elegant accommodation in a good location.
- Hilton Metropole Hotel. This landmark building is on a junction off busy and colourful Edgware Road, a few minutes from Paddington and a stone’s throw from Little Venice. It’s a large but professionally-managed hotel with competent staff, also mentioned in our review of London’s best Hiltons. The lobby is always bustling. The hotel has a sociable, cosmopolitan buzz which makes you feel you’re in London!
- Hotel Indigo Paddington. This hotel is modern, comfortable, quiet and spotlessly clean according to guest reviews. It offers free internet access to guests, complimentary water and a decent breakfast. Rooms can be a touch small but it offers reasonable value for the location. This hotel is especially highly-rated by business travelers on TripAdvisor.
- Colonnade Town House Hotel (Eton Collection). Closer than all the above to Little Venice, this boutique hotel offers comfy accommodation though again rooms can be a tad small. Some guests have complained about train noise, but being by the tube is also a benefit. The tranquil location provides an oasis after hectic days in central London.
Look out for further features on London’s canals coming your way in the near future. In the meantime, please check out the official British Waterways’ guide to Little Venice
Photo credits: Royal Park Hotel, Hilton Hotels, Hotel Indigo, Colonnade Town House Hotel.