This page is all about organising the charter of a boat for a group
boat trip to or from the London Canal Museum, as part of your visit. It is
great to not only find out about the rich canal history of London in the
museum, but also to get out on the canal on board a boat. Everyone loves a boat
trip! If you want a boat trip for a handful of people you are on the wrong
page. Go to our scheduled boat trips page. This
page is about groups of at least 10 people.
A Few Important Points
- Boats are operated by a variety of charities and commerical boat
companies. London Canal Museum does not operate any passenger boats.
- There are no regular scheduled boat trips to and from the museum.
You will need to charter a special boat for your group.
- On request we will help you find a boat and provisionally book it
on your behalf. You will need to sign the boat operator's booking form and pay
for the boat direct to the boat operator.
- Your boat can depart from or arrive at the museum, right by our
- Boat trips to and from the museum's mooring are only possible if
you are also visiting the museum.
- Boat journeys cannot be timed to the minute. Times are
Two Types of Boat
- Community boats are run by charities and are generally cheaper than
comercial boats. They carry 12 passengers, and this is a strict limit. If you
have more than 12 people in your group you will need to split the group into
two or hire two boats.
- Commercial boats are run by private businesses and carry larger
numbers. They generally charge by the hour to and from their base including
empty travel time. Commerical boats are generally more expensive but the best
option where a larger number of passengers wish to travel together.
Using a scheduled boat
If you do not have enough people in your group for a private boat
charter, you can book places on one of the regular passenger boats which run
between Camden and Little Venice. To get to Camden, from the museum,
- Book a guided towpath walk. Allow 90 minutes.
- Walk unaccompanied. Ask about a printed guide to the route. Allow
- Travel by local bus number 214. Allow 20 minutes
- For information about the regular boat services between Camden and
Little Venice please see our boat trips
A boat trip in conjunction with a museum visit is an ideal way to
really experience the atmosphere of the Regent's Canal and view the buildings
and sights of the canal from the water. There are two routes that you can
- West of the museum the canal goes through Camden Locks, past the
famous Camden Markets, and then skirts around Regent's Park to Paddington,
where the attractive canal junction is known as Little Venice.
- East of the museum the canal goes through a long tunnel almost
immediately. Eventually the canal reaches Limehouse, but this would be a really
long trip. A journey of roughly two hours will take you to Victoria Park. The
route east is interesting but more industrial and less pictoresque.
Choosing a Route
- A trip from the museum through Islington tunnel and back (55
- A trip to and from Camden, through two locks, and back (90
- A short trip to St.Pancras and back (20 minutes)
- A one-way trip to Paddington (about 2 hours 15 minutes)
- A one-way trip to Victoria Park and beyond (about 2 hours 30
minutes). There are a variety of places to end the trip near these stations:
Mile End (Central, District, Hammersmith and City libes), Haggerston (London
Overground), Hackney Wick (London Overground) (+ 1 hour)
Choosing How to Do It
|Number in Group
||You don't count as a group. Go to our
boat trips page
||Charter one community boat
||Charter one community boat and run two trips. Some visit the
museum whilst the others are afloat.
||Charter one community boat and run three trips, an hour apart.
Whilst some are afloat, the others are in the museum.
- Charter two community boats and run two trips, two boats
per trip, leaving an hour apart. Whilst half the group are afloat, half are in
- Alternatively, hire one commercial boat for the whole group
for either an out-and-back trip or a one-way trip to or from Camden or
|49 - 72
||Charter a commercial boat either for an out-and-back tunnel
trip, or a one-way trip to or from Camden or Paddington.
|73 - 98
||Charter a commercial boat. There is one that takes 80, another
takes 98 for shorter journeys such as Camden to/from the museum. Alternatively
split the group and charter more than one boat.
|99 or more
||You will definitely need two boats and we will need to plan the
boating and museum visit carefully. The party will need to be split into two
for the boat trips and it would be sensible to stagger the refreshment services
in the museum if tea/coffee is wanted.
These are just examples - you can plan your day to suit your
- A group of 50 arrive at the museum at 1030. They have an
introductory talk on arrival and then coffee at 1100. They look around until
1215 when they head off to a nearby restaurant for lunch, returning to the
museum at 1345 for a one-way boat cruise to Paddington, which ends close to the
station for easy transport home. (alternatively, they have a packed lunch on
the boat, leaving earlier)
- A group of 24 people arrives at the museum at 1330. After a short
introduction, 12 group members embark on a community narrowboat for a trip
through Islington Tunnel whilst the others enjoy the museum. At around 1445 the
first group to take a boat trip is back, and the second 12 group members go for
a boat ride, whislt the first group visit the museum. The visit is over at
- A group of 35 go to Paddington in the morning where a boat is
waiting. They board the boat, and are served morning coffee and later a buffet
lunch during a cruise to the museum, arriving early afternoon. Introductory
talk followed by museum visit. Staff give directions to the plentiful public
- Arrive at museum 1100. Guide gives you an introduction and is then
available to answer questions whilst group members look around informally. At
1300 go to a local pub or cafe for lunch, or group members choose their own
lunch arrangements individually. Museum staff offer directions to nearby
facilities. At 1400 assemble back at the museum for a guided towpath walk to
Camden. At 1530 arrive at Camden and board a boat for a trip to Little Venice.
The day ends around 1630. Group members travel home from Little Venice by bus,
train or Underground.
- A group of 48 people hires two community boats. They all arrive at
1100, have a short introduction to the museum, and then divide into two groups.
The organiser has given them a choice of "tunnel or locks" and knows who is in
which group. 24 people do a "locks" return trip to Camden on two boats, the
others explore the museum. When the boats get back, about 90 minutes later, the
two groups change places and the second group goes for a trip. This trip goes
through the tunnel and back, returning in about an hour. Packed lunches that
they have brought with them can be eaten on the boat or in the museum. The
museum provides tea/coffee at around 1220 to 1240.
- A group of 60 people on a tight budget visits the museum starting
at 1400. They have booked a community boat for a half-day. After an
introductory talk the boat starts taking members of the group for a short
cruise, 12 at a time, each trip lasting about 15-20 minutes. After 5 trips,
everyone has enjoyed a short cruise. Visit ends around 1600.
Ask your boat company about providing refreshments or food on board.
Generally this will be possible on the commercial boats.
|Click on small picture for larger picture
||My Fair Lady
||A fully enclosed, heated, all-year-round
hospitality boat with full kitchen facilities. Can be chartered to bring large
groups to the museum or can provide a restaurant cruise departing from or
arriving at the museum for a smaller number of people.
||A traditional narrowboat with open accommodation
perfect for summer trips, but with protection in the event of rain.
|Picture to be added||Freda||Islington||Hidden Depths||42||Built in 2016, this narrowboat is locally-based and offers sheltered or open accommodation according to the weather.|
|Picture to be added||Lapwing||Islington||Hidden Depths||12||A narrowboat for 12 passengers|
||One of the oldest working narrowboats on the canal
system, Jason is a traditional boat with open accommodation pefect for summer
trips, but with protection in the event of rain. Availability is very limited
during the summer season as this boat is operating a scheduled service.
||Camden Canals and
||A historic narrowboat with a small open deck at the
Community Canal Boat Trust
||A modern narrowboat with a small open deck at the
|IBC Boat||Islington||Islington Boat Club||12||A modern-style trip boat with good visibility from the inside|
||Pirate Viscount and another boat
||A pair of narrowboats with a small open decks at
the front. The Club's new boat will be accessible to disabled persons -
available from July 2011
||Lady Mildmay and Opportunity
||A pair of smaller narrowboats that have both
enclosed cabins and large open decks at the front, making them versatile in
unpredictable weather. Lady Mildmay (pictured) is wheelchair accessible.
Beauchamp Lodge Settlement
||A large electric barge designed as a floating
classroom. This boat tends to be slower than other boats so plenty of time has
to be allowed for trips on board. It is fully enclosed with heating.