Get yourself down to Browning's Pool in Little Venice London (closest station Warwick Avenue) where you will find a gorgeous little canal basin that is the start (or end because you can do the trip from Camden too) of a canal boat trip along Regent's Canal to Camden Lock via The ZSL London Zoo.
You can actually get off at the Zoo which is a perfect way to skip the queues at the main entrance. From Little Venice to London Zoo including admission to the zoo it's roughly £26 for adults, £19 for children and £24 for seniors. From Camden Lock to London Zoo including admission is £24 for adults, £17.50 for children and £22 for seniors - these are one way tickets but you can also exit the zoo and get the canal boat back to either destination also.
There are two companies organising the trip, Jason's canal boat trips and The London Warerbus Company. We went with the latter but I've heard good things about both. A one way trip is roughly £8.20 for adults and £6.70 for children/seniors, if you want to get off at the final destination, look around and then jump back on a later boat to return it's £11.50 for adults and £9.40 for children/seniors.
Grab a bite first from 'The Waterside Cafe' a docked canal boat also in Browning's Pool serving breakfast, lunch, snacks and hot and cold drinks.
At peak season the queue for either tour can get busy so I would recommend arriving 20 minutes before your boat leaves, for times please visit
The trip begins by taking you along the narrow canal ways of Little Venice showing off the white stucco fronted villas that line the streets as well as the regal red brick mansion blocks - I've been lucky enough to view many properties in the Little Venice area and I have to say one of my favourites was a large lateral 3 bed in one of the mansion blocks with a long balcony overlooking the canal - about £1000 per week!
Next you head under the 272 yard long Maida Hill Tunnel which begins at Cafe La Ville on Edgware Road (we stopped for lunch here so more on that later!)
You then head along the canal passed many docked residential canal boats, some looking very like the homes of Rosie and Jim and some being luxury wider versions with little gardens, double glazed large windows and a modern homely feel.
The canal then meanders through Regent's Park which is one of the most beautiful stretches of waterway in the UK, overlooked by several very large villas situated in the park itself and setting you back anywhere between £7-35+ million!
After about 35 minutes you reach London Zoo, with some opportunities to sneak a look into a couple of enclosures including the antelope terraces and aviary, as you drift on by.
Just before arriving into Camden there is a sharp left turn at Cumberland Basin, home to the floating Chinese restaurant Feng Shang Princess. http://www.fengshang.co.uk/
Elegant town houses which are now mainly flats border the canal as it enters Camden, many with their own dock and little boat tied up outside. Closer to Camden lock are the newly built blocks of flats with glass balconies overlooking the canal. An average 2 bed is about £550 per week.
The boat then docks at Camden where you can get off and have a look around. The market, which is set in converted stables, is fabulous with stalls selling everything from food to clothes to jewellery and art. Perfect for trinket shopping as everything is very unique, rustic and alternative.
We then took the boat back to Little Venice, the one way trip takes about 50 minutes and return about 110.
When we arrived back at Little Venice we walked from Browning's Pool along the canal towards Edgware Road to Cafe La Ville. A great cafe with a gorgeous outside terrace overlooking the canal and mouth of the Maida Hill Tunnel. Serving everything from breakfast to dinner! I must recommend the prawns and chicken escalope with spaghetti! Very relaxing for a spot of lunch accompanied by a glass of wine or to sit out on the terrace on a warm summer's evening to watch the action of the waterway and enjoy some fantastic food.
Enjoy the sun! Let's hope it lasts!!