Little Venice (Again)

On Saturday June 11th we left our overnight mooring in Limehouse Basin and made our way along the Regents Canal to Little Venice. Our two daughters were both in London in the morning with our grandchildren attending the preview of a children's television series, so it was an opportunity this time for Emily and our grandson Hugh to come on a trip along London's canals.

Limehouse basin permanent moorings

It was quiet first thing and the weather was dull as we left the basin and passed under the Commercial Road. As the day progressed it got a little brighter and became sunny. It was the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations and later in the day we did glimpse some of the flypast and heard (but didn't see) the Red Arrows display.

We passed the long line of moorers around Victoria Park where the National Bargee Travellers Association were having a protest meeting. Just past the park we caught up with a very gaily painted boat that was moving from the River Lee to a permanent mooring at the Packet Boat Marina near Cowley. The couple owning the boat had taken the opportunity to invite lots of friends aboard for a sociable cruise.  

A colourful travelling companion

Their was some congestion with tripboats around the City Road but eventually we made to the Islington Road tunnel and onto St Pancras where we met Emily and Hugh. We got to Camden Lock by mid afternoon and the sun had come out. That meant there were crowds lining the lock. This put pressure on Maggie who was steering. She got the boat into the lock fine but throwing me a line became a challenge. When going uphill without crowds of onlookers the line is thrown with one simple flick and I catch or retrieve it. This time the pressure got to her and we had four attempts before I finally pulled in the line. This raised a cheer from a section of the crowd. With all the smartphones around I suppose our progress is now recorded on social media somewhere. Maybe it's on You Tube already. 

Just after the lock we found the canoeists from the Pirate Castle out in force. We had to carefully navigate between them. 

Crowds watching our progress through Camden Lock

Undaunted we carried on and Hugh particularly liked cruising through London Zoo. We dropped off our passengers near Marylebone so they could catch a train home to Milton Keynes. One of the joys of this trip has been meeting up with family en route.

Maggie, Hugh and Emily

We didn't expect a bank-side mooring in Little Venice and true to expectations we couldn't find one. However, on the fourteen-day moorings we found a suitable boat to moor alongside. The owner thanked us for politely asking permission and helped us with mooring up. He then helped us even more by suggested a great Italian restaurant near by. It was a treasure.  

The restaurant was  Da Daniela. It doesn't have a licence but just along the road is a great Italian wine shop which can oblige with a suitable choice. It does great pizzas at a reasonable price and friendly staff. We thoroughly recommend it. Opposite our mooring the Waterway was doing a roaring trade. It was alive with lots of noisy chatter on a Saturday night. The plan was to head for Uxbridge on Sunday morning. 

Paddle boarding in Little Venice