GoBoat Paddington: Seeing London from a new perspective
What is GoBoat?
GoBoat is a unique self drive, electric powered boat experience allowing guests the opportunity to captain their very own motor boat along the canals of London. GoBoat is ideal for groups of friends or families wanting to do something a bit different and fun. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drink (you’re even allowed a cheeky glass of bubbles!) to indulge in during the ride. The Paddington route takes you past London Zoo through Regent’s Park and into Camden Lock offering unique, behind the scenes views of London.
Where are they located?
You can currently experience GoBoat in the regenerated area of Merchant Square near London Paddington and London Kingston. The GoBoat concept was brought over to the UK from Copenhagen in 2017. There are now GoBoat’s across the globe in a range of river based city destinations including Stockholm, Malmo, Melbourne and Canberra.
Prices range from £59 for 1 hour at off peak times through to £139 for 3 hours during peak time. Don’t forget that this price may be shared between up to 8 people. We went for the 2 hour package at peak time for £109 which was just the right amount of time for our family.
No previous experience of sailing is required but the safety briefing is quite thorough. Guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of your time slot so that the route and canal etiquette can be explained in detail. A member of staff will then take the nominated Captain out for a short test drive to check that there are no complications. I found the whole steering in the opposite direction mind-boggling to begin with but it did get easier!
All passengers under 18 are required to wear life jackets which are fitted by a member of the GoBoat team.
There is a phone number clearly displayed on the side of the boat and we were encouraged to call with any concerns. We did get a load of pond weed stuck on our motor as we approached Camden but just as we called the help line we managed to free ourselves. It was reassuring to know help was easily available and just a call away.
About the route
From Merchant Square you’ll chug towards Little Venice and the start of Regent’s Canal. Dating back to 1816 the canal has been recovered and restored thanks to the Canal & River Trust after they were largely abandoned in the 50’s and 60’s.
The canal continues through the Maida Hill Tunnel, past the Lords cricket ground and onto Regent’s Park. The children loved spotting the animals as we sailed past London Zoo!
Finally you pass Primrose Hill before arriving at the buzzing Camden Lock where the boats turn around before returning along the same course back to Paddington.
Being left to your own devices on the water was a real joy. I was worried the children would be bored but they were all happy for the full two hours commenting on their surrounding and chatting to the ducks!
There is a real friendly, community feel on the canal. Everyone says ‘hello’ with pedestrians shouting questions about our boat from the bridal-way. A really uplifting experience.
It was great sailing through Camden on a busy Saturday afternoon. Perfect for people watching to the sweet sound of local buskers and cheery afternoon drinkers.
GoBoat is a brilliant way to spend time together either as a group of friends or as a family gathering. We found that all ages enjoyed the experience (our crew ranged from age 3 – 66!) Relaxing, fun, unique and a great way to see a different side of London…what’s not to love?
Disclosure: We were invited to review GoBoat in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.