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Although we have been to London many times before we still have so much to do and to discover, especially with Erin. She has been asking to go on a boat for quite some time now so we were all a bit excited when we had the opportunity to work with GoBoat London on a recent trip.
What is GoBoat London?
GoBoat is a self-drive boating experience in various different parts of London such as Paddington, Kingston and Canary Wharf. You don’t need any boating experience at all as you learn everything before you set off. Each location has set routes that you can take depending on how long you have booked the boat for and you can see these on their website beforehand.
Prices and booking
Prices start from £89 for 1 hour but you can also choose 2 and 3 hour trips for £129 and £169 respectively. Time slots start at 9am and start every 15 minutes so you have lots of options to choose from throughout the day. GoBoat London can be booked easily online and you are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your booked timeslot.
Learning to drive the boat
We arrived in plenty of time for our 9:30 session and once we’d filled in some passenger details we had to pick who was going to drive the boat. This was very quickly decided and John was then able to go for a quick demonstration and instructions for how to drive the boat. The lesson was fairly quick but before we were allowed to set off staff made sure John knew what he was doing with the controls.
After a little bit of a shaky start, due to John just getting used to the boat and the controls, we were off down Regent’s Canal and ready for an adventure. It was really quite exciting to be on a boat on our own and having the freedom of not being watched. However, there was staff dotted around the canal (we saw one on a boat and one on the side of the canal) just in case you did run into any trouble.
The boat was really spacious and suitable for up to 8 people. Each boat has a picnic bench in the middle and seats all around the outside. Our booking was for 9:30 so not really the right time for a picnic lunch but we did take a few treats with us to enjoy along the way. As there was only 3 of us on the boat we made sure Erin and I sat on opposite sides most of the time to even out the weight a bit. John was sat more to one side where Erin was too.
The trip down the canal was really lovely and we were very lucky with the weather. It was cloudy but we just managed to miss the rain. GoBoat is all weather so it’s best to check the forecast before getting there and dressing appropriately. We took rain coats and umbrellas just in case but we didn’t need to use them.
One of the highlights for us along the journey was passing London Zoo, somewhere we will be visiting in a couple of weeks. On the way passed the first time we saw the signs so we knew where abouts we were but on the way back we managed to see what I think was a warthog. I imagine this really depends on the day but we were so glad it was something that we managed to see.
We had a 2 hour trip with GoBoat and this was plenty of time to reach London Zoo and get back in time to give the boat back. We weren’t rushed although you aren’t allowed to stop the boats, you do have to keep going so as to not get in the way of anyone else. This was really a highlight of our time in London and something we would all like to do again at another location.