Summer may be over but there’s still plenty of autumn sunshine to be had in London, and I’ve got the perfect activity for it!
My name may be Captain Charley but apparently I’m not actually very good at operating boats, as I found out last week. Regardless, I had so much fun sailing the canal through Little Venice all the way to Camden and back to Merchants Square near Paddington, where GoBoat is based. The concept is simple; grab your mates, bring your own food and drink (limits apply for the amount of alcohol allowed on board), don’t forget to put together a banging playlist and take to the London waters.
A GoBoat holds up to 8 people. This includes the driver, because get this, it’s you! That’s right, you get to take the boat out for a spin all by yourselves. You can nominate someone in your group to be Captain, or do like us and take it in turns. I stupidly sat in the captain’s seat first, so the pressure was on me to steer us out of the ‘port’ and onto the start of our journey.
It’s actually quite difficult to begin with as you need to pull and push the steering stick in the opposite way to where you want to go. So if you want to go right, you pull to the left. But that’s just for going forward. If you’re reversing then it’s right to go right, left to go left. It only takes a slight of hand to change direction, plus there’s a bit of a delay too. It’s all very confusing, so of course I ploughed us into the wall a couple of times before I handed over to someone much more experienced than me.
Prices start at £55 for 1 hour, all the way up to £200 for 6 hours. Just be aware that a Go Boat does not have any toilets on board and you’re not allowed to stop and get off any where other than Go Boat’s port where you start from, so make sure you go before you set sail, and maybe take it easy on the drinks if you’re using the boat for 6 hours, though you are free to come back to the port to use the near by restaurant loos as many times as you like.
It’s well worth the price tag, whether you split it between 8 people for a fun afternoon, or as a treat for a lavish date for a loved one. We went past a couple who had brought along a cute picnic basket complete with table cloth, plates and even glasses for their wine. Very fancy indeed.
* A big thank you to Love London Pop Ups for inviting me along, and also to Fentimans for providing us with some refreshments. I was invited to ride for free, but rest assured, all words and opinions are my own 🙂
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