Where To Go Boating In London

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 30 months ago
Where To Go Boating In London

There's a lot to be said for drifting on a lake aboard a giant plastic swan and London's parks and boating lakes are the perfect place for messing about on the water. We've rounded up London's rowing and pedalo options by area, but if you spot one that we've missed, let us know in the comments below.

Opening times and prices are accurate at time of writing, but it's worth checking with the individual companies before you go, especially if the weather's a bit iffy, as they sometimes close early on rainy days.

North

Hire a car pedalo at Alexandra Palace

ALEXANDRA PALACE
Ally Pally Boating Lake has rowing boats and pedalos available to hire by the hour or half hour. If you go for a pedalo, there's a choice of the classic swan, dragons, or a VW Beetle car.

When? Open all year, 10am-4pm October-March; 1oam-6pm April-September.
Prices: Rowing boats (half an hour): adult £4.95 | child £3.95 Pedalos (half an hour) adult £5.95 |  child £4.95
Nearby: The Lakeside Cafe is right next to the boating lake (open April to November), or see what else is going on in and around Alexandra Palace (including ice skating and mini golf) — although we reckon it's worth a trip for the view alone.

FINSBURY PARK
Finsbury Park Boats offer rowing boat hire on the lake, in a wildlife area of the park. Swan and duck feed is available to buy, so you can splash out on the feathered residents as you ride.

When? Everyday, Easter to October, 12pm-6pm.
Prices: £8 per boat for 30 minutes (maximum four people per boat) note: minimum £9 for card payments. Euros also accepted.
Nearby: Finsbury Park Cafe is a short walk away and is open all year round.

South

CRYSTAL PALACE PARK
Take to the water in a pedalo in the largest park in the borough of Bromley, in the shadow of the famous Victorian dinosaurs.

When? Weekends, school holidays and bank holidays from Easter-October, 10am-5pm.
Prices: Adult £4 | child £2 | family £10. No credit cards.
Nearby: A children's playground, a national sports centre, a maze and cafe.

DULWICH PARK
Both pedalos and row boats are for hire in Dulwich Park, with each boat holding up to five people.

When? Weekends, school holidays and bank holidays from Easter until October, 10am-5pm.
Prices: Adult £4 | child £2 | family £10. No credit cards.
Nearby: There's a cafe close to the boating lake in Dulwich Park. Horniman Museum is a 25-minute walk away.

GREENWICH PARK
There's a fleet of row boats and pedalos to hire, courtesy of Park Boats London (the same company responsible for Dulwich and Crytsal Palace, above) — each boat holds up to five people.

When? Weekends, school holidays and bank holidays from Easter-October, 10am-5pm.
Prices: Adult £4 | child £2 | family £10. No credit cards.
Nearby: Situated right in the centre of Greenwich, near The National Maritime Museum, Old Royal Naval College, Cutty Sark and more.

East

Victoria Park. Photo: Matt

VICTORIA PARK
Regal Boat Hire is responsible for the boating facilities in Victoria Park. The fleet of 40 boats includes row boats and pedalos.

When? Currently open Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm,  Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm. Open every day during the summer. Until 31 October.
Prices: £10 per boat for 30 minutes.
Nearby: The Pavilion Park Cafe is near the lake.

West

RICHMOND
There are plenty of options for taking to the Thames in Richmond, from row boats to hire, to cruises down to Hampton Court and beyond. See your choices here.

Central

Boating on The Serpentine in Hyde Park

HYDE PARK
The Serpentine in Hyde Park is probably London's most famous boating lake. The row and pedal boats hold up to six people each, while the lake is also home to the UK's first Solarshuttle, a boat holding up to 40 people which moves quietly across the lake, powered only by the sun.

When? Daily April-October, 1oam-sundown (Solarshuttle: weekends, school and public holidays March-end September, full time June-August, noon-sundown).
Prices: Adult £12 per hour/£10 per 30 minutes | child (under 15) £5 per hour/£4 per 30 minutes.
Nearby: Places to eat and drink include Serpentine Bar and Kitchen and Lido Cafe Bar. There are also toilets nearby.

REGENT'S PARK
Regent's Park has a large boating lake and a smaller one just for children. The large one offers both rowing boats and pedalos, while the children's lake has child-sized pedalos, perfect for wearing them out during the school holidays.

When? Daily, April-October, 10am-6pm (children's lake: weekends, bank holidays and school holidays).
Prices:  Adults £5.50-£9 | child £4 (20 minutes). £5 deposit for all boats.
Nearby: Regent's Park is also home to toilets, a handful of cafes, the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo. Also nearby is the Sherlock Holmes Museum and Madame Tussauds, and plenty of restaurants on Baker Street.

BATTERSEA PARK:
On the south side of Battersea Park, adjacent to the ladies pond, lies the boating lake, where row and pedal boats can be hired.

When? July-August, September weekends depending on weather.
Prices: Adults £5 half hour/£7 hour | child £3 half hour/£4 hour | family £13 half hour/£18 hour.
Nearby: Various cafes and toilets in the park, and Battersea Park Zoo.

Where have we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

See also:

Last Updated 08 May 2015

HHGeek

How precise are we being about rowing vs. arm power? http://www.moocanoes.com/

Elin Morgan

What about Hollow Ponds for East London? http://hollowponds.co.uk/

Stephenmid

You were right to put the Ally Pally Boating Lake up top! https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

Ben Kelly

If you're looking to rent a boat in London http://www.thamesleisure.co.uk...