You might've noticed it's been a bit hot in London of late. Too hot, some might say. And when you're in the middle of a city like London, one of the only ways to keep your cool is taking to the water. We sent Becca Collier-Cook, influencer, traveller and adventurer, to review our canoeing experience, paddling her way along the romantic waterways of Little Venice.
Let me start by saying that canoeing isn't only for picturesque views, it's also a great way to relax and de-stress from the hectic pace of day-to-day life. While this sounded like an activity that I would thoroughly enjoy with little canoeing experience, it was safe to say that I felt quite apprehensive about what lay ahead.
When arriving at the starting point, we were met by Clem who kindly provided us with life jackets and a trusty dry bag to protect our gadgets. Choosing the hottest day of the year to carry out our experience meant my husband and I were already sweating from head to toe before the exercise had even begun!
Before we lost our nerve, we successfully boarded the canoe – which was a relief, having imagined immediately capsizing. With firm instructions from Clem to stick to the right side and stay clear of other boats, we set off on our big adventure to Little Venice. Clem also advised that we'd need to turn round at some point, otherwise we'd find ourselves in Birmingham!
After some initial panic, swearing and two (very small) collisions, we began to find our canoeing groove and relax.
With a light breeze, moorhens aplenty and the cutest barge names I've ever seen (like Barbara, Pickle, Little Buddy and Monet), we were more than happy with our new transportation method – not to mention it was literally the coolest place to be.
(image: Becca Collier-Cook)
With so many beautiful views, endorphin-releasing exercise and some much needed time away with nature, we became very content with our canoe for two. As I grew up by the coast, I've always enjoyed being close to water, so I spent much of my time admiring the small ripples of water around us.
As a fan of architecture, I also loved being able to immerse myself in the architecture of Little Venice and Maida Vale.
If you're looking for a scenic way to view London and explore off the beaten track, then this experience is for you.
(image: Becca Collier-Cook)
The experience worked as a fun day out, as we popped to riverside restaurant Kupp for a meal and cocktail afterwards; alternatively you could bring a delicious picnic or pop into the very lovely Summerhouse in Little Venice (or follow The Indytute's handy guide to Little Venice and Paddington).
If you have any fears about this experience, then my advice to you is just do it. If a clumsy, non-swimming country mouse from Kent can do this, then you certainly can. Anchors away!
You can follow along Becca's adventures and calamities by visiting her blog or via her Instagram.
FURTHER READING: You can take to the water to escape the heat, or you can also sweat it out with our curry club kit. We're told it's one of the best ways to cool down...