The English capital is famous for a number of things: the Tower of London, the London Eye, the underground and Buckingham Palace. Few would mention London in the same sentence as the words canals and trips. The situation is now changing as London is becoming an answer to Venice. There may be slightly less romance involved in the London trip than in the Venice Gondola scene, yet few have argued that the duck-eye view of London from the water is not worth seeing. Canals are in most English cities and the idea of canal trips is spreading now to Manchester, Leeds and other urban areas. This is unsurprising as this particular area of tourism has reached the L100 million mark for income for the first time since its launching. Pubs and restaurants along the water side have been reaping the rewards and cashing in while they can.
In London, the new method of transport, mostly centred on Regent Canal and Grand Union Canal, has been dubbed ‘canowledge’ as a testament to the fact that passengers can learn a huge amount whilst taking the boat trips. Indeed, taking one of the boats can hardly be seen as an effective way of getting from A to B, as the maximum speed is around 6 kilometres per hour. The trips are purely for enjoyment, for passengers to see the pubs, restaurants and derelict urban areas along the side of the canals from a completely different viewpoint than beforehand.
The first fleet of London ‘gondolas’ consisted of just 10 boats, operating seasonally from April to October. Thanks to the success of the scheme, the number of boats is almost certain to increase. Let’s not forget that the canal trips also provide passengers with possibly the most environmentally-friendly method of getting around London and other English cities.