Pushing the Boat out – have a look at some of the quirky things people are doing around our Capital with old boats…

|InLocationsLondon Life

Whether you’re on the hunt for a river-based bar, restaurant, museum, hotel or even a photo shoot and filming location, it might surprise you to learn just how versatile old boats can be. For all of you that get sea-sick, we advise not continuing with this read…

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best ships, cabins and decks located around London that will hopefully float your boat! We apologise in advance for the amount of boat-related puns featured throughout this blog post. (We’re not sorry at all really..!)

Bouy oh bouy, where do we start? How about houseboats available to rent for the night? With over 15 subterranean rivers running through London, there’s no shortage of water to moor up a floating home. Thanks to AirBnB and other rental sites, there’s a huge selection of houseboats available to stay in with just a few clicks of a button. With no leaks or any damp in sight, London has some exceptionally luxurious houseboats for you to drop anchor on. Our personal favourites are The Harpy Houseboat, located on the South Bank of The Thames and the gorgeous Armaris in leafy Primrose Hill.

Located next to New Concordia Wharf and steeped in history, The Harpy Houseboat has an unrivalled view of Tower Bridge and The City beyond and there’s a 100% guarantee that it’ll look fin-tastic on your Instagram feed too. What more could you possibly want?

River views and the master bedroom at The Harpy Houseboat

Primrose Hill’s Armaris is extremely slick, we can’t get enough of this boat’s cosy and stylish interior. It also features a furnished rooftop where guests can enjoy this enchanting corner of London including views on to London Zoo, so you might even spot the odd exotic animal too. Living in a regular house seems a bit boring now, doesn’t it? 

Interior and exterior of the beautiful houseboat Armaris, moored in Primrose Hill

If you’re looking for somewhere unusual to go for a tipple, there’s only one boat-bar you want to be seen at. Despite being over 114 years old, Barge East feels far from outdated and uncool. Located in the trendy Hackney Wick, expect plenty of magic and mouth-watering food as soon as you step on board, with just the right amount of hipster. 

Barge East, the trendy canal bar in Hackney Wick

Got a photoshoot or filming project coming up and need a unique location? Have you considered the big red ship hanging out by The Thames at the end of the City Airport runway? Many iconic brands have chosen Lightship 93 to be the location to host their shoot, which has resulted in some pretty incredible images. At over 41 meters long and with 300 square meters of internal surface to explore, there’s no doubt you’ll have plenty of space to nail the shots you want. Check out these tearsheets from fashion brand, High Everyday Couture shot for their A/W19 campaign recently at Lightship 93. There’s even a video to accompany them which gives you a real feel for the shoot location. 

High Everyday Couture A/W 19 campaign shot at photo shoot location Lightship 93 which is managed by 1st Option

Are you ‘eeling a little peckish? Then we have the perfect plaice for you. Check out the Feng Shang Princess, in Cumberland Basin on Regent’s Canal. It’s a hard one to miss. Why is that we hear you ask? Well probably because this floating restaurant resembles a grand two-storey Chinese temple! Apparently, fellow canal boats often moor up next to the restaurant to collect their Dim Sum from the windows. Worth a visit to see that we reckon…

Feng Shang Princess, on Regents Canal

If you’re looking to swot up on some more history, or immerse yourself in a bit of culture, there’s a boat for that too. Look no further than HMS Belfast, moored on The Thames next to Tower Bridge. If you haven’t got a crew what we’re talking about, HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship. The ship is now a museum, which allows the public to explore and discover all nine decks of this ‘floating city’ and get a feel for what it might have been like to go into battle on the high seas.

HMS Belfast, moored next to Tower Bridge on The Thames.

If you’re looking for a good reed(!), then Regent’s Canal is also home to Word on the Water, London’s fabulous floating book shop. Around since 2011, this 1920’s barge stocks a great selection of new and used books and even has a cosy stove inside to keep you warm while you flick through what’s on offer. You could learn something too, Word on the Water run talks on a range of topics such as politics, art, feminism and technology. They also host random open mic sessions on the roof for musicians and performers… 

London’s floating book shop, Word on the Water

Last boat naut least, did we mention that Lightship 93 has a little sister? Yep, she’s called Lightship 95 and is located next to the infamous Container City at Trinity Bouy Wharf. She is available to hire for photoshoots, filming and sound recordings, fully equipped with a state-of-the-art recording studio. To get a great view of the Millennium Dome, Lightship 95 also boasts a large outside deck and features quirky interiors throughout. 

Photo shoot and filming location, Lightship 95, managed by 1st Option.