London's Little Venice Is The City's Best Hidden Wonder

The typical London bucket list includes a ride on the London Eye, a stroll across the Tower Bridge and perhaps a musical moment with the Queen's Guard. But if you're looking for a tranquil escape within The Big Smoke, London has a secret little corner you need to check out.

Have you ever heard of Little Venice? Located just north of Paddington at the confluence of the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals, this area is wonderfully off the beaten tourist path.

The picturesque area boasts tree-lined paths, waterfront eateries and plenty of adorable houseboats. It's no wonder the place is frequently described as a "hidden gem." And yes, there are gondolas. Head there for a relaxing meal, take a scenic boat ride or simply explore the area and soak up its peaceful charm.

Check out photos of Little Venice below!

little venice london








Roof East, Stratford
Roof East
What better place to spend a summer’s evening than on a rooftop playing games with a cocktail in hand? Look no further than Roof East.

Now in its fourth year, the summer pop-up has transformed what was once the top floor of Stratford Shopping Centre car park into a hive of activity. Venture through the tired shopping centre and up in the cramped lift to the 8th floor to be greeted with an incredible 360’ view of the capital (including the Olympic Park). If it’s sunny and blue skies (finger’s crossed) the space is idyllic.

This year the space offers plenty of activities including: London’s only baseball-style batting cages, Sluggers; hip-hop-inspired lawn bowls, De La Bowl; mind-bending crazy golf at Birdies. There is also roller disco and open-air cinema.

But, as entry is free, feel free to pop-up for a drink or food and plonk yourself down on one of the many deck chairs or picnic benches. It’s not only fun but green-fingered, too. The space is filled with plants and shrubs growing out of planters made from recycled decking from the Olympic Park footbridge or vintage convertible cars - a nod to a reclaimed car park if ever we saw one.

Be warned: this place does get busy and, if they reach capacity, it will be one in, one out. So get there early.

Entry to the rooftop is free, but tickets need to be purchased for each event from here:

Prices for the games:

De La Bowl/Birdies- £12 each for two people £10 each for four. £8 for 6.
Sluggers - 4 people: £10 per person and 2 people: £12.50 per person.
Roller Disco - Singular admission with own skates £8. If you need to hire skates £10.

Address: Floors 7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London E15 1XE
Casa Havana at Skylounge, Tower Bridge
Situated on top of DoubleTree by Hilton, Skylounge boasts some of the best rooftop views of London, with Tower Bridge, the Shard, the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie and the River Thames all in its periphery.

This summer, the high-end bar is bringing a taste of Cuba to the city, with its latest pop-up, Casa Havana.

In partnership with Havana Club Rum, the bar is serving a wide range of rum-based delights including Cuba libres, mojitos and daiquiris. The food menu is also inspired by the Havana heat, with bar snacks including pulled pork quesadillas, chargrilled octopus and red snapper ceviche.

The four-month residency will also have an unmissable Cuban band entertaining visitors on a monthly basis. Call ahead for dates and details.

Open now until the end of September, Tuesday-Saturday, between 16:00 – 23:00 (subject to exclusive hire nights).

Address: Double Tree Hilton Tower London, 7 Pepys St, London EC3N 4AF
Telephone: 0207 709 1000
Boundary is the kind of establishment cool enough to take your mates, but respectable enough to take your parents.

The venue has recently added a steel, timber and glass pergola - which full covers the dining area so that they are open every day and all year round - whatever the weather.

The wild herb theme, together with a canopy of grape producing vines makes for a treehouse feel. Very cool.

2-4 Boundary St, London E2 7DD
020 7729 1051
Queen Of Hoxton
Outdoor cinema, rooftop yoga, all-day BBQs and a series of craft events throughout summer - Queen of Hoxton has got it all.

With vibrant ice-cream colours, shady umbrellas, picnic benches and sun lotion dispensers, it is fully equipped for long hot summer days. As night falls continue to enjoy the outdoors, or head downstairs for a party in the ground floor bar.

Queen Of Hoxton
1-5 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX
020 7422 0958
Frank's is like discovering some magical waterfall after having to trek through miles of prickly jungle. Arduous, but worth it, and instead of jungle you have the grotty streets of Peckham and the piss-smeared floor of a multi-storey car park.

A long bar serving yum, reasonably-priced cocktails and cold beers, with a view that overlooks London. The staff are fun, the crowd is cool but not intimidating and you never stop feeling like you've stumbled on a genuine London secret.

Frank's cafe
10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
This rooftop bar has an unbelievable view of St Paul's, great sofas and an upscale (but relaxed) atmosphere.

Just avoid it on Tuesdays through Fridays, when it's full of bankers guffawing into their two-third-pints of Heineken. Lovely on Sunday afternoons.

Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Pauls, London EC4M 9AF
020 8305 3088
Dalston Roof
Dalston Roof Park is perched on top of a tower block in the darkest heart of east London, entered through an art gallery and seemingly endless flights of graffitied stairs. Boy is it worth it.

The city of London sparkles in front of you, there's artificial grass and sweet-smelling flower pots, candy-striped deck chairs and cushions to lounge on with a fruit cider, and the cheeriest bar staff in town. The regular outdoor cinema is held in the middle of the gorgeous rooftop allotment, and there's rotating pop-up food stalls.

Dalston Roof Gardens
The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL
020 7275 0825
Kensington Roof Gardens
Kensington Roof Gardens
Walking into Kensington Roof Gardens, you feel like you're in some kind of luxurious Spanish haçienda. The gardens are beautiful, there are (real) flamingos strutting about and the only piece on London skyline you can see is a gothic church.

Sure spirits are pricey, but the wine is reasonable. And it's much cheaper than jetting off to Spain.

Kensington Roof Gardens
99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
020 7937 7994
The Roof Garden Bar, on the South Bank
Head up the winding yellow stairs above the Queen Elizabeth Hall and you'll find this great - and slightly hidden - summery spot, where they serve Greenwich Mean Time beers, Pimms and more.

Of course, the RFH terrace cafe below is nice, too - but you'll have better view over the Thames (and more of a chance of getting a seat) up here.

Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, London
020 7960 4200
Coq d'Argent
This is one of the best rooftop bars in London – just don’t go on a weekday! On a Saturday or Sunday however it’s one of the most peaceful locations you’ll find in this city.

Yes, drinks are fairly pricey (freshly squeezed orange juice will set you back more than some beers) – but the roof garden, relaxed décor and an amazing view of the City of London are definitely worth it.

Coq d'Argent
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
020 7395 5000
The Faultering Fullback
The Faultering Fullback
The Faultering Fullback's pub garden makes it a regular haunt throughout summer.

Decked out in... err... decking with beautiful hanging baskets, it is the perfect place to laze around on a sunny day.

There is a huge back room with long benches that shows rugby/football matches and there is always a great atmosphere.

They serve thai food and their Bloody Marys are cheap and delicious.

The Faultering Fullback, 19 Perth Rd, London N4 3HB