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Seven great canalside stops for springtime vibes

Written by
Donna Mackay

Spring is finally here, so it’s time to peel yourself off that winter security blanket aka the sofa and hit the great outdoors. Trade the well-trodden streets and overpopulated parks of London for these fresh, waterside stops and go for a more adventurous meander.


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1. The Barge House, Haggerston

Avo eggs? So last year. If you’re not eating your entire meal from the inside of an artisanal loaf, your brunching is basic. Luckily, The Barge House has your back, so make a pit stop here while strolling through the ‘Haggerston Riviera’ and settle down for some carb-packed delights. 


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 2. Proud East, De Beauvoir Town

With a resplendent front-row view of Regent’s Canal, Proud East (previously The Proud Archivist) is a restaurant, bar, gallery and events space. It’s perfect for that weekend breakfast schmooze that slowly drifts into an afternoon then an evening cocktail fix. And when you’re done with all of that, squeeze in a bit of ping pong – you’d be foolish to pass it up. 

3. Puppet Theatre Barge, Maida Vale

Bored with brunch and looking for some canalside culture? Look no further than the Puppet Theatre Barge, a waterborne venue, set against the verdant backdrop of Little Venice, specialising in the magical art of marionette theatre. It’s innovative and utterly charming, with regular shows on Saturday and Sunday. 


4. The Narrowboat, Islington

Sitting directly above Regent’s Canal, The Narrowboat is a traditional London pub. It’s cosy and quaint on the inside but has balcony tables overlooking the waterway for those after something a more open-air. It’s an ideal stop after a long walk, and great for anyone who likes to bring the outside inside.


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5. The Palm Tree, Mile End

This Mile End boozer is a trip back in time, complete with psychedelic carpets and a renowned house band. But in the warmer months it’s also the most loveable and unassuming of canalside stops, due to its huge waterside lawn. Perfect for downing a sunny cider – or two.


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6. Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick

The industrial-chic setting of Crate Brewery, with its huge outdoor area by the River Lee, is most popular in the sunnier seasons, when alfresco drinking and dining are at their peak. There are craft beers and pizza, beards and bikes, views of graffiti and narrowboats.


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7. Lockside, Camden

Escape the crowds and chaos of Camden’s streets and step into Camden Lock where you’ll find Lockside, a chilled-out venue that overlooks the canal. It has an outdoor terrace and fuses cocktail culture with laidback vibes.

Photo: Richardjo53/Flickr

Check out more of London’s best riverside bars and pubs

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