We went on a very relaxing boat ride along Regent’s Canal recently.
Actually I’m not sure it was meant to be quite that relaxing, given that the theme was ‘Halloween’ and the vessel itself was adorned with cobwebs and body parts!
But we had the boat to ourselves (my friend Jo and her boys came with us) and it felt quite blissful being on the water, watching the ducks float along beside us.
Hidden Depths Canal Cruises is a brand new service run by the friendly Denise and her ‘skeleton’ team (mwa ha ha) and the boat, the ‘Lapwing’ took us through Islington tunnel to City Lock and back.
It was midday when we set off and I wasn’t sure it would be atmospheric enough, but actually it gets pretty dark when you enter the tunnel.
The sombre mood was helped along by eerie wailing and spooky laughter that crept up from the front of the boat (often drowned out by the engine, at one point we wanted to shout to Denise to turn up the ghost!).
Actually it was pitch perfect for the babes as they’re both quite fearful boys, but they got into the spirit of pretending we could see ghosts and zombies in the tunnel. The journey was a leisurely 45 minutes and Jo’s baby slept blissfully in his sling for most of the ride.
We felt a little sad to get our land legs back when Lapwing pulled back into its station by the canalside steps outside Granary Square.
Hidden Depths Canal Cruises offers a mix of custom cruises and themed rides including Boat Crochet Workshop trips, Literature Canal cruises, hen party cruises and more. The Lapwing travels east between Paddington, Camden, Kings Cross, Victoria Park and Limehouse on the Regent’s Canal and west to Brentford, Cowley and Uxbridge.
For private hires, the boat is available year-round and Denise is flexible about where and when you pick up and drop off. You can also bring your own music, food and alcohol on board – something I’ll definitely bear in mind next time we go cruising.
For Christmas, Lapwing will get a Lapland makeover for Meet Santa trips and Denise (above right) promises to steer the boat in elf costume. Although she did say she’d be dressed as a dead pirate for our Halloween ride and she looked very much alive to me!
Pink-cheeked hostess and quiet ghosts notwithstanding, Lapwing is a lovely new addition to the waterways.
Meet Santa on His Floating Grotto trips depart from Granary Square (canalside steps) N1C (King’s Cross tube) every 45 minutes between around 11am-9pm (check the web site for times). Adult £5/child £4 (3-15 years)/senior £4 (60+)/babies 0-2 FREE (but counted amongst the 12 persons on board even if they sit on a lap.
Do book in advance, if you turn up on the day you may not get on at the time you want to as the boat can only hold 12 passengers. The boat is an open, traditional looking narrowboat, but has transparent covers in the event of rain or snow!
Visit www.hiddendepthscanalcruises.co.uk or contact email@example.com – tel: 0745 608 4584