Starting in April (weather permitting) and continuing until the end of October, London’s many lakes offer a great opportunity to enjoy some downtime away from the crowds and queues that attract many outdoor getaways. Perhaps the most famous of the boating lakes is the Serpentine in Hyde Park, which is also home to the UK’s first SolarShuttle, a solar-powered pleasure boat that can accommodate up to 42 people. For a more intimate experience, rowboats and paddle boats seat up to six and can be rented by the half hour until dusk.
Residents of East London can take advantage of the rowboats on Lake Victoria Park, which after a 30-year hiatus have become available again. Open until the end of October, they have a strict no-alcohol policy on board, so a fun day out with kids in tow, as opposed to a prosecco-fueled afternoon with friends. If you’re serious about making the kids the stars of the show, head to Finsbury Park, where those dressed up as pirates or princesses (we’re talking kids here) can take advantage of 50% off ticket prices , which we can all get on board with.
Address: Bluebird Boats, Boat House, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH; Regal Boat Hire, Victoria Park, Bow, London E9 7DE; Finsbury Park Boats, Finsbury Park, London N4 1EE
Website: royalparks.org.uk; towerhamlets.gov.uk; haringey.gov.uk
When: April-October, weather permitting. Check relevant websites before you go to book, check seasonal opening hours and spot special offers.
Price: From £10 per boat