The Paddington Basin Boat

Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £360 per night

The Paddington Basin Boat

Paddington, London, United Kingdom

Boutique houseboat for 2-4 moored beside a floating dock in the newly developed Paddington Basin

Boutique houseboat for 2-4 moored beside a floating dock in the newly developed Paddington Basin

A boomerang-shaped spur of the Grand Union Canal, Paddington Basin was created 200 years ago as a transshipment terminus for trade between London and Birmingham. As the canals became superseded by rail and road, the whole area fell into disuse, giving rise to a mammoth scheme at the turn of the millennium to regenerate an area the size of Soho. The far end of Paddington Basin now has a swanky residential development, Merchant Square, with shops and eateries on the ground floors, an ingenious pedestrian bridge, and a very cute floating 'Pocket Park' (imagine interlinked pontoons with manicured greenery).

Nestled right alongside this park is your charming home from home: a large and beautifully designed houseboat. The Paddington Basin Boat was custom-built, with a smart black exterior and an airy and ample interior that invites instant relaxation. Its main open-plan living room has a big L-shaped sofa, a well-stocked kitchen and table for two. The comfortable kingsize bedroom was constructed in the bow, and opens into a wonderfully spacious bathroom with shower and separate tub, which impressed us no end. The roof deck has a hanging basket chair, and there are bikes to borrow too. For couples and families alike, it’s ship-shape and super-special.


  • It's a boat in the heart of London! That means great bragging rights, novelty value – and very Instagrammable. We had so much fun here
  • Carefully conceived interiors, all feels amazingly spacious and it's very easy on the eye
  • Great location in a residential section, with shops, supermarkets and restaurants steps away; no other boats are moored nearby
  • Lots is included in the rates: fast WiFi, two bicycles to borrow, a breakfast hamper, and (on request) a linen/towel change after 3 days
  • All windows have black-out blinds


  • It's a boat in the heart of London! That also means folk wandering past; you're overlooked by residential apartments; and the floating park can get busy
  • Not ideal for those with mobility issues as there's a short steep set of stairs to get into the main cabin; however once inside everything is on the flat
  • It's not cheap, and full prepayment is required (but you can cancel up to 30 days ahead for a near-total refund)
  • As with any boat you have to be careful of the plumbing

Best time to go

London is a year-round destination; the boat is so cosy and warm with the stove that even in winter it's a great spot to hang out in for a few days. The summer months see most activity on Paddington Basin, such as canalside al fresco dining and Go Boat hire. Note that there's 24-hour security in Merchant Square, and the entry gates are generally shut from 10pm-6am.

Our top tips

Merchant Square and Paddington Basin play host to a myriad of activities, from pop-up cinemas to exercise classes to live music to beach volleyball; check what's on when you're here.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Houseboat
  • 1 bedroom
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available


Enter the light-filled main cabin to see an L-shaped dove grey sofa with fluffy cushions and throws (which converts to a double bed if required for friends or family), a stove, statement lighting, coffee table and bookshelves. Stylish furnishings come from their partnership with Wooden walls have black and white photography, the breakfast bar grey and white tiling. Beyond is the smart open-plan kitchen, with copper accents in the overhead lighting and cupboard handles. It all feels very ample with over 2 metres of headroom, and more than 3.5 metres in width.

The master bedroom is in the bow – interior space has been maximised, with no forward access to the roof deck. The comfortable kingsize platform bed has a window above, and faces double doors into the bathroom.

The surprisingly large monochrome bathroom has a roll-top slipper tub, walk-in shower and long sink, white subway tiles, and a useful shelf for toiletries (body wash and shampoo are supplied).

There's a hanging rail in the bedroom with full-length mirror, hairdryer, iron and mini-ironing board, bathrobes, even hair straighteners – get ready for a big night out!

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Minibar
  • WiFi


The U-shaped kitchen units have all you need for a well-fed stay: oven, hob, coffee machine, fridge, pots and pans, and crockery for four. You'll find salt and pepper, herbs and a complimentary breakfast hamper (ours had almond milk, granola, breakfast bars, hot chocolate, coffee and teas). There's a table for two, and a further two bar stools at the kitchen counter. A dining table for four can be provided on request, if you've invited friends over for dinner or are with the family.

Celebrating something special? Order a private chef, a slap-up breakfast, or champagne on arrival; you can even have a dinner party on the roof – just ask. Eating out could not be simpler, with plentiful canal-side options from food trucks to pubs to cafes. Pizza Express is right beside Floating Pocket Park, Darcie & May Green has Aussie-style breakfasts, healthy lunches and dinners, or there's urban winery and kitchen Vaga Bond, and Nordic-style KuPP for brunch and cocktails. Part-covered and part-open air Pergola has hidden gardens and four rotating restaurants plus two convivial bars. London Shell Co. will deliver fresh fish and wine.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Meal delivery service
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster


  • Stroll, jog, cycle, or cruise in your own 'Go Boat' along the Regent's Canal between Paddington Basin and Camden Lock
  • You're equidistant between two of London's most iconic parks: Hyde Park and Regent's Park are both a 15-20 minute walk away; the former has the Serpentine, the latter London Zoo
  • Places of interest nearby include the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street, Lords cricket ground in St Johns Wood, and Kensington Palace in Hyde Park
  • London's shopping mecca, Oxford Street, starts at Marble Arch; hop on a bus on Edgware Road (12 mins) or walk (16 mins)
  • The stellar trio of museums (Natural History, Science and V&A) are in South Kensington, close to these is the Albert Hall for concerts
  • Hire a yoga teacher, or arrange a spa treatment on board
  • Curl up on the sofa, connect your laptop and pull down the projector to watch movies and box sets

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling


Families will enjoy staying here: there's the novelty of staying on the water and the sights of central London aren't far away. We think the boat isn't ideal for toddlers with steep steps, and some teenagers may not relish being on a boat with their parents for too long.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

There's a double sofa bed in the living room

Kids Activities on site:

  • Board games
  • Projector for movies

    Families Should Know:

    Parents need to keep an eye on small ones as the boat has water on three sides. The roof deck does have railings around.

  • Distances:

    • Airport: 1 hour (Heathrow)
    • Hospital: 1 minute
    • Shops: 1 minute
    Kid Friendly:


    The Paddington Basin Boat is in the Merchant Square development on the end of the eastern spur of Paddington Basin to the west of central London.

    By Air
    London Heathrow or Gatwick are the most popular airports, while budget airlines often use Stansted or Luton. All airports have train/tube links into London; or you can take a taxi.

    By Public Transport
    London is extremely well served by public transport. You can use an Oyster card for bus, rail and tube fares, or your smartphone or payment card. Edgware Road tube station is a 4-minute walk, while it's only an 8-minute walk to Paddington Station, the nearest mainline railway station. There are plenty of buses which go down Edgware Road taking you to the West End and beyond.

    By Car
    You really don't need a car in central London, and parking is a nightmare. Much better to use public transport, a ride-hailing app or your feet!

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.


    • London Heathrow 25.0 km LHR
    • London Gatwick 60.0 km LGW


    • Beach 90.0 km
    • Shops 0.1 km
    • Restaurant 0.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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