Regent's Canal Paddleboarding Tips | Paddleboard in London (2023)

We might be a little biased, but it has to be one of the most picturesque paddles in London.

We operate on the intimate 14km waterway called Regent's Canal in London. The canal runs between Little Venice with its colorful collection of narrow boats, through Regent's Park, overlooking the cage at London Zoo, along Camden, where we are based, and on to the newly renovated King's Cross, before heading down to find The River Thames in Limehouse. It's such a beautiful place to paddle. If you have your own B&B but don't want to join us, here are our tips for exploring this part of London from a whole new angle:

Do I really need a license?

Yes, using a paddle board or any other non-powered portable craft on most inland waterways requires a permit which can be obtained from the relevant authority. There are two license options on Regent's Channel:

  1. Short-term or 30-day research license from the Canal and River Trust
  2. If you paddle regularly, rather than getting individual boating licenses, it's worth getting them.british canoeing annual membership, which includes a license to row more than 4,500 km of navigation on canals and rivers. It has the added benefit of including insurance, which provides coverage for legal liability following negligence, harassment or trespassing.

How do I move?

(Video) 20km SUP Regent's Canal, London

Regent's Canal is not a playground. Especially during the summer months, the canal is very busy. There are professionally-skipped water buses, tourist boats and several restaurants and party boats. Narrow boats and pleasure craft go up and down. Small electric boats are available for hourly hire in Paddington Basin. Groups of up to eight bring their own picnics and happily cruise along the scenic route to and from Camden. All non-powered watercraft other than SUPs are added to the mix - kayaks, canoes, paddle boats and even floating hot tubs.

International waterway rules apply - this means you must travel on the right hand side. On Regent's Canal, when there is no traffic, we head towards the centre. Upon encountering traffic, we move to the right. It's good to show your intentions in advance - larger vessels need deeper water and room to maneuver. Don't trust them to see you, driven from behind, they often have poor visibility. Colliding with a 20-30 ton ship would make no sense. We are also wary of approaching impenetrable bridges, curves and intersections. Usually the bigger boats blow their horns well in advance, but you can never be sure. The maximum speed limit is 4 mph on the canal, so there should never be too much washing.

And the locks?

The rule is simple - paddleboarders are transported in the Regent's Canal locks. Fortunately, the stretch between Little Venice and Camden is completely free of roadblocks. Going further east, there are a total of 13 locks before reaching the River Thames at Limehouse. Lock operation causes turbulence within the lock chamber. In CRT waters, unless authorized, we cannot remain on SUPs in a lock for loading or unloading. Instead, it's faster, safer and more efficient to get off the boards and load them up. It's a great extra workout!

(Video) Stand Up Paddling on London's Regents Canal

Can I walk through tunnels?

The short answer is "No, the tunnels on this channel are not open to non-motorized craft". There are two tunnels in Regent's Canal:

  1. The Maida Hill Tunnel at the head of the canal, just behind Little Venice, is 249 meters long and completely flat with no towpath. It's a one-way tunnel. Please check the tunnel entrance signage, but currently SUPs can only navigate the tunnel with prior authorization. Independent transits are never allowed.
  2. The Islington Tunnel, which runs under Islington from the Caledonian Road to Colebrooke Row, is 878 meters long, with no towpath. And it's a one-way tunnel without a one-way traffic system.

Are there other security considerations?

Complete all the usual security checks before embarking on your Regent's Canal SUP adventure. We always check the weather forecast, stream conditions and navigation and closure warnings, which are available atWeb stranica Canal e River Trust. We take special care with forecasting wind, both constant and stormy, as with our inflatable boards we are sensitive to the effects of wind.

(Video) Paddleboarding in London's Lisson Grove on Regent's Canal.

We wear rolled anklets and require the use of buoyancy aids unless self-rescue skills are demonstrated.

If you have any questions about your rowing trip, visit the CRT website. There is a really useful chat function.

We would love for you to come paddle with us to help you get started on this beautiful stretch of channel. check outour agenda hereor if you're passing through, be sure to wave to us.

Anything else I should know?

(Video) Paddleboarding in London along Regent's Canal

Just the most important rule of all – have fun!

(Video) Paddleboarding London - Our SUP Neighbourhood on Regent's Canal in London


1. Paddle boarding to Feng Shang along Regent's Canal in London
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2. SUP Little Venice - Regent's Park - Camden Town by the Regent's Canal
(Dorset SUP Stand Up Paddle Boarding)
3. 20 miler SUP on the Oxford Canal
4. One of our paddleboards doing some unusual tricks on the regent’s canal #shorts
(Islington Boat Club)
5. Stand Up Paddling Birmingham, UK
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6. Regent's Canal Walk (Little Venice to Camden Town Market)
(Free Tours by Foot - London)


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