This family day out was booked before fathers’ day but due to bad weather (as well as various family circumstances) we’ve had to rearrange our trip several times. The team at Moo Canoes were very understanding and friendly each time though.
Finally the day had arrived, so we cycled along the canal and parked our bikes outside the Milk Float. This ice-cream serving barge decorated like a lounging Milka Cow is part of the Moo Canoes family (and you get a 15% discount for apres canoe coffee and ice-cream).
After the bikes were secured it was time to choose our canoe. First we had our safety jackets fitted and secured, followed by instructions on best paddle styles and the different routes (and durations) we could take. The toddler was also given a paddle so he could join in the family fun. We later found out that the children’s paddles float and are not easy to lose (should you toddler accidentally drop their paddle in the water).
We decided to take the easiest route and paddle from Hackney Wick, past Hackney Marshes and towards the Princess of Wales pub – this was supposed to be a 45min paddle each way, giving us enough time to sip on a much anticipated pint as pubs throughout the country were opening post Covid-19 on the 4th of July (the date of our trip).
Other routes you could take involve going towards Victoria Park (there is a lock that you have to go through which requires you to get out of the canoe) or towards the Olympic Park and West Ham stadium where you can have a picnic and admire the Arcelor Mittal Orbit close-up.
We paddled upstream past Here East and took in the serene views of London from the water. A family of swans here, a few boaters there and lots of cyclists and dog walkers. It was a warm but cloudy summer’s day with the possibility of rain hanging in the air.
We giggled at our paddling styles, had a few close calls with walls and canal boats and listened to our voices echo underneath bridges and tunnels. The trip is a great way to see parts of East-End London you may otherwise miss.
Prices are £36 for the first hour with an extra £10 per hour thereafter. More info and booking via their website here.