They come for the glitz and the glamour, they stay for the splashing and the fun. The “re-imagined” London Boat Show, at the Excel Centre, Docklands, mixes champagne flutes and dinghy paddles in its attempt to lure the land-lubbers on to the water.
The Adventure Park is the latest interactive addition to the show. It features an indoor cable wakeboard park with instructors helping out the newcomers and nudging experts. Nearby will be the 27m Stand Up Paddleboard pool, part of the Boating and Watersports Holiday exhibition. Elsewhere there are boats big and small, exhibitors selling their wares and plenty of bars to re-create the yacht club atmosphere.
The London Boat Show runs in its new five-day format January 10-14 with more boats on display than ever before.
7 must-dos at the London Boat Show
- Activity Pool: Canoeing and sailing free all day.
- Lock and Waterside Pub: Place to plan you Norfolk Broad holiday.
- Classic Boat Collection: The best and most stylish from yesteryear.
- Legends Theatre: Adventurers and pioneers tell their stories.
- Starter Boat attraction: The place to start out.
- Boardwalks: Lining the show, the best vessels on the market.
- Dockside viewing: Expect ships large and small to be moored in the Dock along with water-borne demonstrations.
London Boat Show dates and deets
The London Boat Show runs from Wednesday, January 10 (preview day) to Sunday, January 14, 10am-6pm with late night Thursday (8pm). Tickets from £15 with under 15s free. Concessions and VIP packages available.
How to get to the Excel
By Tube: While the DLR takes you to the door, the Tube takes you to the DLR. Take the Jubilee Line to Canning Town and join a Beckton-bound DLR train.
By Overground: Link up to the Tube and DLR network at Stratford, Canada Water and Shadwell.
By road: Take the M25 and M11, the North Circular, A406 and the A13 then pick up signs for Royal Docks, City Airport and ExceL London. Use E16 1AL in your satnav to take you to the nearby Royal Victoria Car Park.
By boat: The most scenic way to travel from the centre of the city. Take an MBNA Thames Clipper to North Greenwich Pier at The O2. From there, either take the Tube/DLR or to continue your adventure…
By cable car: The UK’s first urban cable car, the Emirates Air Line, shuttles between The O2 and the Royal Docks over the river. It offers unparalleled views towards the Olympic Park and Canary Wharf. All exhibitors and visitors can use the cable car for just £2.50 single fare. To redeem this exclusive discount, show a confirmation email/ticket etc to the staff at the Emirates Airline terminals.
By bike: The Excel London is close to the cycle superhighway route CS3 which runs from Barking to Tower Gateway. Or take your bike on the cable car for no extra cost. (Bikes are OK on the DLR in off-peak times too.) Excel has 60 cycle racks which are free to use. Six cycle racks are located at the west entrance taxi drop off point underneath the DLR walkway. 54 cycle racks are located near to the east entrance underneath the stairway connecting Level 0 to Level 1.
Check out TfL’s website for journey planners, route information, travel updates and ticket prices.