Our dream of spending a month or so in Central London on the way to the Channel crossing ran into a bit of snag—we had a difficult time arranging a mooring. Here’s what we tried. Unless noted, the prices shown are for 2014. With time, things change so even if we’ve been told no, it might be worth calling around.
St. Katherine Docks:
£1490/month (20 m), £116/day (2014-5 rates)
St. Kats is about 0.5 miles to the nearest Tube station in a very nice area and is walking distance to attractions. It is very difficult to reserve a berth for a larger boat. This is the most central mooring in London and the location is highly desirable.
We had a slot arranged for St. Kats last year but it was canceled on short notice just before we were due to arrive. In November of 2013, nine months in advance of our planned arrival in 2014, we tried to arrange a berth. We were wait listed and then eventually told no. Ultimately, at the last moment, we did get in to St. Kats for a couple of weeks to wait on the weather for the Channel crossing. It is very nice. If we could get in, this would be our top choice for London moorings.
£400/week (20 m; daily rate is cheaper and not sure about a monthly rate)
Over the phone we learned that no reservations can be made before 4 weeks in advance, you must call to reserve, and summer berths are limited to a couple of days stay. (Long-term stays are possible during winter.) We also found that there is only one berth available for 65′ boat in summer.
The mooring is about 0.3 miles to the Limehouse DLR station. As it takes about 10 minutes to get from Limehouse Basin to the main Tube connections near the Tower of London, Limehouse Basin is less convenient to the center of London than St. Kats.
West India, Blackwall & Poplar Docks:
Unfortunately, none of these currently offer visitor moorings. The DBA rally was at West India last summer so an “event” is in theory possible.
Gallions Point Marina:
£83 GBP/week (20 m)
About 0.4 miles from DLR station, approximately 20 minutes by train to Tower Gateway. Car parking is available.
A friend reports:
“… There aren’t any shops etc. really close but I should think the big Gallions Reach complex (with Tesco and lots of other shops) is only about a mile. It’s about the same distance as the marina is from the DLR station but in the opposite direction.
“… Across the dock to the North is nearly all residential, quite posh flats. To the South, either side of the approach road is rather mixed, there’s a parking area for Corbyn lorries, a moto-cross track and a bar/functions etc. boat.
“Water is free, electricity metered, security pretty good IMHO.
“It is quite noisy during the day of course being right under the end of
the City Airport runway, first flights are just on 07:00 and last
flights before 22:00.”
We were told that there currently are no berths for a 20 m barge available (as of February 2014).
£833/month (residential), £700/month (“leisure”), £189/week (visitor)—not sure which tariff applies.
About 0.7 miles to Surrey Quays tube station, much closer to the rather expensive river bus. Don’t know much about the area. Car parking is possible.
From South Dock Marina: No berth large enough to accommodate a 20 m boat is available. We were told, “All of our berths for larger boats are occupied at present. The only time we have these available is when one the boats goes out of the marina, which is rare.”
Hermitage Community Moorings:
Price for 20 m was £40/night (£35 with DBA discount). Two weeks maximum. Dogs are technically not allowed but allowances have been made on an individual basis.
HCM is a residential tidal mooring not far from St. Katherines Dock, approximately 0.6 miles to nearest Tube station, and within walking distance to “attractions”. The location, just downstream of the Tower Bridge, is great but expect some serious waves from passing boats. We stayed there for a couple of weeks during the summer of 2014. It challenged our mooring ropes and our stomachs but you do get use to it the longer you stay.
Price per night for 20 m is £110/night. We didn’t explore a mooring at Imperial Wharf further as it is further from central London than we cared to stay. For big boats the mooring is on the water. Compared to St. Kats, there’s less heavy river traffic in this area and it should be smoother. Some friends moor their 20 m barge at Imperial Wharf and are happy with it, last time we checked. It is a short walk to the Tube.
There are additional mooring options further upstream though they are not as convenient to Central London so we didn’t look into these in detail.
Ultimately we did get our month in London, split between the rocking waters of Hermitage Community Moorings and the tranquil waters and bustle of tourists at St. Katherines Dock. London is a great city for an extended visit. It is well worth planning an extended stay on your boat.
*Prices, unless noted, are as of January 2014 and include VAT