Belt off, trousers down..life is such a scream.
Enough of General Melchett's rendition of the boating song.
One of the most romantic (careful here Sourbugger, don't give the impression you care) things to do in London is hire a rowing boat in Regents Park. Sod the cost - it really is a very pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon. You may even see some nesting Herons.
Equipment: Available April- September from 10.30 AM
The famous rowing races between Cambridge and Oxford universities happen in spring on the Thames. In 2001, the date was 24 March. I snapped all my photos off and it was only the start of the reserves' race! I had a good view of the start from Putney Bridge.
If you want to row in London you have lots of choice, there are clubs specialising in junior rowing, men's rowing, women's rowing, costal rowing...etc...
My favorite club in London is Thames Rowing Club, located in Putney on the Embankment. Choose your time to boat carefully, or you may be lost in the wake of the River Police, or washed ashore by the various cruisers that tour up and down all weekend. The perfect time is early morning on a day with no wind or rain - you might just have to endure a few not so perfect ones though!!
Usually you row away from London towards Kingston, but occasionally the weather (and coach) are agreeable to going towards the city, where you can row past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben... I have only done this in an eight - anything smaller would be asking for trouble!!
A great family activity is rowing on the Serpentine lake at Hyde Park.
Boating on the Serpentine is open from April until October 31. Times are from 10AM until sundown.
Equipment: Row boat.
2004 was the 150th edition of this very old traditional boat race. This race marks the begining of the Spring, from time onwards we start to enjoy more and more outdoor activities.