With the warm weather, a fun activity is to hire a dog-friendly rowing boat. Although many rowing boats (and pedalos) in London don’t allow dogs on board, there are some lovely spots where you can hire one and take your dog with you! Today we tell you about our dog adventure on the dog-friendly Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats and what you need to know to plan your dog day out on a rowing boat in this East London spot. More are to follow!
Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats allow dogs
A few weeks back we went to Hollow Ponds with Argo to check it out for our dog ponds guide and were pleased to see many doggies going for a row with their humans at the pond.
We confirmed with Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats Hire that dogs of any size are allowed on the boats, but my husband and I decided that it would have been unwise to try the experience with Argo due to his obsession for water, and risk capsizing and breaking our camera.
Instead, I was very glad that I could finally ask another London dog to come on this adventure, like previously Tabasco the Cavalier at the Brunel Museum and Ralph the Iggy at Liberty London, to continue this thread and enhance dog diversity on the blog – in fact, since I started blogging I had been strongly determined not to be about Argo (in the beginning I even very naively thought that he would not have been ever named or featured at all on the blog!). –
Our Dog Adventure on a Rowing Boat at Hollow Ponds
So a few weeks ago I was very glad to be joined in this exploration by Lloyd the Whippet/Italian Greyhound cross and his owner Paz! We picked a late afternoon, which was the ideal time to avoid too many boats on the pond and too hot temperatures and hired a boat from Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats.
Without previous experience and no instructions on how to row correctly, we had a bit of a reality check and the definitive proof that myself and Lloyd’s owner are the worst rowing team in the whole London! Soon after leaving the mooring we realised that we had some very serious issues keeping a straight trajectory. We ended up with the paddles tangled in algae, which made it even more difficult to move forward. Luckily there were no boat traffic jams so the only collision was with some bushes stretching out from a little island luckily!
Of us, Lloyd was the one not being concerned by our poor rowing performance. He simply kept chewing on his bone and was entertained for the whole sail. When we finally reached a nice spot where to try and snap some photos while trying not to drift with the boat, we hadn’t much time left of the half an hour we had the boat for. And it was definitely not the simplest of the shoots either on such a small boat, but we had some good laughs.
On our way back we slightly improved our technique, but some people on the shore explained that we had been doing the exact opposite of how we were supposed to row. It was a very funny experience that I will surely remember. As for Lloyd, probably the bone was the part he enjoyed the most, but he was very confident about being on the boat and looking around even putting his paws on the seats.
Tips from our dog adventure on a rowing boat
Tips from our dog adventure on a rowing boat at Hollow Ponds:
- Rowing. Make sure you work out the right way of rowing if you never did it before, before leaving the mooring, so you won’t spent time trying to figure it out. If your idea is to enjoy the views with your dog and snap some pics too, then bring an experienced friend to help with the rowing part!
- Hiring time. Take the boat for longer than half an hour. I was quite optimistic that in half an hour we would have done the whole tour of the ponds, while also shooting photos. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Even if you have an experienced rowing friend, I imagine that you will need far longer to do the whole tour, probably even more than an hour if you want to take photos and not having to rush it.
- Hours. Considering that with the Summer sun it can be particularly hot for dogs, it was a good choice not to go around lunch-time/in the first afternoon. I would say that, at this time of the year, the evening around 5.30pm would be a good time to avoid overheating your dog and also avoid boats traffic in the pond.
Useful information for dogs at Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats
Hollow Ponds Rowing Boats allow dogs of any size (as long as kept on a lead and under control) on the rowing boats and are open daily from 10am to 8pm until the end of the Summer (weather permitting, the boats continue operating into late September at the weekends).
Prices for hiring a rowing boat are £10 for half an hour and £15 for an hour. You will be also asked to give a £10 deposit for the boat (refundable upon return), so you will need to bring cash with you.
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