This Gorgeous Houseboat Is How You Enjoy Peace and Quiet in a Big City

From tiny houses and campervans to houseboats and off-grid mountain cabins, the world has come up with creative ways to promote a minimalist lifestyle. While people opt for minimalism and off-grid tiny living for different reasons, there is certainly an increased desire to live a simpler life.
The Jessie houseboat 21 photos
Photo: The Carlisle Kid
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For those who are not yet prepared to fully adopt a minimalist lifestyle but still want to enjoy a few peaceful days in the middle of nature, today we are going to look at a beautiful houseboat moored in a fairly quiet and picturesque spot in Little Venice, London, that has been turned into a houseboat vacation rental.

This serene home on the water has been Christened Jessie after the owner’s mother and is strategically located on a calm stretch of water at the intersection of two canals - the Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal - a place where you will find dozens of narrowboats, day trip boats, and water cafés. It offers a truly unique way to experience London, as guests can easily reach the most popular parts of the big city.

Staying on a canal boat, even for a limited time, might not be for everyone. But for those tempted to try out the experience, these long and narrow boats can offer the type of vacation where life drifts along at a more tranquil pace. They have a tinge of romanticism to them, so they could be a perfect fit for couples, but at the same time, living on the water sounds adventurous and fun, which makes it just as suitable for groups of friends or families.

The Jessie houseboat
Photo: Meg/Airbnb
Jessie is a 57-foot (17-meter) long and 6.8-foot (2-meter) wide houseboat, completed in 2011. Though offering a limited livable space, the interior is completely optimized to include everything one might need for a comfortable stay. It can accommodate four people in two bedrooms. And it also includes a beautiful saloon, a fully functional kitchen, and a bathroom. There is also a comfortable front deck. That is where you can sip your coffee in the morning or just sit back and relax any hour of the day.

The exterior of the boat is rather unassuming; nothing out of the ordinary catches our eyes. It is painted navy blue, most likely to keep in line with the maritime theme, has plenty of conventional windows and portholes that allow natural light to get in, and the name Jessie is plastered on both the port and starboard sides of the boat.

But the ace up this houseboat’s sleeve is its warm, inviting interior. The living area is at the center of the barge and includes a very comfortable-looking couch that flattens out and turns into a double bed. It also has storage space underneath for bedding. There is also a wall-mounted digital TV for entertainment and a folding table with chairs for your dining needs. Six people can enjoy lovely meals at this table.

The Jessie houseboat
Photo: Meg/Airbnb
A solid fuel burning stove that feeds on a combination of smokeless coal and logs sits in the corner of the living area and makes sure the houseboat is dry and warm, so you don’t feel the chilly air in the evenings.

The sleeping area on board Jessie comprises a double cabin at the front with doors that open directly to the small front deck. Toward the center of the boat there are two single bunk beds for additional sleeping space.

The galley kitchen is plenty big enough for guests to cook up delicious meals if they don’t feel like going out to eat at one of the many restaurants and pubs in the area. It is equipped with a gas hob and oven with grill, a sink and draining board, a good size fridge, and plenty of cabinets and drawers storing all the kitchen essentials.

Finally, the bathroom is small but includes all the basics. There is a cassette toilet, a shower, and a wash basin with a shaving point.

The Jessie houseboat
Photo: Meg/Airbnb
In terms of your water needs, there is a tank onboard holding the water, and the host will top it up for you every few days. As for electricity, the boat is connected to on-shore electric power for the AC system. A DC system is used for powering the fridge and water pumps, and an onboard charger takes care of the batteries.

Now that you’ve seen what Jessie has to offer (you probably had a look at the photos as well), let’s imagine for a moment what it would be like to live for a few days on this charming houseboat. You could start your day with a cup of coffee on the front deck, where you can also wave to your neighbors and wish them a good day. Then, you can go back inside and enjoy a healthy breakfast.

If the weather is fine, you might want to go for a gentle waterside walk and take in the sights and sounds of river life. Lunchtime can be spent at one of the local restaurants, and when you’re tired of being on land, you can go back onboard Jessie and cozy up by the fire. You’ll find there is something special about returning to the peace and quiet of the canal, after spending a day in the city.

Does boatlife sound enticing to you after this imagination exercise? If so, you can book Jessie on Airbnb and enjoy not only the houseboat experience but also the beautiful views and surroundings.
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About the author: Ancuta Iosub
Ancuta Iosub profile photo

After spending a few years as a copy editor, Ancuta decided to put down the eraser and pick up the writer's pencil. Her favorites subjects are unusual car designs, travel trailers and everything related to the great outdoors.
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