PIN Word on the Water

A Unique Book Lovers Experience on the Regents Canal

This is a 1920s Dutch book barge, selling quality second hand books moored near Kings Cross. It is a permanent fixture on the Regents Canal and is in walking distance of Paddington Station. Word on the Water, started in Spring 2011. The barge is owned by Paddy Screech and Jonathan Privett and quality second-hand books are sold at competitive prices - £3 for paperbacks and £4 for hardbacks - new editions are also available. When the weather is fine books are sold on the open deck and during less clement weather the operation moves indoors, below deck. Ad hoc music nights, book launches and readings also feature regularly.

Opening hours are between 12 noon – 7pm


Word on the Water is permanently stationed at Granary Square, near Kings Cross station, after the Canal & River Trust agreed to offer the owners the mooring. In 2015 the owners faced having to shut up shop after losing their mooring in Regent’s Canal to make way for developers last year. The barge was forced to travel up and down the River Lea and the Regents Canal and could only stay at each mooring for a total of two weeks at a time

A movement supported by 6,000 locals, book lovers and literary luminaries like Ben Okri, Michael Bywaters and Elizabeth Speller successfully petitioned the Canal & River Trust to find the second-hand bookshop a permanent mooring

Opening Times

Opening hours are between 12 noon – 7pm


  • Culture
  • , close to river
  • , Child Friendly


Lucy is a TripTide stalwart and has been with the company since inception. She is a font of knowledge of all things in our metropolis but she has a special penchant for London's historical past. She says:"London is a multi-layered confection of hi...


Regent's Canal Towpath, , Kings Cross, , London , N1C 4LW (View on Google Maps)
Word on the Water

Recent Reviews

"The Wonderful Word on the Water"

Unique is often overused when describing London's Hidden Treasures - but this time the description is quite fitting. A 1920s canal boat that is home to a lovely bookshop -with a story that could have ended unhappily but didn't.

Reviewed by Peter 5 years ago