Fortunate to have a canal view from the flat, so watching the activity down below is fun. Many folks live on houseboats in London. It is (some saw WAS) a rather affordable way to own something since real estate has gone thru the roof and back. (awaiting Brexit!)
Canals were used to haul ice, coal and goods into the city for many years, now they have been cleaned up and used more as open space , bike and "toe" paths and of course a place where many live!
I am too old to consider such an abode, but it would be a plus living on the water and learning different parts of the city. Unfortunately, having to go ashore for laundry, heating by stove, toilet pumping and moving the damn thing every 2 weeks all are negatives to be, also the lack of space issue.
(thats an XTRA wide!)
London's 100-mile network of canals, or 42-mile stretch of the River Thames, has become a popular option for some citizens, and such homes can cost as little as £20,000 ($26,500).
But as more people swap apartments for houseboats, the popular, romantic vision is giving way to a harsh reality.
The "The Canal and River Trust "offers two types of licenses for boaters: permanent moorings which cost at least £1,000 ($1,320) in popular locations, and "continuous cruiser" licenses, which are around £1,000 a year, but require the boater to find a new location every 14 days -- the latter have increased in number by 153% to 1,615 boats since 2012.
this is a one of the many locks.