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How to BARGE your way onto the London property market: FEMAIL reveals the best river homes

With luxury living spaces, catalogue-worthy bedrooms and spacious roof decks, these enviable London properties are enough to lure any buyer. 

Only these plush pads aren’t found in modern apartment buildings or converted Victorian homes, they are concealed within the houseboats that dot the city’s waterways. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Nicholas Austin, Sales Manager for RiverHomes’ Southwest office, explained houseboats at the top end of the market offer better equipped living areas than most London homes, as well as a sense of peace and tranquility that is difficult to find elsewhere in the city. 

There is also the novelty factor: a dinner party on a houseboat certainly makes you stand out from the crowd. 

However houseboats aren’t the shortcut into the London housing market that they might first appear. 

While some of the smaller houseboats are far cheaper than a city centre flat – a one-bedroom narrowboat in trendy Little Venice for £150,000, for example – others have price tags in the millions, although they are still cheaper than comparable London homes.  

Mr Austin said: ‘In the bustling metropolitan metropolis that is London, the last vestibule of calm is the River Thames. The first comment my clients make is how quiet and peaceful it is in the marinas with London rushing all around them. 

‘The river provides a quiet and quaint oasis within this bustling city. With the river being the main artery of London’s success for over two thousand years, living on the river makes you part of that rich history and tradition.

‘At the top end of the market houseboats provide a larger square footage with better equipped living quarters than most London homes. At the lower end of the market they provide a secure, affordable safe space for someone looking to plant their roots in this vibrant city.’

£3million steel barge, St Katherine’s Dock 

Bedrooms: 5

Receptions: 3

Bathrooms: 3

If you’ve got a spare £3million and want to swap views of other houses for a look of the river, then this 1930s steel barge (pictured) which has been converted into a magnificent contemporary houseboat is just right for you

The near 50 ft. foredeck provides enormous scope for al fresco entertaining but it is the internal volume of this vessel (pictured) - in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. - that has allowed for an extensive and impressive open-plan upper deck

The near 50 ft. foredeck provides enormous scope for al fresco entertaining but it is the internal volume of this vessel (pictured) – in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. – that has allowed for an extensive and impressive open-plan upper deck

This statement open-plan area includes a vast and bright reception, kitchen (pictured) and dining spaces, offering spectacular dock views with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck

This statement open-plan area includes a vast and bright reception, kitchen (pictured) and dining spaces, offering spectacular dock views with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck

On the lower deck there is a further reception area (pictured) and access to a Jet-ski platform and five large double bedrooms, each with direct or shared en suite facilities

On the lower deck there is a further reception area (pictured) and access to a Jet-ski platform and five large double bedrooms, each with direct or shared en suite facilities

The current owner of the vessel, which is moored at St Katharine Docks, London's luxury yacht marina, has recently installed new wool carpet (pictured), replaced the boiler and added LED lighting as well as repainted

The current owner of the vessel, which is moored at St Katharine Docks, London’s luxury yacht marina, has recently installed new wool carpet (pictured), replaced the boiler and added LED lighting as well as repainted

There is a newly built office space at the rear of the houseboat with Tower Bridge views which is separated from the main living accommodation (pictured)

There is a newly built office space at the rear of the houseboat with Tower Bridge views which is separated from the main living accommodation (pictured)

If you’ve got a spare £3million and want to swap views of other houses for a look of the river, then this 1930s steel barge which has been converted into a magnificent contemporary houseboat is just right for you. 

The near 50 ft. foredeck provides enormous scope for al fresco entertaining but it is the internal volume of this vessel – in excess of 5,000 sq. ft. – that has allowed for an extensive and impressive open-plan upper deck.

This statement open-plan area includes a vast and bright reception, kitchen and dining spaces, offering spectacular dock views with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck. 

On the lower deck there is a further reception area and access to a Jet-ski platform and five large double bedrooms, each with direct or shared en suite facilities. 

The current owner of the vessel, which is moored at St Katharine Docks, London’s luxury yacht marina, has recently installed new wool carpet, replaced the boiler and added LED lighting as well as repainted. 

There is a newly built office space at the rear of the houseboat with Tower Bridge views which is separated from the main living accommodation.

£1.8m houseboat, Canary Wharf 

Bedrooms: 6

Receptions: 3

Bathrooms: 6

Built in 1957, this motor barge (pictured) was recently converted into 8,000 sq. ft. of luxury accommodation, featuring luxury gardens covered by a roof and Art Deco-styled outside decking

Built in 1957, this motor barge (pictured) was recently converted into 8,000 sq. ft. of luxury accommodation, featuring luxury gardens covered by a roof and Art Deco-styled outside decking

With six bedrooms (pictured is one of them), plus staff accommodation, six bathrooms, three reception areas and two kitchens alongside a bar, it's no surprise this place comes with a hefty price tag of £1.8million

With six bedrooms (pictured is one of them), plus staff accommodation, six bathrooms, three reception areas and two kitchens alongside a bar, it’s no surprise this place comes with a hefty price tag of £1.8million

The bespoke windows and doors were handcrafted in the Netherlands. Pictured, one of the stylish bathrooms available on the vessel

The bespoke windows and doors were handcrafted in the Netherlands. Pictured, one of the stylish bathrooms available on the vessel 

There is solid Brazilian walnut flooring throughout the interior, tiled bathrooms and a kitchen worktop made form crushed, natural granite from Spain

There is solid Brazilian walnut flooring throughout the interior, tiled bathrooms and a kitchen worktop made form crushed, natural granite from Spain

Panelled walls and ceilings are made of American red oak, pine, hickory, pecan and poplar, while there's also individual room air conditioning and heating. Pictured, the kitchen

Panelled walls and ceilings are made of American red oak, pine, hickory, pecan and poplar, while there’s also individual room air conditioning and heating. Pictured, the kitchen

Available on a transferable residential mooring at South Quay, Canary Wharf, there is an array of bars, restaurants, leisure amenities and plenty of travel options nearby. Pictured, the living space and dining room

Available on a transferable residential mooring at South Quay, Canary Wharf, there is an array of bars, restaurants, leisure amenities and plenty of travel options nearby. Pictured, the living space and dining room

It's currently being run for private hire and corporate events, and has an engine dating from 1962 and serviced in February 2010. It crossed the North Sea in August 2011. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

It’s currently being run for private hire and corporate events, and has an engine dating from 1962 and serviced in February 2010. It crossed the North Sea in August 2011. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

Built in 1957, this motor barge was recently converted into 8,000 sq. ft. of luxury accommodation, featuring luxury gardens covered by a roof and Art Deco-styled outside decking.

With six bedrooms, plus staff accommodation, six bathrooms, three reception areas and two kitchens alongside a bar, it’s no surprise this place comes with a hefty price tag of £1.8million. 

The bespoke windows and doors were handcrafted in the Netherlands, while there is solid Brazilian walnut flooring throughout the interior, tiled bathrooms and a kitchen worktop made form crushed, natural granite from Spain. 

Panelled walls and ceilings are made of American red oak, pine, hickory, pecan and poplar, while there’s also individual room air conditioning and heating.  

Available on a transferable residential mooring at South Quay, Canary Wharf, there is an array of bars, restaurants, leisure amenities and plenty of travel options nearby.

It’s currently being run for private hire and corporate events, and has an engine dating from 1962 and serviced in  February 2010. It crossed the North Sea in August 2011. 

£1.75m houseboat, Riverside Quarter, Wandsworth 

Bedrooms: 3

Receptions: 2

Bathrooms: 3

Houseboat 'Penelope' claims to be one of the most stylish and attractive boats on the Thames (pictured) - but will cost potential buyers a staggering £1.75million

Houseboat ‘Penelope’ claims to be one of the most stylish and attractive boats on the Thames (pictured) – but will cost potential buyers a staggering £1.75million

At 29 metres long with a 5.7 metre beam, she offers 2,405 sq. ft. of living space - including three bedrooms, two receptions (pictured is one of them) and three bathrooms

At 29 metres long with a 5.7 metre beam, she offers 2,405 sq. ft. of living space – including three bedrooms, two receptions (pictured is one of them) and three bathrooms

The vessel, built by a top naval architect, also has incredible views while being moored at Riverside Quarter in Wandsworth, with a licence til 2063. Pictured, the kitchen

The vessel, built by a top naval architect, also has incredible views while being moored at Riverside Quarter in Wandsworth, with a licence til 2063. Pictured, the kitchen

It also features a spacious office, a studio and two of the three bedrooms are doubles with an en suite. Pictured, one of the bathrooms available in the abode

It also features a spacious office, a studio and two of the three bedrooms are doubles with an en suite. Pictured, one of the bathrooms available in the abode

The main living room is large, light and airy, offering an excellent entertaining space, while the dining area can easily seat 14. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

The main living room is large, light and airy, offering an excellent entertaining space, while the dining area can easily seat 14. Pictured, one of the bedrooms

The boat is well insulated and because she is so heavy (140 tonnes), she is very stable in the water, say the current owners of the vessel. Pictured, the outside area of the boat

The boat is well insulated and because she is so heavy (140 tonnes), she is very stable in the water, say the current owners of the vessel. Pictured, the outside area of the boat

Houseboat ‘Penelope’ claims to be one of the most stylish and attractive boats on the Thames – but will cost potential buyers a staggering £1.75million.

At 29 metres long with a 5.7 metre beam, she offers 2,405 sq. ft. of living space – including three bedrooms, two receptions and three bathrooms.

The vessel, built by a top naval architect, also has incredible views while being moored at Riverside Quarter in Wandsworth, with a licence til 2063. 

It also features a spacious office, a studio and two of the three bedrooms are doubles with an en suite. The main living room is large, light and airy, offering an excellent entertaining space, while the dining area can easily seat 14.

The boat is well insulated and because she is so heavy (140 tonnes), she is very stable in the water, say the current owners of the vessel. 

£1.35m renovated barge, Wandsworth

Bedrooms: 3

Receptions: 2

Bathrooms: 2

Monarch is moored at Prospect Quay in Wandsworth, with secure, long term mooring rights - and will cost potential buyers £1.35million (pictured)

Monarch is moored at Prospect Quay in Wandsworth, with secure, long term mooring rights – and will cost potential buyers £1.35million (pictured)

This meticulously renovated and fully operational barge comprises a large, open-plan living area which is flooded with natural light (pictured)

This meticulously renovated and fully operational barge comprises a large, open-plan living area which is flooded with natural light (pictured)

On the lower level there are three double bedrooms (pictured is one of them) - one with an en suite shower room; a utility room; a fully tiled, ultra-modern bathroom with separate shower area and an additional multi-use room which could be a media and TV area, study or walk-in wardrobe

On the lower level there are three double bedrooms (pictured is one of them) – one with an en suite shower room; a utility room; a fully tiled, ultra-modern bathroom with separate shower area and an additional multi-use room which could be a media and TV area, study or walk-in wardrobe

The new owner of this vessel will also have parking facilities, 24 hour concierge, swimming pool and gymnasium available in the adjoining residential development. Pictured, the bathroom

The new owner of this vessel will also have parking facilities, 24 hour concierge, swimming pool and gymnasium available in the adjoining residential development. Pictured, the bathroom

Monarch is moored at Prospect Quay in Wandsworth, with secure, long term mooring rights – and will cost potential buyers £1.35million.

This meticulously renovated and fully operational barge comprises a large, open-plan living area which is flooded with natural light. 

There is a modern fully-fitted kitchen, front and rear decks and a roof terrace offering fabulous views of the River Thames. 

On the lower level there are three double bedrooms – one with an en suite shower room; a utility room; a fully tiled, ultra-modern bathroom with separate shower area and an additional multi-use room which could be a media and TV area, study or walk-in wardrobe.  

The new owner of this vessel will also have parking facilities, 24 hour concierge, swimming pool and gymnasium available in the adjoining residential development.

Prospect Quay is located on the corner of the spacious Wandsworth Park, by the River Thames and is a 15 minute walk from Putney mainline and East Putney underground stations. The river taxi service runs from the adjacent pier at Riverside Quarter.

£700,000 houseboat, Chelsea

Bedrooms: 3

Receptions: 1

Bathrooms: 2

Moored on the historic Cheyne Walk, facing towards Battersea Bridge, houseboat 'Antje' (pictured centre) enjoys enviable views - at a cost of £700,000 to potential buyers

Moored on the historic Cheyne Walk, facing towards Battersea Bridge, houseboat ‘Antje’ (pictured centre) enjoys enviable views – at a cost of £700,000 to potential buyers

Beautifully presented, with stylish and bright décor, the boat is awash with natural light due to the many windows and skylights - and this is amplified by the choice of materials throughout (pictured)

Beautifully presented, with stylish and bright décor, the boat is awash with natural light due to the many windows and skylights – and this is amplified by the choice of materials throughout (pictured)

The accommodation boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms (one of which is en suite to the master), a substantial open-plan kitchen and family room (pictured), as well as a lounge on deck

The accommodation boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms (one of which is en suite to the master), a substantial open-plan kitchen and family room (pictured), as well as a lounge on deck

Offering over 1,100 sq. ft., newly-refurbished Antje (pictured) is 'extremely pleasant to live on and a delight to be aboard. A lovely houseboat in a fashionable and prestigious location', says the estate agents

Offering over 1,100 sq. ft., newly-refurbished Antje (pictured) is ‘extremely pleasant to live on and a delight to be aboard. A lovely houseboat in a fashionable and prestigious location’, says the estate agents

Moored on the historic Cheyne Walk, facing towards Battersea Bridge, houseboat ‘Antje’ enjoys enviable views – at a cost of £700,000 to potential buyers. 

Beautifully presented, with stylish and bright décor, the boat is awash with natural light due to the many windows and skylights – and this is amplified by the choice of materials throughout. 

The accommodation boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms (one of which is en suite to the master), a substantial open-plan kitchen and family room, as well as a lounge on deck. 

Offering over 1,100 sq. ft., newly-refurbished Antje is ‘extremely pleasant to live on and a delight to be aboard. A lovely houseboat in a fashionable and prestigious location’, says the estate agents.

£595,000 lighthouse vessel, Silvertown 

Bedrooms: 6

Receptions: 3

Bathrooms: 2

This home is a former Trinity House lighthouse vessel (pictured), lovingly converted by her celebrity and advertising photographer owner a stunning abode and location for photoshoots and filming

This home is a former Trinity House lighthouse vessel (pictured), lovingly converted by her celebrity and advertising photographer owner a stunning abode and location for photoshoots and filming

The accommodation consists of six bedrooms, four of which are crew cabins, complete with the original 1930's mahogany furniture (pictured) and one of them is en suite

The accommodation consists of six bedrooms, four of which are crew cabins, complete with the original 1930’s mahogany furniture (pictured) and one of them is en suite 

There is vast storage space available throughout the vessel, and it enjoys views over the docks from the lighthouse tower rising 45 feet from the water level

There is vast storage space available throughout the vessel, and it enjoys views over the docks from the lighthouse tower rising 45 feet from the water level

Hundreds of square meters of open deck space on multiple levels offer further options for events, photoshoots and filming, leisure time and entertaining

Hundreds of square meters of open deck space on multiple levels offer further options for events, photoshoots and filming, leisure time and entertaining

A new master cabin and bathroom occupies the top level of the vessel, with the latter showcasing a 19th century French copper bath (pictured)

A new master cabin and bathroom occupies the top level of the vessel, with the latter showcasing a 19th century French copper bath (pictured)

This home is a former Trinity House lighthouse vessel, lovingly converted by her celebrity and advertising photographer owner a stunning abode and location for photoshoots and filming.

The accommodation consists of six bedrooms, four of which are crew cabins, complete with the original 1930’s mahogany furniture and one of them is en suite.

A new master cabin and bathroom occupies the top level of the vessel, with the latter showcasing a 19th century French copper bath.

Meanwhile, a large open space gallery is fitter with English Rose furniture and the former engine room now boasts a stylish studio space. 

There is vast storage space available throughout the vessel, and it enjoys views over the docks from the lighthouse tower rising 45 feet from the water level.

Hundreds of square meters of open deck space on multiple levels offer further options for events, photoshoots and filming, leisure time and entertaining. 

£450,000 houseboat, Fulham 

Bedrooms: 2

Receptions: 1

Bathrooms: 2

Chelonia is a beautiful two bedroom houseboat (pictured), boasting a neutral decor to enhance the natural light that pours through the boat

Chelonia is a beautiful two bedroom houseboat (pictured), boasting a neutral decor to enhance the natural light that pours through the boat

The vessel features an open-plan kitchen/reception room (pictured), two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one of which is en suit to the master bedroom

The vessel features an open-plan kitchen/reception room (pictured), two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one of which is en suit to the master bedroom

Chelonia (pictured) has a large sundeck of 30 ft. length and is based in a central location close to the shops, restaurants, and bars of Chelsea

Chelonia (pictured) has a large sundeck of 30 ft. length and is based in a central location close to the shops, restaurants, and bars of Chelsea

However, the estate agents are only selling this vessel and not the mooring at Imperial Wharf Marina. The rental of the mooring is by separate negotiation with the marina or mooring management. Pictured, one of the two bedrooms

However, the estate agents are only selling this vessel and not the mooring at Imperial Wharf Marina. The rental of the mooring is by separate negotiation with the marina or mooring management. Pictured, one of the two bedrooms

Chelonia is a beautiful two bedroom houseboat, boasting a neutral decor to enhance the natural light that pours through the boat.

The vessel features an open-plan kitchen/reception room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one of which is en suit to the master bedroom.  

Chelonia has a large sundeck of 30 ft. length and is based in a central location close to the shops, restaurants, and bars of Chelsea.

However, the estate agents are only selling this vessel and not the mooring at Imperial Wharf Marina. The rental of the mooring is by separate negotiation with the marina or mooring management.

All prospective buyers should make their own enquiries with them directly to understand the in-going costs and mooring fees payable by a new owner, said River Homes.

£150,000 narrowboat, Little Venice 

Bedrooms: 1

Receptions: 1

Bathrooms:

Built in 2007, this 44 ft. houseboat (pictured) offers a cosy and contemporary interior, which results in a bright and spacious feel throughout

Built in 2007, this 44 ft. houseboat (pictured) offers a cosy and contemporary interior, which results in a bright and spacious feel throughout

The estate agents say the abode (pictured) would make an excellent city bolthole, a permanent home or a fun cruiser for the summer months

The estate agents say the abode (pictured) would make an excellent city bolthole, a permanent home or a fun cruiser for the summer months

It features an open-plan space with a fitted kitchen and living area, bedroom (pictured) and modern shower room, and the estate agents say a survey was done in 2017 and the boat has been significantly upgraded since

It features an open-plan space with a fitted kitchen and living area, bedroom (pictured) and modern shower room, and the estate agents say a survey was done in 2017 and the boat has been significantly upgraded since

It is situated in picturesque Little Venice in the gated Blomfield Road Moorings with local amenities, including an array of shops and restaurants, close by. Pictured, the living space

It is situated in picturesque Little Venice in the gated Blomfield Road Moorings with local amenities, including an array of shops and restaurants, close by. Pictured, the living space

Built in 2007, this 44 ft. houseboat offers a cosy and contemporary interior, which results in a bright and spacious feel throughout.

The estate agents say the abode would make an excellent city bolthole, a permanent home or a fun cruiser for the summer months.

It features an open-plan space with a fitted kitchen and living area, bedroom and modern shower room, and the estate agents say a survey was done in 2017 and the boat has been significantly upgraded since. 

It is situated in picturesque Little Venice in the gated Blomfield Road Moorings with local amenities, including an array of shops and restaurants, close by. 

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