As a gloriously barmy – or balmy – but sensuous experience, puttering down the Regent’s Canal in one of HotTug UK's wood-fired, steam-powered hot tubs is hard to beat. Strip down to your swimmers, gather six friends, deploy the ice bucket and your sense of adventure, and bask in 38-degree water inside, while the canal water stays outside.
We love our canals in London, we cycle and walk beside them but seldom get out onto the water unless we are lucky enough to have houseboat-dwelling friends. HotTug UK has changed all that. A world first unsurprisingly – after all it takes a very unusual mind to think up the concept of a boat full of hot water – Hot Tug UK successfully crowdfunded its way to launch earlier in the year.
Developed by Dutch designer Frank De Bruijn, the HotTug’s wood-burning stove heats the water and provides a pleasant scent of woodsmoke, while a silent electric engine sends the tug gently along. The whole experience is 90 minutes, with changing rooms provided and private entry to the tub. Best of all, HotTug UK can be experienced all the year round. Just think about a floating hot tub date in the snow.
‘The feel of the outdoors is very important to me,’ says D Bruijn. ‘Now the HotTug is expanding my work horizon to the water as well.’
The boats travel at 4mph – walking pace - so you won’t be making many waves, except with the astonished people watching from the towpath. The sturdy edge of the hot tub does allow for jumping in, but we don’t recommend swimming in the Regent’s Canal.
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