Attractions in Tower Hamlets & London Docklands

Canary Wharf

Canary WharfCanary Wharf is one of Europe's largest commercial developments, providing some 12 million square feet of offices, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. Where once derelict warehouses stood now vast modern office blocks tower above the waters, including the 771 ft (235 metre) high No. l Canada Square (Britain's second tallest building).

Island Gardens

Three acres of beautiful public gardens on the banks of the Thames, which overlook the Royal Naval College (just across the river at Greenwich).

Museum of London Docklands

Housed in a former sugar warehouse, this fascinating museum describes the long history of London's river port and its trade with the world. The museum has a fine collection maritime related artifacts discovered in the area, from Roman coins to whale bones and WWII relics. You can learn about the devastating effects of the Blitz on the docklands area in the' Docklands at War' exhibition. The reconstructed Victorian streets of 'Sailortown', provides an atmospheric recreation of a 19th-c. riverside setting, with authentic alehouses and sailors lodgings. The 'London, Sugar & Slavery' exhibition reveals the city's sordid involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

The museum is also great for kids with interactive exhibits and the brilliant 'Mudlarks gallery', a fantastic hands-on play area for children.

Opening times: all year, daily, 10am to 6pm (closed Xmas) - Free Entry
Location: West India Quay, London, E14 4AL - Tel: 020 7001 9844 - Website

Mudchute Park & Farm

Venue for the annual Isle of Dogs Agricultural Show. Mudchute is a 32 acre working city farm with cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and ponies. There is also a cafe, children's pet corner, riding school, park and nature study area. The facility has no parking but has excellent transport links.

As a source of fertilizer, the farm used mud dredged from the nearby Millwall Dock to grow crops and vegetables, hence its unusual name.

Opening times: daily, 9am to 5pm - Free Entry - donations welcome
Location: Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, London, E14 3HP - Tel: 020 7515 5901 - Website

St Katherine Dock

One of London's most popular waterside features that attracts vessels from all over the world. The docks were developed in 1828 by Thomas Telford on the site of a former hospital (after which is was named), to cope with the ever burdening demands of commercial traffic on the Thames. Today the 25 acre site comprises two large marinas linked by a central basin. The dock is banked by restored wharf buildings, filled with desirable residences, shops, offices, restaurants and bars.

Whitechapel Art Gallery

A beautiful Art Nouveau building where the painter David Hockney and sculptor Barbara Hepworth first exhibited. The gallery's regular public exhibitions of experimental and avant garde works are responsible for introducing many new and exciting ideas onto the London art scene.

Opening times: Tue to Sun, 11am to 6pm (closed Mon) - Free Entry
Location: 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX - Tel: 020 7522 7888 - Website

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Established in 1570, this ancient foundry is one of Britain's oldest manufacturing companies. Many famous bells have been cast here over the centuries, including Big Ben, Bow Bells and the Liberty Bell. Big Ben, which chimes hourly in the tower at the Palace of Westminster, is the largest bell ever cast here, weighing-in at 13.5 tons (12247 kg). The foundry also casts smaller hand bells and chimes, many of which are for sale in the foundry store on Whitechapel road. Museum displays in the foundry foyer can also be visited.

Pre-booked tours of the foundry works are also available on Saturdays, when no foundry work is being done. Call on: 020 7247 2599 or see website for details.

Shop opening times: Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm - Free Entry
Location: 32/34 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1DY - Tel: 020 7247 2599 - Website

Historic Pubs and Inns in the Docklands

The Grapes

Formerly "The Bunch of Grapes", this traditional old inn has enjoyed great views over the Thames for nearly 500 years. It was here that Charles Dickens drew inspiration for his novel 'Our Mutual Friend' and many other popular writers and artists have visited here. Today its old world charm still purveys a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere for any thirsty traveler.

The Gun

A charming old pub that dates back to opening of West India Docks in 1802. It was named after an incident by the first ship to arrive in the docks 'The Henry Aldington', who subsequently fired a full gun salute. Today it is an excellent gastro-pub and restaurant. 

Prospect of Whitby

This old artist's haunt claims to be oldest Thames-side pub in London (circa 1520), complete with original wall paneling and beams. There are excellent panoramic views of the Thames from the riverside terrace. The artists Turner and Whistler were once regular customers there.

Next Page >> Attractions in London Westminster

Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.


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