Monday, 3 July 2017

Tobacco dock

Hello

Thanks for dropping by.

If you fancy a long walk in London, how about striding out from the Tower of London to Canary Wharf!  Forget those new fangled tube trains which take ten minutes, why not take a couple of hours instead, you'll be surprised what you find on the way.

Sticking to the north bank of the Thames, passing St Katherine's Dock, you'll come across the pretty Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden with a view of the Shard, in Wapping.  This was an area known for sailors,  boat builders and pirates, in fact Execution Dock nearby was where pirates were hanged. During WWII, the town suffered in the Blitz and there's a memorial in the Gardens. Wapping is also famous for being where Richard Murdoch built his newspaper printing and publishing works in 1986 which resulted in a Trade Union dispute when new technology was introduced.


Heading inland the large Hermitage Lake full of waterlilies leads to an ornamental canal, flanked by modern houses. Swans, ducks and fish abound.


The canal passes Tobacco Dock, built in 1811 mainly to store tobacco. The whole area was developed in the 1990s to be the 'Covent Garden of the East End' but instead it went into administration.  Nowadays there's only a sandwich shop in the large buildings and events take place from time to time.  In the 1800s there used to be an exotic pet shop there, a tiger escaped and picked up and carried off a small boy but the owner chased after them and rescued him.  There's a statue to mark the incident. A local referred to the area as the Marie Celeste.




The canal ends up by the Shadwell Basin, now used for water sports.  It used to be part of the London Docks, most of which have been filled in.



Wapping has a number of historic pubs, The Prospect of Whitby was built during Henry VIII's time and claims to be the oldest pub in London.


Heading back to the Thamespath by the river, the views to Canary Wharf suggest it is on the opposite bank of the River, but fear not, keep walking past the many wharves and magically you'll see you are on the right side after all!




Cheerio

6 comments:

  1. What a great walk, so much to see.

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    1. Sometimes it's best not to plan too much and see what you come across.

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  2. Visited Wapping many years ago, went by tube and we've passed Canary Wharf as we went by boat to Greenwich.

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    1. There's something so relaxing about travelling along the Thames on a boat.

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  3. Fantastic! I loved the tiger story! I like walking round cities, you get a much better sense of them x

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    1. Great fun isn't it. I suppose the Tower of London not far away used to have exotic animals roaming round the moat so an exotic pet shop doesn't sound so peculiar!

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