The story of Isle of dog is that of from grass to grace, from dockyards to world’s renowned financial houses. From a forgotten swampland whose name story has been lost within the embers of history to London’s centre of attraction. A land where the old and new London dwell in harmony. The following are places (fraught with docking memories, robed in maritime moments) you cannot afford to miss if ever you come into London.
Having lived through some of the most memorable times, standing tall, in Isle of Dogs, are landmarks and telltales of the marshland/glories of yesteryears blended with the monumental strides of today and a glaring hope for the future.
Museum of London Docklands
This is a rich repository of the history of London’s people, port and river. Within its walls lies stories and crafts’ remains from generations long gone from the Roman times to the present make over of the Docklands. It is located in West India Docks’ north Wharf. Give your kids some fun treats by bringing them over.
This is a city away from the city. The pride of the isle of dogs with tall financial towers fitted in a tiny village. This area bustles, during the week, with sleek suits, suitcases and mobile devices. It is one half of the divide – the new London divide dipped in opulence, robed in royalty and saddled with world financial prowess. While the other half, takes on a contrasting form you would doubt that they are in anyway related. Canary Wharf plays host to world’s financial giants and their high rise domineering edifices dwarfed by One Canada Square, which was renowned as the tallest building in England before the Shard strolled along and stole the show.
However, within this space, from the skies it stares down at you with the intimidating boldness only the beautiful can afford.
The modern masterpiece of industry and a gallant leader in the world’s financial market. It is home to headquarters of some of the largest corporations – Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan chase, HSBC and a host of others. Buzzling during the week and a hollow shadow at weekends. It makes up what is known as the Canary Wharf estate.
Like a snake, it meandered through the Isle of dogs and folded the area in its bowels giving it a tongue-like touch. It, once upon a time, brought nothing by swamps, however, with man’s ingenuity, that tide was turned and for generations, River Thames has been feeding the population of this Isle with proceeds from the sea and all other attendant benefits. It is the longest river in England and the second longest in the United kingdom. Taking up different names through the different regions it flows.
Billingsgate Fish Market
This is England’s biggest fish market inland. It was named after a ward called Billingsgate South-East of London. This market, in the 19th century, was considered as the largest fish market in the world. It now sits on its new home – a thirteen acres of building complex.
St Katharine’s Dock
Once upon a time, St Katherine’s Dock located between Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Tobacco Dock, was nothing but a dingy dump. However, with the touch of development beaming on it, it is now one of the happening places in the east end of London. Planning and some resources has converted hitherto warehouses into dwelling places. Its ivory house (an ivory store), Dock master’s house and other structures are all smiling from the surgical hands of civil engineers. Living Legacies hidden behind a modern painter’s brush.
Mudchute Park and Farm
If you are tired of the intimidation of Canary Wharf, come let us go see/feed some animals and be drowned in the peaceful embrace of Mother Nature’s greens. Mudchute Park, sitting gallantly on a thirteen hectares of land is said to be the biggest urban farm in Europe and it is just the perfect place for recreational activities. It has wealth of animals and if you are the daring type, you can book a horse ride. It is located in Cubitt town, south of the Canary Wharf.
Looking like a space ship from the future, the O2 takes the shape of a tortoise with yellow spikes towering off its shell. It was previously known as the Millennium Dome. It is the heart of entertainment in London. From its concert hall (O2 arena, one of the world’s most booked halls) to the music club (indigO2). From its exhibition theater to restaurants and loads of cafes. Should you be hungry for a little fresh air, there is no other better way to do it than climbing up the O2 roof and walking through its full length. Breathtaking!
Next time you think of London, think of business and a little bit of fun too! These and many more are the landmarks of what was once upon a time nothing but marshland.