The very word Dockland conjures up images of the colossal Canary Wharf tower. But Docklands is not just the tower, it is much more than that. Dockland is an area which is dynamic and although most visitors to London come with images of age old traditions and heritage. A visit to Docklands and the nearby Canary Wharf areas which are essentially the new face of London is indeed surprising to many.
The Tower Bridge with its sidewalks and the contemporary Design Museum on the southern side of the river are indeed marvelous. On the northern side of the river, the focal point of attraction is the classical St. Katherine Docks with its old sailing ships, which makes for a picture-perfect setting. Not many are aware of the fact that the Docklands happen to be the venue of the world’s biggest Dragon Boat racing center after Hong Kong.
The magnitude of development that the Docklands area of London has witnessed over the past 20 years is astounding and the contrast with Docklands of twenty years ago is indeed very stark. The only sign of hospitality and leisure then were the few Docker’s canteen. Fortunately one canteen has somehow managed to survive at its original location near the Napoleonic edifices by the side of Canary Wharf. The typical English breakfast, which it serves to the office going crowd, is hugely poplar. Today, Docklands attracts close to 500,000 visitors every year and sensing the future of Dockland’s tourist potential, already a few renowned hotel chains like the International Britannia and the Scandic Crown have made their presence felt at Docklands.
The best way to reach Docklands is by embarking on the Docklands Light Railway at Tower Bridge and goes right up to Island Gardens and then walk along the foot tunnel to Greenwich. From Greenwich one has the option of taking a boat ride. This is by far the best possible way of exploring the manifold beauties of the Docklands area.
Although, Docklands is still not among the top attractions of London, yet it is growing in popularity. With excellent transport links though the Docklands Light Railway, which is an over-ground monorail system, buses and highly efficient river bus services, reaching Docklands is indeed a pleasure.
Photo by : Hamish2k