Canary Wharf is a busy district in the East of London’s city centre and has more to offer than meets the eye. Its many skyscrapers reflect the sun and the sky, its bridges are architectural works of art and its distance from the centre of London gives it a calmer and more amiable atmosphere.
One Canada Square
Visiting Canary Wharf can give you a crick in the neck from always looking up at the skyscrapers. It’s true that the skyline of this district certainly has a lot to offer. However, the most magnificent building of them all is One Canada Square. Although it is the second tallest building in Britain after The Shard, it is the largest in the country, covering a surface area of over 400,000 square metres. The 236-metre high tower climbs more than 50 floors and has been standing tall in Canary Wharf since 1991. Although the building is unfortunately not open to the public, it is worth paying a visit to look up at its majestic architecture.
Before Canary Wharf became a skyscraper attraction and core of the London business centres, the district was a well-known port. Showcasing the rich history of Canary Wharf and other London ports is the Museum of London Docklands. On display are Port and River collections representing London’s history from the Roman settlement era to the development of modern-day Canary Wharf. Situated in a 200-year-old warehouse, the museum aims to tell the story of our capital through the eyes of trade, migration and commerce over the past centuries.
Beer Tasting | Courtesy of Meantime Brewing Company
You have surely managed to enjoy a couple of beers in your lifetime, but have you ever found out what hard work lies behind the fresh-tasting drink? The Meantime Brewery offers a series of tours of their factory where you can find out exactly how their beer is made. The Meantime Brewery has been London’s largest investment in craft beer brewing for over 80 years. The tour will allow you to learn about the brewing process, and afterwards get a tutored tasting session of a selection of Meantime beers.
There is an urban jungle on the rooftops of Canary Wharf for you to feast your eyes on various plants and enjoy performances in the sun. The Canary Wharf Crossrail Roof Gardens offer a range of free events, workshops and performances for the entire community in the beautiful setting of a roof garden. The garden is a representation of the history and the geography of Canary Wharf. It draws on the district’s heritage from when it was a trading hub and a port. Many of the plants installed in the gardens are native to the countries that were visited by the ships of the West India Dock Company many decades ago.
Although Canary Wharf is no longer an active trading port, there is still a large amount of food trading happening in the area. The Billingsgate Market is one of these places. It is the UK’s largest wholesale fish market, with an average of 25,000 tonnes of fish and fish products sold each year. With 98 stands, 30 shops and two cafés, the market offers a wide variety of fish for you to buy. There are daily arrivals from the coast and from overseas, and over 40 merchants trading right next to the Market Hall. It is a lively battle of who can get their hands on the best fish, and you can witness it all. With an area of over 4000 square metres, the market has a lot to offer for the average fish enthusiast, foodie, or simply an intrigued visitor.
Although we are all awaiting the sunshine and warm weather, some of us may be a bit nostalgic for the colder winter days. If you missed out on trying some ice-skating this year, do not fear: The Ice Rink Canary Wharf returns every year in autumn. London’s 5-star Ice Rink is one of the largest in the capital and features London’s only skate path, which guides the visitors along a trail of lit trees beneath the skyline of Canary Wharf’s towers. If you’d rather stay near the warmth and enjoy a good cocktail and food, the Ice Rink offers a large heated outdoor viewing terrace and an onsite restaurant and bar.