Tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of Tower Bridge and the City of London lies one of London’s best-hidden secrets. Arguably the perfect balance between picturesque cobbled streets and the City of London on your doorstep, St Katherine’s Dock and Wapping is a serene and tranquil neighbourhood.
As the name suggests the area is a mixture of docks as well as canals and narrow streets. With a history that dates back to 1220 when it is thought to have started as a riverbank settlement Wapping and St Katherine’s Dock is now more famously known for being the dock for imports of exotic spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and saffron.
Now in the 21st Century, it is home to a range of shops, restaurants and pubs, including London’s oldest riverside pub that dates back to 1520. The quaint cobbled streets and warehouse conversions are a stark comparison to the central London postcode that it holds. But fear not, wander down the river bank and you will be reminded of exactly where you are, with fabulous views of Tower Bridge and the Shard.
With the regeneration of the area taking place in the 1980s, Wapping and St Katherine’s Dock is an area that really comes into its own from Spring onwards with a range of outdoor activities to enjoy.
Stroll to one of the two docks that lie at either end of the area, both acting as a hub for fantastic restaurants, bars and coffee shops. If checking out luxury boats and yachts is your thing, be sure to head down to St Katherine’s Dock where boats moor up to get a prime view of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Shard.
Here are our recommended docks, spaces and activities to visit in the area:
St Katherine’s Dock
A picture-perfect dock located moments from the Tower of London that offers a range of restaurants, bars and cafes.
Hosting a range of events from conferences to food festivals, this is a great venue steeped in history.
Watch theatre and music in a grade II listed music hall that claims to be the oldest in the world.
If you’re not afraid to put on a wetsuit and grab a paddle, Shadwell Basin is an outdoor activity centre that offers a range of water sports and activities to enjoy.
OK, we’re calling it a beach but it’s not quite white sand and palm trees. Head down at low tide though and see what treasures the Thames washes up or take a good few pictures for your social feed.
Food for thought:
A chilled glass of white overlooking the dock with the afternoon sun on your face and being transported to Italy with a pizza bigger than your head, St Katherine’s Dock and Wapping really does have it all.
And, if a typical English pub is what you’re after that is steeped in history with great stories to tell then look no further. From London’s oldest riverside pub to a grade 2 listed hang out that dates back to 1545, due to the area's rich history you will be spoilt for Sunday roast choice and freshly poured pint choice.
Our top spots to dine in Wapping & St Katherine’s Dock:
Prospect of Whitby
London’s oldest riverside pub is famous for hosting famous faces from royalty to celebrities. If you’re looking for the typical English pub, then here is your destination.
Town of Ramsgate
Dating back to 1545 this pub has stunning beams inside and a little courtyard out the back that offers the relaxing sound of the river lapping up against the side.
If pizza, pasta and plenty of Italian finishes, be sure to book as you can often find a queue out the door.
Positioned in St Katherine’s Dock, enjoy a coffee and cake whilst soaking up some of the impressive boats.
Serving up delicious fish in a serene surrounding, this takes all the fuss out of fine dining and offers great food in a relaxing atmosphere.
There is a range of transport links on your doorstep in the zone 2 areas of St Katherine’s Dock and Wapping. Aside from a stroll or cycle along the Thames Path, the area has a range of other transport options to choose between.
St Katherine’s Dock is just half a mile to Tower Hill station, which has access to the District and Circle line. While Wapping station is on the Overground and Shadwell station also benefits from the District Light Railway.
The range of transport routes connects the area to Waterloo, Bank, Canary Wharf and beyond.
Education and Business:
With the great transport links and a range of hot spots to while away a weekend, with that has come to a solid range of schools, with the area becoming popular with young families who want the balance between central London living and a neighbourhood feel.
There is a range of comprehensive state primary and secondary schools with an OFSTED rating of “good” or “outstanding”.
For private schools, there are two Montessori schools and the neighbouring City of London area has a range of some of the top private schools for London.
From the quiet cobbled streets to the local parks, St Katherine’s Dock and Wapping is a great place to call home. The distance to the centre of London coupled with the beautiful scenery makes the area very popular with young professionals and families. At Crown Home, we have a range of properties available to buy and rent in the area so make sure to check them out below.
Properties to rent:
Zone 1, London Dock, London, E1W
We have a range of properties to rent in the Wapping & St Katherine's Dock area. One of the most popular developments is London Dock, which offers residents a community-focused lifestyle with a Central London postcode.
Properties to buy:
Cashmere Wharf, London Dock
Zone 1, London Dock, London, E1W
With spectacular views of Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge and the City of London from a range of apartments, Cashmere Wharf offers high-end, luxury living.