Sitting beside the north bank of the River Thames in the Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London, Wapping has a strong maritime history and vibe, with lots of riverside pubs and walkways. Many of the original warehouses and maritime buildings were cleared to make way for the London Docks, and even more were destroyed in the Second World War, but the area still retains its historic charm.
Despite the fact that many were demolished, Wapping still has plenty of warehouses, most of which lay abandoned following the Blitz. However, since the 1980s, the London Docklands Development Corporation have been redeveloping the area and have created some stunning warehouse conversions and luxury apartments. You’ll also find a number of charming Victorian terraces.
Fulfilling your lifestyle aspirations…
There is plenty to do, see and taste in Wapping. If you’re a fan of Italian food, and quite frankly who isn’t, you’ll want to drop into Gastronomica on Garnet Street, a cafe-cum-deli stocking authentic Italian food and drink, and serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long. Locals say they have the friendliest service around, so pop in for a morning coffee, or olives and wine in the evening, and you’re sure to be chatting away in no time. For more shopping delights, some of London’s oldest and most famous markets, including Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane, are just around the corner.
For an after work drink with a slightly spooky edge, drop by The Prospect of Whitby – an historic and atmospheric pub on the Wapping riverside close to the Execution Dock of old. Many a pirate and smuggler suffered a grim fate here and the spot is marked by a scaffold and hangman’s noose. The pub offers a fantastic view of the Thames, and you may even spot a ghostly pirate or two!
The historic Wilton’s Music Hall is an impressive performing arts space tucked away on Graces Alley, where you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped back in time. John Wilton opened the concert hall in the mid-19th century and the building has miraculously survived in more or less its original condition ever since. With a unique facade of Victorian house fronts, exposed brick, peeling paint, mismatched colours and hanging baskets, the premises are the very definition of shabby chic! Inside, there is a bar and study both brimming with original period features, but the real star of the show is the music hall itself, with a high ceiling, three-sided gallery and an arch stage, giving it a church-like feel. The hall has been sympathetically refurbished to support the needs of modern productions, but still retains its period features and charm. This is a truly spectacular venue for the concerts, theatre and variety acts regularly hosted here.
Wapping Overground station (Zone 2) sits on the East London Line, between Shadwell and Rotherhithe, for easy connection to the Underground network and the DLR. Tower Hill Tube station is close by, from which you can get to Victoria station in around 14 minutes. Buses serving Wapping include the 100 and D3.
Families will love
The Thames Path is perfect for a family weekend walk, where you can swap (or invent) stories about the smugglers, pirates and sailors who trod the same path centuries ago.
There are plenty of great schools in Wapping, including St Peter’s London Docks Primary School and Hermitage Primary School. Located not far away, St Michael’s Catholic College and Mulberry School for Girls are good local secondary schools. To discover properties within the catchment area, contact Franklyn James, sales and letting agents Wapping.