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The wonderful new film Mr Turner has inspired us to do a new walk we are calling Mr Turner’s Wapping. Wapping is one of the most charming, old and historically interesting places in London yet is rather off the beaten tourist track. It forms part of three of our existing walks – Pirates, Docks and Famous East End Murders – but Mr Turner’s Wapping is the first walk to be wholly in Wapping. We start close to Wapping Overground Station at the viewpoint of Turner’s Fighting Temeraire, looking across the river to Rotherhithe, and tell you the story behind the painting. We see old Wapping village complete with very early schools, warehouses, gigantic dock wall, old dock basins, a workhouse (one of the best preserved in London), some of the oldest pubs in London and the infamous Execution Dock where they still used to execute people into the time of Turner. These all give a wonderfully evocative feel of the Wapping that Turner knew, plus we bring along very early photographs of the area to further enhance the atmosphere. We also see the pub that has claimed for five generations, wrongly, to have once been owned by Turner and run by a barmaid woman friend of his that he had met in Margate. We also show you the spot nearby where Turner really did own a pub, The Ship & Whalebone, and just to prove the point show you a receipt for work done at the pub in Turner’s name. We also show you a very old photograph of the place. And of course we tell you much about the great man too. And we tell you about another great painter, Whistler, who also stayed and painted here. We also show you where Captain Bligh used to live and the pub (still there) where he once had a drink with Fletcher Christian, and tell you of the area’s connection with other notables such as Judge Jeffries, Capt Kidd and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. We can finish the walk back at Wapping Overground, or if you prefer, you can be dropped at the charming Prospect of Whitby pub, the oldest riverside pub in London, which is a great spot with good food.

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