Perhaps a little surprisingly, this is one of our prettiest walks. The tour starts by walking you around historic old Wapping village, where the first tunnel beneath water was built by Marc Brunel (and is still in use; you may have travelled through it to get here) linking Wapping and Rotherhithe. We head into the Olde Wapping of salty seadogs. We see the pub where Capt Bligh used to drink with Mr Christian; the spot where pirates were hanged and the pub which served them their last drink beforehand. There are huge walls and impressive warehouses which were to keep valuable stock in and dodgy characters out. There’s a leafy churchyard with a fascinating history, and we see Wapping’s “pirate ships”, next to a pretty canal. We see a pub that claims to be something that it isn’t! We also see London’s oldest police station, the Wapping of JMW Turner who had a pub down here, a workhouse and a huge, fantastic wall mural capturing the events of the Battle of Cable Street.
We then jump on a DLR to see the huge Royal Victoria Dock. We see where the largest explosion in history at the time took place 100 years ago, and just a few yards away where a huge financial and administrative disaster took place during the Olympics 5 years ago. We also see a huge old derelict mill, and various interesting ships in the dock.
There are two optional extras on this walk. 1 – We can walk over the dock via a high footbridge which gives great views of City Airport. You look straight down the lights of the runway and the planes fly low, right over you. But it’s 80 steps up and another 80 down so we can walk around the dock if you prefer. 2 – We can jump on the Emirates Cable Car to finish the walk in North Greenwich if you wish. It’s a fantastic ride, with some of the best views in London, and only costs you £3.50 on your oyster card.
Or we can do the walk in the opposite direction so as to finish in Wapping because there are some great pubs down there where you can finish the walk. The Prospect of Whitby for example.
Start Wapping overground station
Finish Royal Victoria Dock or North Greenwich stations
or Start North Greenwich or Royal Victoria Dock stations
Finish Prospect of Whitby pub in Wapping