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Docklands

E14
Nearest Tube: Wapping
(but the Docklands Light Railway is often the best way to get around the Docklands).


London Docklands are situated to the east of The City, stretching from the Tower Bridge in the west all the way past the Isle of Dogs. The area they cover is vast - bigger than the whole of central London.
London Docklands, London, 15K
This is due to London's industrial heritage and the fact that for many years London was one of the busiest and most important ports in the world. By the late 18th century, the British Empire covered over half the globe, and London Docklands were the cornerstone of the empire's trade and commerce.

However, in the 20th century, as Britain's power was on the wane, the Docklands went into decline and many parts went into disuse. Unemployment was high and the whole area was regarded as a bit of a no-man's land.

But in the l980's the developers moved in. The Docklands were seen as a golden opportunity to create a new, fashionable district aimed at the wealthy 'yuppie' class. The idea was to transform the quays and warehouses into residential areas whilst also providing sporting and leisure activities.

Millions of pounds were poured into the scheme, run by the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC), but the success of it is questionable. Whilst there is little doubt that a transformation has taken place, it has been slow and many parts of the Docklands are still empty.

Nevertheless, the Docklands are an interesting part of London to visit for nowhere else can you get quite such a mix of industrial heritage combined with modern development.

Transportation around the Docklands is not very good - by far the best way to get around is the Docklands Light Railway. You can catch this daily from Tower Gateway near Tower Hill tube station or from Bank station in The City from Mondays to Saturdays.

In the west, near Tower Bridge is St Katharine's Dock and HMS Belfast. Then you come to Tobacco Dock and Execution Dock in Wapping. Further eastward is the Isle of Dogs, perhaps the best-known part of the Docklands, with Canary Wharf and the Docklands Visitor Centre.



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