London Touristy Spots

Visitor Guide to Canary wharf in London

Visitor Guide to Canary wharf in London

Canary Wharf is built on the Isle of Dogs in London (not to be confused with the movie!) and it’s the concrete jungle of London, where a lot of the banks, law firms and the skyscrapers are located. It is very protected with security personal and CCTV everywhere and it always feels odd going there, but since it’s a comfortable commute for me, I go there to dine sometimes. It has really changed from when I first moved to London and now it is becoming a little more family friendly and it was even busy on a Sunday, which was very unlikely a couple years ago. In this post, I want to give you a quick guide into navigating Canary Wharf and what you would expect from that part of town.

How to get to Canary Wharf?

Canary Wharf is connected by the underground’s Jubilee Line and the Dockland Light Railway, DLR, which makes it easy to access if you are coming from South and East London. To get the best travel route you can check Google Maps, City Mapper or the official Transports for London website.

Things to do in Canary Wharf

Enjoy all the sculptures

If sculptures are you thing, then you would love walking around Canary Wharf with a lot of the sculptures are on display around the squares and the buildings. You can follow the official art map and see them. I spotted a few that I liked, which I thought was cool, but I am one of the people who went all the way to the Sculpture park in Norway. My favourites are #21 and #23 in case you are wondering.

Can you spot the sculptures in this photo?

Can you spot the sculptures in this photo?

The Dockland Museum

Canary Wharf is the home of the West India Docks, which was an important port from 1802 till the late 1980s when it started declining. It was later taken by the government and sold to various companies and redeveloped to what it is now. If you want the detailed history of all of this, you can go see it and read about it in the Dockland museum. The building itself dates to 200 years ago as well! It’s one of the warehouses in the image below.

The Dockland Museum in Canary Wharf

Roof Garden

I really like the small roof garden in the Cross rail Place. It’s usually quiet and good place to walk to after lunch. It will take you 15 minutes max to go around it by the way. There are two bar restaurants there on either side, but you don’t usually hear any noise. They have a few nice plants and even some fern from New Zealand if you are into that!

roof garden in the Cross rail Place
Roof garden in the Cross Rail Place | Canary Wharf, London

Shopping

Canary Wharf has a few shopping areas and plenty of shops to choose from. You can find the usual high street brands and the upper scales ones. They also have one of the most expensive malls there with a lot of the luxury brands. Here’s their official directory if you want to look up a specific brand.

Christmas Activities

I would advice going to Canary Wharf during the day to be able to see the buildings and the riverside. It is too quiet and dark at night to enjoy unless you are just going for dinner and leaving straight away. My favourite time of the year to visit the area is Christmas because they have a nice Christmas market and a skiing rink that is quieter than most in London.

Canary+Wharf+in+Christmas

Billingsgate’s Fish Market

I know the fish market is random and I actually never wake up early enough to go because it’s only open from 4am to 8am. I heard amazing things about the freshness and the choices of the fish there. This is where restaurants go get their fish selection and one of those days, I will try to get there and do my fish shop!


Canary Wharf Restaurants

There are many restaurants dotted around Canary Wharf, but the three main areas I go to are: The Jubilee Park Mall, the Cross Rail Place and sometimes the river facing restaurants. I have not tried all of them, but there are a few that I like and go to often and are mentioned below.

Ps. Not all restaurants are open late or on weekends. The ones mentioned here usually are, but always check opening times if you are making the trip from a long distance.

Breakfast or Brunch in Canary Wharf

The Breakfast Club

If you are going on the weekend, be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes especially if it’s brunch time. It gets packed so quickly! But it’s a big space with upstairs area and they sometimes have evening events there too. The breakfast club is loved by tourists and locals, but it’s slightly hyped and they don’t always have great service there. It’s a safe option for food though with a lot of options for meat eaters (not halal) and vegetarians (that’s what I get!).

Chai Kai

It’s just next door to the breakfast club and is usually my second stop when I do not get a table at the breakfast club. The prices for mains are very similar to the one above, but they charge for everything! I even extra syrup for pancakes. It is a nice place still and their service is very good. Their chicken and lamb is halal so that’s a plus.

Chai Kai Breakfast in Canary Wharf

Lunch or Dinner in Canary Wharf

Sticks n Sushi

This is one of my favourite Sushi restaurants in London and this branch is much easier to find a table than the rest of the branches in London and their service is always fantastic. I usually get their sea food or vegetarian/vegan options, but if you don’t drink alcohol double check their ingredients because even their regular soya sauce contains it.

Stick n Sushi Canary Wharf
Sticks n Sushi Canary Wharf

Franco Manca

I always forget it is there! But if you want a nice, reliable Italian pizza, then that is where you need to go! Their prices are reasonable and the pizzas are always delicious.


Is Canary Wharf a good location to stay while visiting London?

Well it depends. If you are there on business and your time is limited it’s better to stay there, but if you have flexibility and you want to see a more authentic part of London then no. I personally would not stay there if I am in London for a short time because it is a very modern and built up part and I like the other quirky side of London that has more culture and heritage.

Canary Wharf Hotels

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London After Midnight

When my friend suggested to keep walking around the river in South Bank and cross the main footpath bridges in London at 11pm, I jumped at the opportunity! I always wanted to experience London at night, but I never felt comfortable doing it on my own. The weather has been warm and glorious. I haven't spent a July in London before. I am usually away during that time, but this year I came right when summer started. It was surprisingly busy, but when the weather is good in London people stay out longer. I only had my Canon G 7X mark 1 with me and I thought the photos turned out really well for a point and shoot. Here are some of the photos I took on the walk.  

More of Greenwich

Happy Thursday!

Last year, I blogged about one of my favourite spots in London, Greenwich in the Beauty of the Surroundings: Greenwich post. By the start of April last year, most flowers bloomed and brightened the city. This year, the Spring start has been a little slower. but, it is coming along. My first thing I did when the weather warmed up a little was go again to greenwich to walk around the city. I went around the beautiful University of Greenwich. It is located in a world heritage site. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren at the end of the 17th century. From the university I went to the banks of the River Thames, where central London was sparkling beautifully on the other side. At the end of the walk, I passed by the Cutty Sark Clipper Ship from the outside. There are lots of restaurants around there and the greenwich market, which I will do a special post on in the future. Enjoy these few snaps I took there! :)  

Covent Garden

Last night, I spent the evening around Covent Garden and the atmosphere was so magical with pretty lights sparkling everywhere. 

I got off the Covent Garden tube station and just wandered off from there.  

Covent Garden

The Christmas lights and decorations covered the streets and gave everyone extra joy. 

Notice the creepy huge doll in the ball to the top right lol

Notice the creepy huge doll in the ball to the top right lol

There was a lovely singer with a soft voice that added to the magical atmosphere. 

I wish I got her card to tag her! 

I wish I got her card to tag her! 

The beautifully lit reindeer. The noir photo looked more dramatic

The beautifully lit reindeer. The noir photo looked more dramatic

Even the shops were decorated 

London Christmas Decor

Then there was the tree! 

Market Christmas Decor

Too bad I couldn't take a full photo but EVERYONE was taking selfies and snapchats 

London Christmas tree

I also saw a pattern and was totally in love! 

London Geometry
CloseUp 

CloseUp 

It's defiantly worth a visit if you are in London and you haven't seen it already. Keep in mind it was very crowded. Maybe go on the 27th after the Christmas shopping and Boxing Day rush. 

Liberty London

Last weekend I had the opportunity to *finally* visit

Liberty

. I know it was very overdue especially that almost every English crafty friend I had recommended it. Liberty was tucked away from the main street, which makes it more of a destination. The shop was established in 1875 by Arthur Liberty. After the great success it was received with, this current Tudor style building was completed in the 1920s. It was designed by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall and constructed from the timber of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. You can clearly see all of this in the facade. Read more about the history on the Liberty's

main website

There are few doors to Liberty and my favourite one was the florist front. The flowers were colourful and smelled so good. 

and you go in and see more arrangement choices and lovely flower pots and bits. 

The interior design of the place is as magnificent as the architecture, especially with the quadruple open ceiling that ends with a glass roof that brings a lot of natural light. The style of balconies on each floor of the four floors makes the whole store interconnected. 

The design and the divisions of spaces are symmetrical and angular. 

There are many subsections for all the different available categories from fashion, accessories, stationary, home ware, furniture to everything in between.    

Below is my favourite shot, when the elevator opened and had a second to click. It really felt like Liberty is an open door to fashion. 

I loved the lights that were dangling from the fourth floor to the ground floor. It gave an urban feel to the historic space. 

The building was designed to have three main wells and each one will have smaller surrounding rooms to give a homey feel to the visitors. The other well area had these beautiful crystal chandeliers.  

The ground floor of accessories and stationery was fabulous and tempting was hard to escape the sparkle and all the little goodies. The third and fourth floors were decor, furniture, cookery and interior design accessories. I have a special blog post about that, but take a little sneak peek!  

They also had a beautiful craft section with YARN! *my love* fabric, threads, buttons and more beautiful crafty things that I couldn't resist. 

Look at all the beautiful options!

All high quality and with lots of yummy colours!

Overall, Liberty was a lovely place to visit and to be inspired by. Highly recommended if you are visiting London. 

Stroll Down Richmond Park

Happy Weekend All!

Yesterday the sun was shining in London, but obviously you shouldn't be fooled by the London sun coz it NEVER gets as hot as anyone expects. I was invited on a stroll to Richmond Park. It was FREEZING, but enjoyable. It will be great to go there on a good -warmer- day to read a book, have a picnic or to just chill.

This is officially my favourite colour *HOT PINK*

I saw them on the way to the park 

When I first entered the park. 

I was greeted by mighty clouds, beautiful green trees and a small lake

*SubhanAllah*

Then I saw this little guy! 

Then He/She came closer and posed for me!

Turns out, Richmond Park is a natural reserve for deer

Some trees were still catching up with Spring

There's a road in the middle to stroll down

It was such a beautiful park! I enjoyed it much more than the commercialised Hyde Park. Although, I am pretty sure it will be very busy during REAL sunny days. Worth a visit.

The British Museum

My absolute favorite thing in the whole of London is the British Museum. I could just spend a whole day there. It's just full of international culture and valuable wonders. I like their little audio tour guide at least you would know what's going on. It's a rich source for information and stories. It's only two pounds something to hire it if you have a student card. I think it's very worth it! Especially, that entrance is free. They also have some changing exhibitions every few months. Some of them require an extra fee to see. 

It's impossible to take a pic of just the entrance. It's always overloaded with people.

The design of it on its own is worth seeing. The building was completed in 1823 in the Greek Revival style. It was designed as four wings; North, South, West & East. In 2000, Norman Foster, an amazing English designer who is renowned internationally designed the glass dome reading room, which gave the building that contemporary touch making it a real example for two worlds colliding and creating wonderful architecture. 

The impressive glass dome with its pattern that reflects on the white structure and flooring 

Here's a picture round of of a trip I took down the museum: 

Started the visit with checking out the Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone. This is what started languages!

It's always crowded around it and the protective glass makes it hard to take a proper pic

A try for a Rosetta stone close up

After that, I followed the path to the Egyptian heritage and saw so many pharaohs. Most pictures had million people passing through, so here are few close ups  

If you love the pharaohs so much,

you can buy a little cheesy pharaoh duck as a reminder

I continued to the section about Africa

This actually spells an Arabic sentence! Can you see it?

It says المعرفة احلى من العسل  which means "knowledge is sweeter than honey"

Look at how the artefacts displayed

I really wanted one of these!

Then headed to Asia section

Followed it with the Islamic World

Old Arabic script

This is pretty interesting if you are into Arabic calligraphy

The 99 names of Allah written in Arabic

Close up!

I really loved all these patterns

 Then to a picture gallery that was on at that time

At the end, the gift shop is a must!

The book stand in the gift shop is full of interesting looking books!

They are organized by historical era and country. 

Winter Wonderland in London

Since before I arrived to London, everyone was telling me about this amazing winter wonderland in Hyde Park, and how I should go and be amazed. One of my friends was going on a photo walk group there, so I tagged along. We got there late, so we missed the group, but we fully enjoyed ourselves walking around, taking pictures and eating chocolaty treats. The wonderland was lovely, nothing super amazing. It was so crowded and full of kids. It was hard to take people free pix, so I caved at the end, and took pix of places and people. After all, people make the places :)