Once upon a time, there was little of Canary Wharf save from lonely, long-abandoned industrial docks. Now, it’s a buzzing business and residential district, its cloud-skimming buildings full of state-of-the-art apartments, hotel rooms and offices. Most of the structures in these parts come with floor-to-ceiling windows, river views and fitness centres.
Contrary to popular belief, the action in Canary Wharf goes on well into the weekend. Yes its reputation as a weekday professionals’ playground is justified, but this isn’t just a neighbourhood that comes alive Monday to Friday. The concentration of shops, bars and restaurants has grown steadily along with everything else, and now there’s plenty of hustle and bustle all week long.
Canary Wharf Shopping Centre is made up of five malls – a mixture of high street names and luxe designer stores. The area’s gastronomy is varied, spanning refined French gastropubs and sophisticated Japanese eateries, plus everything in between. And there’s a good smattering of watering holes, from cosy pubs to cocktail bars. The best of the bars sit Thames-side, with high-up al fresco terraces just right for catching that famous skyline at sunset.
Other attractions include London Museum Docklands, which offers a fascinating look at Canary Wharf’s history, and The Space, which concentrates on theatre and art. Outdoorsy types will appreciate the Docklands Sailing & Watersports Centre, where you can have a go at pursuits like windsurfing and canoeing.
Naturally, London’s largest financial hub is well connected, served by the DLR and Jubilee Line, and with frequent river bus services to the likes of London Bridge, Chelsea Harbour and Embankment, if you’d rather travel across the water. London City Airport is right on the doorstep, too – perfect for travelling professionals, or those jetting off for leisure instead of work.