Today, we went to the dogs, the Isle of Dogs to be precise. We took the bus first to ASDA from where the above photo shows the famous pyramid-topped Canary Wharf building from an unusual angle, quite unlike that of the usual tourist pictures.
A bus ride along Westferry Road then took us to this place. Although this was built as a church and today is Sunday, we had no intention of going to a service.
Built as a church in about 1860 and closed in 1972, this building is now occupied by The Space, which describes itself as “a multi-arts centre”, and Hubbub, a rather nice cafe. The Space also accommodates a theatre company called SpaceWorks.
Today we were more interested in refreshments than in culture, and found Hubbub a pleasant venue with a friendly atmosphere.
There has been a lot of building in this area in recent years with blocks of flats and private estates making it hard to to get to the river but we did manage it a little further along from The Space.
As you can see from the sky in the above photo, the weather was alternately sunny and cloudy, threatening rain at times. Fortunately, it remained dry for the duration of our outing.
While exploring what was, after all, a private estate, we were accosted by an inhabitant, a very friendly young leopard-spotted cat.
Our next bus took us to a point on the south bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge. It is a park, open to the public, called Potters Field. One notable feature is that it contains the wonky-looking building that serves as the office complex for the Mayor of London. Officially, this is known as City Hall, but it rejoices in more familiar names, one of them of an anatomical nature (you’ll have to guess!).
As well as the delights of its gardens, a mixture of trimmed and more natural landscapes, the Field allows views of Tower bridge from an unfamiliar angle.
We spread a blanket on the trimmed grass near the waterside walkway and viewed the scene, now beautifully lit by the sun. In the photo, the sun is glinting on the “Gherkin”. This office complex was built on the site of the old Baltic Exchange, which was so damaged by an IRA bomb in 1993 that it had to be demolished. Officially named “30 St Mary Axe”, the new structure is affectionately called The Gherkin by nearly all Londoners.
We walked east along the waterside path, full of people enjoying the sunshine and the sights, past St Saviour’s Dock, once a working dock where ships unloaded their cargoes, past the houseboats, into Bermondsey.
Once a thriving wharf area, Bermondsey’s warehouses have emptied of trade goods and fallen silent. They have found a new life as quaint luxury housing for the affluent.
We returned to the main road, where I took this photo of St Saviour’s Dock from the street end. Lying on the mud you can see floating gardens. Well, they float when the tide comes in! For the moment, they lie ignominiously in the mud.
Across the road, we waited rather a long time for a number 47 bus but it came eventually and took us to Liverpool Street where we caught a 214 to the Angel and home. Thus ended our Sunday outing.