Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Crossrail Roof Garden Bridge, Canary Wharf, London (UK)

Walking Around Canary Wharf

After having (packed) lunch at the O2 Dome, we took the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich to Canary Wharf. This was only the second or third time I had been to Canary Wharf Station. I did find it a bit confusing. Canary Wharf seems to be a major complex, with the DLR, Tube, shopping centre (mall), shops, eateries etc. There is a map that shows you how to make your way from the station to the office blocks. But as we had come to see the area and I didn’t want to get lost, I decided to make my way to street level. We exited onto Upper Bank Street.
Directions to the bridge:
  • When you exit onto Upper Bank Street, turn left.
  • Walk straight towards S Colonnade (Canada Square).
  • On your left you will see the complex that makes up Canada Square. Carry on straight.
  • Then you reach the junction of the N Colonnade (Canada Square) and Upper Bank Street.
If you look up then you can’t really see much. You do see a bridge but it does not look like very much - just a normal bridge connecting two buildings. In my opinion, there needs to be some signage on the bridge. Also the road is rather a quiet road. Walk down the road. In front of you on the right you will see the entrance to some eatery but it also says that this is the Crossrail Garden or eatery (or something like that!). But that gave some clue that it was the entrance to reach the bridge garden. 

As this was this first time we had come to Canary Wharf we took a slightly meandering route. I pointed out all the tall office building to my mum, the ones that make up the famous city skyline: JP Morgan, HSBC, Citibank etc. I also pointed out the busy city workers rushing around! This is Canary Wharf. The heart of London’s business and financial centre. When we reached the S Colonnade we took a diversion into Canada Square. Walking along, there in front of us was 1 Canada Square. The most famous building in Canary Wharf (and probably the most famous office block in London). “It was the tallest building in the United Kingdom from 1990 to 2010, standing at 770 feet (235 m) above ground level and containing 50 storeys.” (Wikipedia) It has a white flashing aircraft warning light, especially important due to its proximity to London City Airport.
1 Canada Square
Canada Square is a well developed complex with gardens, cafes, restaurants, shops etc. Seeing as we were there we went into 1 Canada Square. Inside you can walk around in the foyer. There was a restaurant on the far (north) side and some modern art. Obviously, you can’t go up or anything but can walk around. There are security barriers in the middle, these allow authorised people to access the lifts and go up. In the foyer I saw steps and signs going down to the shops and station.
The Roof Garden

The roof garden is a total haven in the middle of what must be this mad, hectic, built up area. It is very peaceful, beautiful and quiet. There are plenty of sitting areas. The garden has been tastefully and thoughtfully designed, drawing on the history of the docks, when Britain traded in the East and in the West. Half of the plants are from the Eastern hemisphere: tea, spices, silk, maple, bamboo etc; and the other half from the Western hemisphere: ferns, banana, coffee etc. There is a point where “East meets West” which is virtually on the Greenwich meridian. The Dock was originally built in 1802, as somewhere for traders and explorers to unload their cargo and discoveries. The new Crossrail station hopes to be opened in 2018.
I love taking picture of plants so there are quite a few!

Read my introduction to my Day Out in London.

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