In the penultimate of my current series of blogs about specific areas in London, UK, today I talk about St Katharine Docks.
St Katharine Docks Is a Treasure Waiting To Be Discovered
Where is St Katharine Docks?
The docks sit in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Walk to the The Tower of London end of Tower Bridge and there is a flight of steps that takes you down to the entrance to St Katharine Docks. It is surprisingly well hidden and covers quite a large area. As I said in the title, a treasure waiting to be discovered.
In ‘View from The Lock At St Katharine Dock’ you can see that it sits on the other side of the River Thames to Butler’s Wharf.
One of the first things that strikes you is the feeling of open space in this exclusive marina and apartment complex that is set out in two main areas (basins).
History of St Katharine Docks
St Katharine Docks were part of the Port of London and officially opened in October 1828.
The origin of the name is interesting, if not a bit sad. It is based on the name of a former 12th Century hospital that stood on the site called ‘St Katharine’s By The Tower’. The hospital and 1,250 mostly slum dwellings, housing 11,300 people, were demolished in order to create the docks. I wonder what happened to those poor people.
The docks suffered heavy bombing in the Second World War. But what brought the docks to the end of their usefulness was their inability to accommodate large ships. They were closed in 1968.
In recent years the docks have enjoyed massive restoration to create the luxury office, living accommodation and marina that exists today. Read more about the history of the St Katharine Docks here.
St Katharine Docks Today
St Katharine Docks is a wonderful marina to walk around. It has great views of the River Thames and a lock gate where you can watch boats entering and leaving. It is perfect for a quiet walk around admiring the moored boats.
As well as being very picturesque, the dock has a large selection of restaurants bars and cafes. I had a pleasant meal sitting in a window seat overlooking one of the dock basins, watching the boats moving around.
It has the perfect location. You can do something ‘touristy’ (such as visiting The Tower of London with all of the queues of people). Then go for a relatively quiet lunch. I highly recommend a visit.
I produced quite a few images from my recent visit to St Katharine Docks so I created a YouTube video of them. It gives a great feel for the whole area.
All of the images in my blog today are available to buy as prints. Just click on the image to be taken to a purchase page with more information.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!