Location and connectivity run in parallel with one another. If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s the importance of staying connected; with other people, with our community and with nature. Being able to access a variety of diverse neighbourhoods and landscapes with ease is vital to our wellbeing. Fortunately, London offers something for everyone and several different ways to experience it; from walking and cycling (both of which have unsurprisingly boomed over the past year) to a vast Underground and Overground network and even water taxis.
In this way, London City Island offers the best of both worlds; a world-class destination within itself and a brilliantly connected hub to the city’s best locations.
The City of London has been the financial centre of the capital for centuries. But while Bank and its environs still thrive, this centre has spread to encompass neighbouring areas that were once overlooked, such as Canary Wharf and Southwark. The arrival of the Shard in 2012 completely transformed the London Bridge area and the city skyline itself. Similarly, Canary Wharf went from a prosperous dockyard to a neglected area, before being reinvented as a sleek financial district in the early 1990s.
It is a similar template to London City Island, which is located practically next-door. In fact, it takes just four minutes on the Underground to reach Canary Wharf, or around 10 minutes if you take the D3 bus from Orchard Place. London Bridge is a few more stops along the Jubilee Line, taking around 11 minutes in total. Get off here to discover Borough Market, London’s oldest food market. A riot of colours, smells and tastes, this is where you’ll find everything from fine cheese and wine to French patisserie, London-made gin and coffee and Taiwanese street food. As for Bank, it’s a simple 15-minute journey on the DLR from Canning Town.
This is the historic heart of the City, where modern skyscrapers sit alongside grand historic buildings and winding cobbled streets. Pop into The Royal Exchange, which celebrates its 450th anniversary this year, to browse luxury shops and indulge in oysters and champagne from the Fortnum & Mason Restaurant & Bar. Then head east towards the Tower of London to spot one of the city’s hidden gems, St Dunstan in the East, an early 12th century church, which has been turned into a serene public park after the majority of it was destroyed during the Blitz. And if you fancy a 007-style commute to the City, it’s possible to take a water taxi from Royal Wharf Pier to Canary Wharf and even Westminster.
Not so long ago, Stratford wouldn’t have graced many London guide books. But the arrival of the Westfield Shopping Centre in 2011, followed by the hugely successful London 2012 Olympics, completely transformed the area. Today, Stratford is a bustling neighbourhood that serves as the gateway to east London’s trendiest addresses. Step outside the sprawling shopping centre to explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is still thriving almost a decade on from the Games.
Hire a bike or take a stroll through its canal-side paths towards Hackney Marshes and Lea Valley, which feel a million miles away from the busy city centre. Cross over the A12 towards Victoria Park, one of London’s most scenic and family-friendly spots following its 2012 multi-million-pound renovation. Bethnal Green has recently emerged as London’s cocktail capital and is a short walk from Victoria Park, and from here it’s easy to access the cool bars, independent shops and myriad street food vendors of Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
Fancy combining culture and daily exercise? Challenge yourself to walk The Line, a public art trail stretching from Anish Kapoor’s towering ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford to a sculpture by Laura Ford on a pontoon at Royal Docks. Just one stop on the DLR from London City Island, Royal Docks is where you can catch the Emirates Air Line, an innovative cable car which ‘flies’ across the Thames towards Greenwich to give you an entirely new perspective of London.
How to get here
Canning Town Underground station is your key to accessing east London. Simply hop on the DLR or Jubilee Line to reach Stratford in just 7 minutes. If you fancy a more leisurely route, bus numbers 241 and 69 stop at Stratford from Canning Town, or jump on your bike and head towards the cycle highway on Greenway, which takes a little over 20 minutes. Stratford itself is incredibly well-connected, with access to the Central Line, Overground towards Hackney, and National Rail line.
London’s West End needs little introduction. This is the beating heart of the capital and a treat to visit whether you’re new to the city or know it intimately. Despite being on the opposite side of the capital, London City Island offers easy access to the West End via the Jubilee Line, which reaches Bond Street station in under 20 minutes. From Bond Street, London is your oyster, with Marylebone and Regent’s Park to the north, Mayfair to the south, Soho to the east and the verdant Hyde Park to the west. It’s a joy to wander around this part of London admiring the stunning period architecture and exploring iconic streets such as Savile Row, Carnaby and Oxford Street. In this diverse district, historic cultural institutions and regal splendor sit alongside bustling Chinatown eateries, independent art galleries and clandestine comedy clubs. Shop, eat, drink, catch a show and soak in the giddy atmosphere of central London, safe in the knowledge that home is just 20 minutes away.
How to get here
The Jubilee Line offers direct access to Bond Street. You can also cycle to the West End in under an hour from London City Island via the Cycle Superhighway 3 (CS3), which runs partially parallel to the Thames Pathway through Wapping, Liverpool Street and Holborn. The N550 and N551 buses will also take you from Canning Town bus station to Trafalgar Square in around 40 minutes.