My favourite place in London: Trinity Buoy Wharf

In Cycle routes, London, Walk by Claire

This morning I fell in love with my favourite part of the city, all over again. (And a cycle path too, but that’s optional.) An excitable heart. Meet Trinity Buoy Wharf. This is a place that Tom, one of the first people I interviewed for the site, talked about when I asked him where his favourite places to cycle are. I’ve never been more thankful for an answer like this one. I almost don’t want to share it.

I first came here for my birthday on the Open House weekend in September last year with Morgan (my most cheerful Canadian pal who has red-brown hair and a big grin in the photos). It’s home to London’s only lighthouse, and for that one weekend they open the doors and let you climb the stairs to the top. Up, past the past the strange art installation, to the second floor where you can look out over The Dome, and Canary Wharf, with a gentle chiming sound of the installation ringing up. Ethereal. It’s a super special place. Some of the photos below are from that wonderful grey day in September, and some from this weekend revisit with super sunny sky – hence the changing weather in the shots.

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After that visit I fell in love. The rest of the space is filled with oddities, with the steampunk machines, ‘container city’ and a musical instrument that uses the Thames current as source for its tunes. Or the moon clock with its strange pattern of lights. Or the 50s diner, and gorgeous plant-filled cafe. Or the taxi with the tree exploding out of its ceiling. Or the huge red boat moored down the side of it all. It’s a weird and wacky little heaven, and it’s mostly deserted – even on the Open House day.

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I revisited it this weekend with my friend Charlie. I think she left a bit of her heart there, too. She’s doing the Pru 100 ride and wanted to go for a casual ride to get in some time in the saddle.

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We started around Wapping, by Long Shot (good place for coffee). The ride there down Cycle Superhighway 3 (CS3) is gorgeous. It might be because I’ve just got back from Copenhagen with its brilliant world of separated cycling where you barely have to think about cars, but this route is a long blue route of mindlessness that takes you down the city’s backroads, winding around small parks and down by the river. It made me feel really excited about the future of London cycling. More of this please, city.

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You can do this route on bike or foot (it’s about 11 miles) or hop on the DLR. We took the foot tunnels that leads under the river to Greenwich, threw in a cycle up the huge hill for a view over the city that looked back on where we’d just been, and then crossed back under the river. On the way home, we swooped down by the Thames Path. We grabbed cake at Hubbub, which is this gorgeous little cafe/bar in a converted chapel on the Isle of Dogs. As the reviews (and I) happily say: it doesn’t feel like the sort of place you’d expect the find in the shadow of Canary Wharf. The spot is super gorgeous and chilled. I recommend.

ClaireMy favourite place in London: Trinity Buoy Wharf