Two hundred years ago, Wapping was the main area of commerce into London. The river would have been full of ships coming and going with numerous wharfs lining the banks of the river. Over time the ships became too big to travel that far up the Thames and trade at the Wapping docks declined. Join our fascinating walking tour to see what remains of these historic wharfs and how the area is being rejuvenated for the 21st century. After lunch we visit the little-known Thames Police Museum and discover its secrets with the curator.
We begin our walk on the north side of the river by Tower Bridge and meander eastwards visiting St Katherine’s Dock, Hermitage Basin and on towards Wapping High Street and beyond to the stunning Shadwell Basin (main picture) where new residential buildings echo the scale of traditional 19th century dockside warehouses, with a colonnade at quayside.
Along the way, our guide, Robert Woolf, will tell fascinating stories uncovering the history of the area and revealing sights and points of interest that you wouldn’t notice if doing the walk alone.
The Marine Police Force was formed in 1798 to tackle theft and looting from ships anchored in the Pool of London, its base was, and still is, in Wapping High Street.
After our lunch in a local pub overlooking the river, I have arranged a special visit to the Thames Police Museum which is dedicated to the history of the Marine Police Force.
Please note: Lunch will be: Fish and chips or there are two vegan/vegetarian options/glass of wine or beer + coffee/tea
Image credits: Sue Stamp/ Thames Police 1859 by James Abbott McNeil Whistler (1834-2903)
Need to know
Meeting point: North side of Tower Bridge (full details with ticket confirmation)
Nearest tube station: Tower Hill
Walk ends near: Wapping station (London Overground)