Bermondsey, Summer 2021

Once a bustling and highly lucrative Warehouse and Wharf nicknamed 'the Larder of London', the converted Hay's Galleria continues the tradition with many coffee shops and restaurants, an apt start to the day. On to Shad Thames with its overhead gantries and Butler's Wharf complex, now expensive apartments and offices, once an entry point for many goods, especially spices. We paused at the tidal St Saviour's dock to reflect on its Dickensian atmosphere then returned to the 21st century at the Tideway children's mural. Continuing along a shady Thames path we passed Bermondsey beach and moved into Rotherhithe with its riverside reminders of kings, pilgrims, engineers and social reformers. We made our way to Canada Water, in the heart of what was the Surrey Commercial Docks area, with only small areas of water left, apart from Greenland dock, now a major recreational asset. In the afternoon we explored Stave Hill with its spectacular views of the City and Canary Wharf, the Russia dock woodland area and nature reserve; and quiet residential streets: their names telling us their history.

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