The first part of the route is great for the photographer, but it’s not really a tourist area as there are not many shops or restaurants along the way, and it is probably not mentioned in many guide books.
I have covered some of these areas in earlier posts such as:-
The area has construction work taking place at the start of the route and then areas of waste land, working wharfs, residential areas, and flyovers mixed with docks, basins and nature reserves. The area is generally very quiet and will reward you with great view of the O2 Arena, the River Thames, and the city- scape of Canary Wharf and Docklands.
The start point is on Orchard Place (off the A1020 Lower Lea Crossing) just where Part 2 ended. Alternatively you can approach it from East India DLR which is about a 8 minute walk away. If you do come from the station it is worth going up onto the Lower lee Crossing to get an elevated view of the area.
Orchard Place splits off in different directions at the first junction.
To the left underneath the bridge is an office block which has a built in vertical garden which is really worth a look at whilst it is still there. This area, called Bridge Wharf and Jubilee Wharf, is being developed so will change with time.
Turning right takes you passed the entrance to East India Basin (which we will come back to), and then along to Trinity Buoy Wharf which is right at the end of Orchard Place. Spend some time exploring this area as there is a lot of interesting things to see and photograph – but sometimes you need to look carefully.
Double back the way you came and then go through the entrance to East India Dock Basin and explore the reserve, the basin and the views across to Docklands and the O2 – you won’t be disappointed with your shots from here..
Follow the riverbank passed the Victoria Quay Memorial, (dedicated to the first true settlers to the USA), as far as it will let you, and then turn right up towards East India DLR station and Blackwall Way. Turn left on Blackwall way and follow it all the way until it splits by the hotel and flyover. Note – This part of the walk takes about 10 minutes to complete but does not have much to offer in terms of photographic sites, but they can provide an ‘edgy’ feel to some portrait photos.
You want to head left up Biscayne Avenue towards the apartments and the tall thin Radisson Hotel at New providence Wharf. This will provide you with great shots of the River Thames, the O2 and the apartment buildings. Turn right along the riverbank and then across the grass onto Yabsley Close and then to Preston Road (A1206). Cross the busy road and then head left looking for Landon’s Close and the entrance into Poplar Dock. If you have time, it is well worth doing the detour around Poplar dock and the back via Billingsgate Market, as there is lots to see and do.
Turn left at the end of Langdon’s Close into Blackwall Basin for some of the best shots of Canary Wharf and the Docklands development. Cross over the two bridges taking in the view of the O2 between the apartments and the canal. This should bring you out by Lovegrove Walk which currently provides a view of Docklands with a wasteland in the foreground.
Follow the road until it gets to Preston Road again and then turn right towards the Drawbridge at the South Dock Entrance. – which is the end of this part of the Across London route.
There is a good pub off to the left just before the drawbridge called the Gun on Coldharbour. This is right on the river and has great views of the O2 Arena as well as food and drink.