Who’s been to London and visited the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge? I see many raised hands there! Wonderful! Okay, on to the next question: who of you has ever visited St Katharine Docks? I only see a few hands raised now…
St Katharine Docks are literally situated only a few meters from the world famous Tower Bridge, yet most people haven’t even heard of it. I love the tranquility of the place, so I better keep it secret, but I just can’t help myself. I need to tell the world about this amazing little gem in the heart of bustling London Town.
The name St Katharine Docks was derived from a hospital named St Katharine’s by the Tower, which was built on the site back in the 12th century. During the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the hospital was demolished, together with some 1250 houses, and the docks were designed.
Ships started to arrive from Africa, the West Indies and the Far East with exotic goods, such as sugar, tea and different kind of spices. The London Docks, including St Katharine, became one of the world’s most important centers of the shipping trade. Between WWI and WWII, ships became too large to enter St Katharine, and in WWII, the docks turned into an employment place for war work.
Nowadays, you can find numerous of modern offices and apartment blocks, as well as plenty of restaurants and shops on the site. St Katharine Docks was heavily damaged during WWII, but historical buildings, such as The Dickens Inn, and Ivory House with its beautiful clock tower, have remained. Every Friday there is a Good Food Market at the docks, where you can treat your taste buds with food from all around the world. There even should be a Medieval restaurant, The Medieval Banquet, but I haven’t had the chance yet to find out what that’s all about.
But truth be told, I rather hang out on the waterfront, taking in the stunning views of the Thames, while playing a game of peek-a-boo with Tower Bridge. The setting of St Katharine Docks changes all the time, as the docks are still visited by the most beautiful ships.
Have you ever been to St Katharine Docks?
Note: all views, opinions and photos in this post are mine