Wapping is a district located in East London within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is situated between the north bank of the River Thames and the ancient thoroughfare called The Highway.
Wapping's proximity to the river has given it a strong maritime character, which it reflected in much of its architecture, pubs and restaurants. Historically, the area was inhabited by sailors, mast-makers, boat-builders, block-makers, instrument-makers and dockland labourers. Wapping was also the site of the gruesome Execution Dock, where pirates and seafaring criminals were executed by hanging from a gallows constructed close to the low water mark. It is noted that their bodies would be left dangling until they had been submerged three times by the tide.
Wapping had been considered a largely run-down area ever since many of its original buildings were destroyed by bombing raids during World War II, but its fortunes were transformed during the 1980s by a huge regeneration project which saw the old buildings and warehouses converted into luxury flats.
As well as being ideally situated to visit nearby Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, Wapping High Street and Hermitage Wharf also have a colourful mix of high street shops and independent stores and boutiques. Wapping Lane is home to a greengrocer, several convenience stores and the popular Hussey’s family butcher and game supplier. Cafes, delicatessens and restaurants are plentiful, with many having river views. Smith’s Brasserie is a famous seafood restaurant with spectacular views across the Thames to Tower Bridge. The Captain Kidd pub, named after the notorious pirate, serves up real cask ales and has a large outdoor terrace looking out over the river and The Prospect of Whitby is a renowned and traditional 16th century pub also overlooking the Thames.
Property in Wapping
Property in Wapping is varied and includes many highly sought-after waterside homes such as the luxury apartments in St Katharine Docks, Cinnabar Whaf, Wapping Riverside and President’s Quay. Many apartments are stunning conversions from the warehouses that lined the riverfront. Just off the river, Victorian terraces, new-build flats, and two and three-bedroom houses can be found near the attractive Shadwell Basin area.
The River Thames at Wapping
Given its maritime past, there are plenty of activities and attractions to be enjoyed along this stretch of the River Thames. Some highlights include:
- Thames Police Museum, just off the riverbank
- See some of the old “stairs”, such as Wapping Old Stairs and Pelican Stairs along the riverbank – particularly popular with archaeologists and treasure hunters
- Visit The Prospect of Whitby, the oldest Thames-side public house still in existence
Transport in Wapping
- Wapping overground to Waterloo (17 mins)
- Good local bus services including the 100 to Shadwell via Tower Hill, Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations, and the D3 to Bethnal Green, Crossharbour and Canary Wharf
riverhomes – Waterside Property Experts in Wapping
As the largest independent specialist selling and letting riverside properties in the Wapping E1 area, very few people know the Thames like us. From tide times to local river events and the best waterside restaurants and pubs, riverhomes estate agents have the river knowledge.