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near Canning Town, England (United Kingdom)
This track starts at Canning Road Station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and ends at East India DLR Station. Highlights include City Island Bridge, an Ecological Park, The East India Basin, Trinity Buoy Wharf area, and the Virginia Settlers Monument.
Part of the walk follows the meandering River Lea with its mudflats and bird life exposed at low tide. The East India basin is a bird sanctuary, and has lots of historical interpretive panels that explain the colorful history of trading by the East India Company. there are great views across the Thames to the "O2".
The Trinity Buoy Wharf area is a fascinating out of the way London location with lots of history, and a couple of interesting lunch stops.
The final section of the track follows a wide footpath along the north bank of the Thames River.
The Jubilee Line (London Underground) also stops at Canning Road Station.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the Jubilee Line of the London Underground both stop here.
City Island (a modern high rise area) is home to the English National Ballet. The track does not cross the bridge but proceeds west to an Ecological Reserve along the River. The River here has a wide tidal range, with mud flats exposed at low tide. Old foundations from an earlier period of London history poke out of the mud at low tide. There was plenty of seabird activity.
Open 8 AM to 9 PM. This leads to a very pleasant riverside and wetlands walk around the Limmo Peninsula.
The path runs beside, and at a lower elevation to the DLR route, with occasional trains passing. There is little sense of noise or disturbance when trains pass.
The track crosses The River Lea on a foot bridge, just north of the abandoned railway bridge (Iron Bridge).
Proceeding south on the west bank of the river.
Lots of bird activity along the river.
At a prominent meander in the river at low tide. The river path east from here was blocked by construction on the day.
Interpretive signage tells the history of these docks: "Constructed from 1803-1806, the docks were for exclusive use of vessels engaged in the East Indies Trade (Bombay and China). Goods were of high value but little bulk compared to the West India Docks. The East India Company's monopoly was ended in 1833 and the East and West India docks were amalgamated."
The old ship basin is abandoned and silted in. It is now part of the ecological reserve. Interpretive signage reads in part: "The water in the dock is brackish, a mix of fresh and salt water. Its fed by the tide and is teeming with fish and small shrimp".
Common Terns return from the NW coast of Africa to nest here. Kingfishers are also present.
These entrance locks are beside the River Thames. they are not the original entrance locks, but a later installation. The riverside promenade widens out here and offers great views east and west along the river, to Canary Wharf, and across to the O2.
A fascinating, out of the way, small historical area of London. Off the popular tourist path.
The multilevel apartments in this area are tastefully constructed using shipping containers. An arts and culture area.
Trinity House (1803-1987) is located on the wharf at the end of Orchard Place. It ran a workshop for buoys and moorings and a buoy-laying yacht. Two lighthouses were built to experiment with and improve light emitted from lighthouses. Micheal Faraday was involved in this work. In 1910 Trinity Buoy Wharf employed over 150 engineers, and was responsible for all the lighthouses, lightships, and buoys between Southwold (Suffolk) and Dungeness (Kent). One of the classic Trinity House lightships is permanently moored here.
In 1996 the area was transformed into a center for arts and crafts. The stacked shipping container residences here are unique.
The Floodtide listening post makes music determined by the tide of the River Thames. A sensor submerged from the pier at Trinity Buoy Wharf reads the tidal flow data which is converted into notation and played by the listening post.
The Alunatime is a graphical notation of time in light. It shows the lunar phases (wax and wane), the lunar day (rise and set), and tide cycles (ebb and flow). apparently, it is a prototype for a much larger design (http://www.alunatime.org).
Trinity Buoy Wharf is dominated by an historic Lighthouse, the only surviving one in London. Originally there were two lighthouses. The other was built in 1854, used by Micheal Faraday to pioneer electric lighting for lighthouses, and demolished in the 1920's. The surviving lighthouse was built in 1864. Its roof space housed Faraday's workshop.
There is a sound presentation inside the surviving lighthouse.
A small museum pays tribute to the famous scientist and inventor.
Open to the public, another intriguing spot to explore.
Inscription reads: "This Virginia Settler's Memorial Tablet was unveiled in 1928 on the wall of Brunswick House which formerly stood about 100 yards to the west of this spot. It was reinstated here in 1990."
"From near this spot in December 1606 sailed with 105 adventurers the Susan Constant, 100 tons, the Godspeed 40 tons, the Discovery 20 tons. Landed at Cape Henry Virginia April 26, 1607. Arrived Jamestown May 13, 1607....".