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London Canary Wharf / Greenwich
18th March 2022 - 20th March 2022
You will all have heard about Canary Wharf but unless your work has taken you there, it is unlikely that you will know much about it. This is your chance to have a look at this exciting part of London that does not attract much attention these days yet it has almost become a city in itself. It now advertises itself as the exciting place to live, work and play. We shall also venture south of the river and take in some of Greenwich’s sights
This weekend will enable us to learn about the history of the London Docklands and see the enormous regeneration of the area. We shall see which of the old docks buildings are still standing and the new uses that they have been put to. There are many new buildings to see. During the weekend we shall be walking around the area which as this is former dockland, I can guarantee that the area is flat. We shall also be making use of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) for our transport. The DLR has step free access from street to train at all of its stations.
Friday, afternoon my plan was to visit the worldwide head office of HSBC, but this is no longer possible. A tour of Docklands will replace the HSBC visit
Saturday, we shall have a tour of the area and also of a tour of the Museum of London Docklands. I had planned the venue for our Saturday evening dinner in a banqueting suite but as I lost my reservation because of reasons beyond my control, I decided to return to the restaurant be shall be using for our Friday evening dinner.
Sunday, we shall have a walk across Greenwich Park which will pass the famous Observatory. The latest news is that the Observatory is closed for refurbishment but this means that we shall be able to work out for ourselves the line of the Greenwich Meridian as it runs through Greenwich Park. The walk I am planning is mainly downhill on hard surfaces.
Canary Wharf now in London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone and for this reason and to avoid having to drive in London, I would recommend that you consider travelling by train to London. Because of this and also because we shall be using public transport to the venue of the Saturday evening dinner, our chairman, Jonathon, has agreed that the dinner will not be Black Tie.
For travel in London on public transport you will need either an Oyster Card or a contactless bank debit/credit card. A warning that you need to swipe in and out on the DLR otherwise you will be charged a penalty fare. Most DLR stations do not have barriers so it is important to remember this. Currently the daily cap for Zones 1 & 2 is £7.40 per day. To take advantage of this cap you must use the same card all day.
There are several routes to the Docklands from Central London. However, be aware that during March the Underground Northern Line will not be running to Bank so this route will not be available. My recommended route for those coming from north of London to Euston, St Pancras or Kings Cross is to take the Victoria Line to Green Park and change to the Jubilee Line. Lifts and escalators access all platforms at Green Park. Latest estimate for the opening of the Elizabeth Line is end March so that still will not be an option. Also, during that weekend, the DLR will not be serving Bank Underground station.
Important note on hotels. As we are talking London prices, I was concentrating on budget hotels for the 2 nights. Having checked out a number of budget hotels, my recommendation is the Ibis Canning Town. The hotel is directly opposite Canning Town station (Jubilee line and DLR). Unfortunately, hotel prices in the area have gone up since I recommended this hotel. Booking.com actually says that there are no hotels available in the area for these dates but the Ibis hotel is still available on the Accor.com site. Another hotel which was my original first choice as it has been a regular hotel for me in the past, is Britannia International Hotel in Canary Wharf, but unfortunately Britannia Hotels do not have very good reviews these days. Rooms are available on the Britannia hotels website. Another hotel which had been recommended to me is Point A which I had ruled out because many rooms do not have windows and they do not do breakfast but breakfast is available at Wetherspoons across the road. You can also consider hotels in the Excel area which is the next area further out than Canning Town.
Update: Jonathan has been able to book the Ibis Canning Town on the Secret Escapes website, (14/02/22).
The Registration Fee for the event is £135 which I regard as a fair rate and is less than I expected because of the change of Saturday evening venue.
Contact David Grainger for more details