Vauxhall’s Pleasure Gardens were a favourite resort for Victorian Londoners, and green space still plays an important role in the appeal of the area, albeit in the more substantial 500 acre form of Battersea Park. Across the road the regeneration of the iconic Battersea Power Station is finally moving to fruition, offering new luxury homes and leisure facilities, symbolising the changes going on in the wider area.
Despite this industrious past, reflected too in the extensive warehousing now converted to very desirable homes along the river, the borough is one of London’s greenest, with 130 parks and open spaces.
Historically Surrey Quays was part of the dockland complex that lined both banks of the Thames as it wound from central London towards the sea. By the end of the 18th century the “Greenland docks” occupied 85 per cent of this south bank peninsula, handling cargo from around the world.
Canary Wharf sits at the heart of the regeneration of the Isle of Dogs, and embodies the shift of the London economy the trade of physical goods to finance and services.
The Square Mile is the oldest part of London. Some elements of the Roman settlement are still visible among the gleaming steel and glass. Classic churches by Hawkesmoor and Wren hold their own against the towers.