Tower Bridge Area Guide
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Living in Tower Bridge
Situated on the South Bank of the Thames, the area encompasses some of the best new build developments in London as well as the wonderful lateral warehouses of Shad Thames and the magnificent Georgian townhouses of Southwark. Combined with excellent transport links, world renowned cultural amenities and fantastic bars and eateries, the area is a truly outstanding place to live.
Did You Know:
- Tower Bridge is arguably London’s most famous landmark, but it is only a little over 100 years old. The area immediately south of the bridge was mainly marshlands until the 18th century, when it rapidly became the centre of the world’s biggest industrial port. Vast warehouses were built to load and offload the huge cargoes of tea, coffee and spices arriving from all corners of the globe, leading to the area being affectionately known as ‘London’s Larder’. As the population of east London grew, so too did the demand for a new Thames crossing and eventually in 1894, Tower Bridge was opened.
- The docks’ heyday was short lived though as the advent of containerised shipping caused the relocation of the docks further up the river and the last warehouses in Shad Thames closed in 1972. Mass regeneration in the 1980s and 90s, however, breathed life back into the area as the many warehouses were converted into flats, many with restaurants, bars and shops on the ground floor.
- The converted warehouses retain their original characteristic features of exposed brickwork, winches, large sign-writing and overhead goods gantries spanning the cobbled streets below. So too have the names lived on, with most conversions named after the commodities that were originally stored in them — Vanilla & Sesame Court, Cayenne Court, Wheat Wharf and Tea Trade Wharf, to name but a few.
- From medieval times until the 19th century, Bermondsey was home to a thriving leather industry, at one time being responsible for a third of all leather produced in the UK. The butchers of London provided fresh hides, freshwater tidal streams were ideal for the tanners and Bermondsey’s close proximity to the London markets and excellent transport links made it ideal for trade. The arrival of imported hides into the northern docks, however, saw the firms move across the river. Only names such as Tanner Street, Leathermarket Street and The Tanneries remain as reminders of the industry.
- Southwark also boasts London's first passenger railway, which opened in 1836 between Spa Road, Bermondsey and Deptford and soon after extended to London Bridge and Greenwich. Furthermore, being outside of the formal regulation of the City on the north bank, Southwark developed as an area of entertainment and the exciting and dynamic spirit of the area lives on through the Theatres and galleries that line the south bank of the Thames, including the Hayward Gallery, the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall and Tate Modern.
Architecture and property:
To the east of Tower Bridge is Shad Thames, with its faithfully restored warehouses and wharfs on charming cobbled streets, criss-crossed by the overhead walkways – a thriving community of shops and riverside restaurants and bars, as well as home to a number of architects and design agencies. These wonderful warehouse conversions often provide fantastic lateral living space, original features and exposed brickwork in secure blocks with concierge.
The South Bank is also home to world class new build developments which inspire with award winning architecture and luxury 5 star amenities often including concierge, gym, swimming pool, spa centre and off street car parking.
Set back further from the river, can be found striking Georgian townhouses often on fantastic garden squares.
Who lives there:
Once a tired stretch of land ravaged by the decline of the dockyards, Tower Bridge and the surrounding areas are a success story in cultural and architectural renaissance. The area is now popular with professionals, City workers, creative types and artists favouring modern London living in an area which retains the identity of its colour past and animated by a renewed energy.
Breathtaking converted warehouses offer inspiring lateral living in historic spaces while modern developments overlooking the Thames and London's glittering skyline are the properties of choice for professionals and international residents looking for a pied-a-terre in one of the capital's most exciting areas.
Many Southbank and Shad Thames residents walk to work in the City or to More London, both of which are within easy reach. Canary Wharf is just 6 minutes on the Jubilee Line from London Bridge and City Airport provides easy access to international travel links.
Where to eat:
- Le Pont de la Tour
36D Shad Thames
020 7403 8403
- Restaurant Story
201 Tooley Street
020 7183 2117
- Aqua Shard
Level 31 The Shard
020 3011 1256
- OXO Tower
8th Floor, Oxo Tower Wharf
020 7803 3888
Level 33 The Shard
020 3011 1257
- Butler’s Wharf Chop House
36e Shad Thames
020 7403 3403
Where to drink:
The area is packed with traditional pubs, cocktail bars and even the odd German Bierkeller. If you prefer your cocktails served up in the clouds, Aqua on the 31st floor of The Shard provides incredible panoramic views across London.
From sunrise to sunset, visitors can enjoy the spectacular views of the London skyline in this contemporary and cosmopolitan destination. For a more laid back scene, the vibrant Bermondsey Street offers a vast selection of bars and pubs with a speakeasy atmosphere, and for half the price!
- The Old Vic
0844 871 7628
- BFI IMAX
1 Charlie Chaplin Walk
0330 333 7878
- Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk
020 7902 1400
- Unicorn Theatre
147 Tooley Street
020 7645 0560
Sports & Leisure:
Fitness First is located right next to London Bridge tube and train station. This central London gym offers members access to some of the most cutting-edge fitness facilities around where members can enjoy facilities such as a cardio theatre, spin studio, freestyle floor, sauna, iPad bar and towels on arrival.
Nearby is Tanner Street Park, situated in Bermondsey. The main sports facilities available are four hard tennis courts which are all completely free for the local community
Hays Galleria shopping centre is situated on the river and isfilled with craft and market stalls as well as shops such as Accesorize, Next, Charles Tyrwhitt and Boots.
There are various markets nearby, including the renowned Borough Market and Maltby Street Market, selling gourmet street food and fresh produce to textiles and antiques.
Parks & Green Spaces:
Potters Fields Park
Tanner Street Park
Underground (London only): The Jubilee Line provides rapid connections to Canary Wharf and the West End, whilst the Northern Line connects the area to the City and beyond.
Overground: The area is well served for overground links, with mainline stations at Waterloo, London Bridge and Blackfriars. Access to City Airport is also provide through nearby connections with the DLR.
Bus routes: The number 47 connects to the City and the 381 to Waterloo
Car: The A100 crosses Tower Bridge and links the A13 and A11 in the east to the A2 and A3 for routes south east and south west, respectively.
There are several primary schools and nurseries nearby, as well as King’s College, The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and The London School of Commerce.
Council & Tax Bands:
Council: The London Borough of Southwark
Tower Bridge council tax rates: