5 reasons why Canary Wharf is no longer just a 9-5 location

By Billy Whitehorn

Last updated March 03, 2023

Canary Wharf, often comes with the misconception of being strictly business, with a 9-5 lifestyle and a pretty chaotic tube station (if you’ve lined up like cattle for those escalators at the end of a busy day, I feel your pain).

However, once you start to scratch the surface within this urban jungle, you can find some pretty wonderful hidden gems.

I can hear it already, “You’re telling us that we should actually plan a day out to Canary Wharf?” - You betcha!

  1. Getting to Canary Wharf with ease 🚆

For those of you that work in the city, or perhaps the Isle of Dogs itself, you may wish to skip this part. As a Londoner the last thing we want is to be told how to navigate our way around a place that we will spend roughly 363 days of our lives commuting before we retire (that's an average of £113k spent - for those of you that definitely didn’t ask!), so this bit is for everyone else.

To everyone visiting the area, whether for business or pleasure, for the day or a bit longer, you’re in luck! Despite the negative press that the transport network in London receives, you can travel to Canary Wharf a number of different ways.

Of course, it all depends on where you are travelling from, but the location itself can be accessed via the tube (Jubilee Line & The Elizabeth Line) the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), bus, UberBoat (essentially our river buses) and bicycle.

I won’t go into too much detail on each of the above, however I would suggest downloading an app like Citymapper to help you get around whilst you’re in the area.

  1. It’s not just work, work, work.

Like me, you may be under the misconception that once 5pm hits, and the end of the work day passes, Canary Wharf becomes a corporate ghost town - wrong!

As per the rest of London, Canary Wharf has become an ideal destination for mixing your work life and your personal life, and the idea of the area solely being London’s bustling business hub is long gone.

Don’t let the distinctive city skyline fool you, below that beautiful urban jungle there is so much to discover.

  1. Eat, drink, repeat.

To be successful within London, any area has to essentially offer everything and anything that one can think of, right?

And that is exactly what Canary Wharf does! Of course it isn’t possible for me to list every single activity and eatery within CW, because you wouldn't read it, and I wouldn’t blame you.

So I am going to highlight just a few that come highly recommended by the wonderful team here at GoBoat UK.

Canary Wharf is home to some of London’s most beautiful rooftop viewing platforms, bars and restaurants. Often overshadowed in popularity and publicity by The Skygarden and The View from The Shard, the lesser known Big Easy, Bokan and Crossrail Roof Garden all offer similar breathtaking views of the city, with the two former being fantastic options for your food and beverage needs.

Famously known for fuelling Londoners with their heartwarming home-style BBQ cuisine, and live music, Big Easy is the perfect way round off your Canary Wharf experience. From brunch to dinner, you can enjoy your ‘Al-city’ (inner city alfresco - and yes I’m coining that) dining experience sat on the 150 seater terrace, that when timed right is beautifully sun-kissed as the last rays of your summer evening reflect off each of the surrounding skyscrapers - plus, their East Coast Lobster is to die for!

  1. It’s all just fun and games!

With Canary Wharf on the up, the “best spot in town” position is still fair game and up for grabs (you’ll realise what I did there). So head on down, and explore what this trendy up-and-coming location has to offer. 

At GoBoat, the feeling is unanimous. If you’re visiting Canary Wharf, we highly suggest you head on down to Fishermans Walk and check out Fairgame

Flashing back to your childhood, Fairgame is your classic funfair, but exactly as you don’t remember! Speaking from experience, you’ll be able to take on (up to you how competitive you want to be - but I suggest go hard or go home), friends, family and co-workers in classic fairground games, with a revolutionised techy twist for added competition.

In addition to the funky Fairgame fun, you’ll be able to grab yourself some delicious grub from some of London’s hottest street food vendors (Burger & Beyond, Rudy’s Pizza, and Dos Mas Tacos).

What's missing? Ah yes! Alcohol!

The games aren’t the only thing that Fairgame takes seriously. Whilst you’re there, we suggest checking out some of their highly popular and Instagrammable cocktails (our favourites were the Fizz & Floss, Popcorn Old Fashioned and Popping Picante).

  1. It’s a whole new Canary Wharf vibe 😏

Whilst it’s all well and good me giving recommendations as to where I would stay, where I would eat/drink, and where I would go to have some fun in Canary Wharf, it is definitely worth keeping an eye out as there are always events and things going on!

Personally, I suggest checking out the Canary Wharf - Whats on page, as they are constantly promoting some superb events. From family fun outings like the ongoing Childrens Art Trail, to classy live Jazz evenings every Thursday at The Boathouse, there is always something for everyone.

One popular March event I believe is worth mentioning, is the ‘Short-Story Stations’ that will be popping up around Canary Wharf between the 6th and 12th. Designed to celebrate International Women's Day, the various stations will be ‘packed with hundreds of stories and poems featuring iconic authors such as Virginia Woolf and Emily Bronte, as well as new literature from up-and-coming female authors’. Definitely one to keep an eye out for if you are also a fellow reader.
I won’t go on about the many different things happening in Canary Wharf (far too many to even write about), instead I will just provide the link (https://canarywharf.com/whats-on) and let you check it out yourself.

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Family GoBoat trip Canary Wharf docklands children