Swan Lake of South East London
SE16 is one of my top favorite post codes in London. I briefly used to live near Rotherhithe tunnel. I adore Thames river banks and everything Docklands related. Russia Dock is my favorite park and then there is Plover Way’s Pond. It is a magical oasis of the megapolis. Always calm, relaxing, and doesn’t feel like London at all.
Squeezed between waters of Greenland Dock, one of the two remaining water features of the former London Docklands Empire, and woodland of Russia Dock and Stave Hill National Park, it is well hidden. The pond is surrounded by small cozy streets with Baltic names – Finland Street, Norway Gate, Oslo Square, Helsinki Square (good for geography games) and is full of different species of birds although I can only name swans and ducks though.
The places are surreal with the houses floating on the water, deep in reed, with constant bird noise in the air. It could easily be the Oxfordshire countryside. Reflections are like broken mirror because of the swan movements. On a bright sunny day it looks more animation than reality. Flimsy wooden bridges lead to nowhere.
There are three easy ways to get here. Arrive to Canada Water tube station and go behind the shopping centre.The place it’s just behind it, next to the Moby Dick Pub on the Greenland Dock. Or, arrive to Rotherhithe Overground station, walk by the river to Globe Pond, and then cross Russia Dock Park. Swan Lake will be just at the end of it. Perfect walk for any time of the day, both morning and afternoon. My favorite thing to do, ever!
Third option would be to arrive in style – by the river. Take Thames Clipper to Hilton Docklands Nelson Dock Pier. Good thing is that now you can use your Oyster Card on those boats. Don’t forget lots of films and bread when you come here!