An urban oasis for romantics or for a family getaway.
One of my favorite London parks is Thames Barrier Park, situated at Pontoon Dock DLR station, just a few stops away from Bank or Canary Wharf. It is just everything I like: it’s by the river, there are plenty of futuristic architecture, it has lots of trees and flowers, you can picnic here, or take your dog out, play football or frisbee, take you kiddies for a stroll, watch the waves created by the boats passing by, feed the seagulls, smell the distant sea, enjoy a romantic walk, or just take Lomo pictures of other people doing all those things. Not to mention stunning views of the awesome flood barrier which protects the city from the rising waters. No matter how many times I’ve been there already, I still find some new angles and scenes for taking pictures.
Set within 22 acres of lawns, trees, and hedges, the waterside park features fountains, gardens, wildflower meadows, a children’s play area and a 5-a-side football/basketball court. There are 120 different wildflower types within the park’s colour-themed meadows. My favorite feature of the park is The Green Dock – the line of beauty which runs from DLR station directly to the river. All shrubs are asymmetrically cut to repeat the shapes of waves, and colourful flowers reflect the river’s ever-changing spectrum of tints. All together it creates such a lovely micro-climate that butterflies find it suitable. This part of the park was created by renowned international horticulturalist Alain Cousseran and Alain Provost.
Thames Barrier Park was opened in 2000 with the support of the London Development Agency. In 1995 the London Docklands Development Corporation launched an international competition to create one of London’s largest and loveliest riverside parks. The winning consortium was architect Patel Taylor in collaboration with Group Signers and engineers Ove Aarum. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, officially opened the park in November 2000. There is a free car park for those who’ll be staying up to 2 hours, that’s why it’s full of families from surrounding areas, such as Leyton and Stratford, but the park is big enough to fit all. There is also a fair-trade coffee shop with WC facilities.