Make Canary Wharf your sun-soaked city haven this summer

There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than at Canary Wharf — your one-stop lifestyle destination in London…

This summer, city-dwellers should explore their immediate areas before they jump on a jet. Getting off-grid is looking increasingly off the agenda anyway — with sun-soaked beaches and European city breaks having to wait.

But there’s one destination to be found in London that we can wholly recommend: Canary Wharf. With the myriad benefits of an exciting, exploration-worthy city concentrated into a single, easily accessible place, Canary Wharf is blooming with green space, sits on the water and boasts everything from al fresco dining to endless retail options.

In recent years, the destination has evolved from a financial district to a thriving artistic and lifestyle hub; a city-within-a-city where visitors can explore and enjoy more than 300 shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and state-of-the-art facilities. And all of that within a 15 minutes’ walk? It sounds too good to be true!

Buzzing and brimming with arts, culture and some of the best shopping outposts in the city, here’s why you should make Canary Wharf your sun-soaked city haven this summer…

For a breath of fresh air, Canary Wharf brings the great outdoors into London...

From gardens and boardwalks to plazas and parks, Canary Wharf rivals many of London’s urban outdoor areas when it comes to green space. Don’t believe us? Head down and take a look. Because this environmental energy runs deeper than a few picnic patches. The destination has committed to net zero carbon by 2030, is the first business district to have a carbon footprint reduced to net zero and hasn’t sent any rubbish to landfill for over a decade. Talk about green. 

The Estate also has cleaner air than any other central London business district. So, if you’re looking for somewhere to spend a bright summer’s day, why not make a beeline for the solar-panelled Strawberry Smart Benches of Canary Wharf? Or explore the 20 areas of landscaped parks, including Crossrail Place Roof Garden, London’s largest roof garden and Canada Square Park. You could even wander down to Middle Dock, where a Sea Bin cleans and collects 180kg of debris from local waterways every year.

While you’re down at the dock — there’s also a new water-going experience making a splash at Churchill Place. Setting sail this summer is GoBoat, offering visitors the opportunity to see the Canary Wharf Estate from a whole new seafaring perspective. From July, you and your friends will be able to take to the water aboard your very own self-drive boat. It’s the ideal environment to enjoy a new activity in the heart of the city. And it’s far from the only way to have some fun…

There are diverse arts and culture pop-ups for everyone

As we said; it’s not all about picnics and lounging in the sun this summer. Canary Wharf may have its fair, sun-drenched share of relaxing outdoor spaces — but the destination has also supercharged some of its outdoor areas with a programme of diverse arts and events.

The ‘Summer Lights‘ exhibition features 11 colourful outdoor artworks that shimmer and shine in natural light across the estate — with works from Hugh Turvey, Martin Richman and Aphra Shemza. There’ll be pop-up ping-pong tables available for visitors to use over the summer between bouts of shopping. Designed by renowned illustrator Kelly Anna, these tables will be springing up and serving up smiles in Cabot Square — and are decked out in vibrant, vivid patterns and prints.

There’s even a mini golf course in Columbus Courtyard if your friends want a good-natured rematch — and a 3×3 basketball court from British and Nigerian heritage artist Yinka Ilori in Bank Street Park; a heady blend of colour and competition. The cultural offerings, on the other hand, outnumber even these many al fresco activities.

The destination has also pulled out all the summer stops — offering visitors the chance to enlighten themselves along a modern art trail. Starting at the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, pieces from Canary Wharf’s permanent collection sit alongside artworks from the Summer Lights festival — a route that winds from Cabot Bullnose to Cubitt Steps, Water Street to Wood Wharf. And, with artists including Peter Newman, Camille Walala, Julian Wild and Morag Myerscough involved, it is the sunniest art gallery in London.

With an open mind and empty stomach, broaden your culinary horizons...

With restaurants gloriously re-opening across the city, Londoners have been spoilt for culinary choice over the past few post-pandemic weeks. But nowhere has a concentration of such quality cuisine as Canary Wharf — and it’ll pay to head down with an empty stomach to explore what’s on offer…

From The Ivy in the Park to The Parlour, BrewDog to Boisdale, there are so many al fresco options in this city-within-a-city that you could spend your summer crossing every eatery or bar off a long, lip-smacking list.

There are even a couple of new options for 2021. MamaLan is former a supper club-turned-street food business offering Chinese cuisine such as bao buns, noodle soups and bubble tea. Cojean is on a mission to bring nutritious food to the takeaway market, serving a menu of salads, acai bowls and juices. And Little Farm, on Reuters Plaza, uses high-quality, seasonal produce for all-day fresh dishes.

But perhaps the most exciting addition to Canary Wharf this summer is Pergola on the Wharf. The first new-build by the team behind Pergola Paddington, The Prince and Lost in Brixton, this new Crossrail Place destination will have panoramic waterside views, a heated wraparound terrace and a guest kitchen with a rotating series of chefs and street food specialists. We’re hungry already…

And don’t forget about updating your seasonal summer wardrobe…

Last, but certainly not least, comes the promise of a summer shopping spree. Canary Wharf boasts a seemingly endless store directory — and these shops, stores and boutiques are the perfect places in which to find a new seasonal wardrobe. And, what’s more, the thread of conservation and eco-friendliness runs through many of the stores.

BOSS has struck new sustainable ground, using traceable wool and recycled materials in its warm weather wardrobe options. The brand has even used innovative materials, such as pineapple leaf fibres, in the new season range. Massimo Dutti has pledged to increase its use of sustainable fibres and processes in order to reduce any environmental impact. And Orlebar Brown, long committed to a model of ‘Measure, Reduce, Rebalance’, has taken steps towards being carbon negative — by establishing mangrove and sea kelp forests to offset emissions. That, and they can’t half make a stylish pair of swim shorts…

Add to these outposts Ralph Lauren (with its new Earth Polo, crafted from recycled plastic bottles), Moss Bros (purveyors of the recycled polyester ‘Eco Suit’) and Levi’s (which today creates its iconic 501s with sustainable ‘WaterLess’ Technology) and you’ve got one of the most metaphorically — and literally — green destinations in London.

And, being just over three miles from the City of London itself, you also don’t even have to drive or take public transport to Canary Wharf. So why not cycle or walk your way to this sun-soaked city haven this summer — an oasis in the capital that truly, sunnily has it all…

Make Canary Wharf your sun-soaked city haven this summer

Canary Wharf

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