Ah... It's amazing how little you see of London
if you're not prepared to stray more than 10 feet from a tube
You won't find anywhere named Canada Water on a regular map
of London. The tube station is named after a dock
, part of which still exists next to the station. The area is in which it stands is now called Surrey Quays.
It wasn't always thus. Until the shopping centre opened, the area was called Surrey Docks - the peninsula on which it stands was once the home of the Surrey Commercial Docks, one of the largest dock systems in London. Surrey Docks already had a tube station, on the East London Line
, which allegedly the shopping centre's developers persuaded London Underground
to rename in honour of their new baby. Surrey Quays was born.
After the docks closed in the 1960s
, they were filled in, and the land was derelict for many years. In the 1980s
the London Docklands Development Corporation waved their magic wand
and started to transform the whole area, encouraging the building of housing, park
and (yes) the shopping centre.
I live about ten minutes from Canada Water tube, so maybe I'm biased, but I'm going to share with you one of London's best kept secrets.
Five minutes walk from the station is Stave Hill - man made, but with perhaps some of the best views of London other than from the London Eye
. It's in the middle of a wonderfully peacful and very green park, that used to be a dock. On a summer day, laying on the hill with a good book, you'd never believe you were just a couple of miles from central London.
The gazelle is right about the shopping centre though...