run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Friday 9 April 2021

Family days outside in London: Canary Wharf

As lockdown loosened we were excited to get out of NW London and explore other parts of our city. On a freezing cold Easter holidays day out, we drove to Canary Wharf to explore its new roof garden, Crossorelle, a new Camilla Walala tunnel bridge, a kids' art trail and just watch the river glide at its own sweet will and, of course, eat some food not cooked by me.

We first headed for the roof garden. It's supposed to be inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s famous Jardin Majorelle in Morocco. You walk through the a roof top garden "and discover beautiful archways, stunning shadows and bold backdrops" according to the blurb. The reality is more, cool shrubs and a lot of brightly-coloured cardboard cut-out cacti dotted around. It's no Kew Gardens but the kids liked it, and the road stripes made for a nice scoot. My 3-year-old was actually most in awe of the escalators we took to get there - he thought it was like a theme park, having spent a third of his life in lockdown and not remembering the thrill of an escalator before!

Next we headed to this kaleidoscope tunnel. It was pretty empty and the kids absolutely loved race-scooting up and down for ages. It was a pretty nice backdrop for a feed for the babe too...

We were pretty excited to have actual choice of eateries for lunch. Most of the food outlets inside Canada Square shopping centre were open, plus outside ones like Sticks'n'Sushi and Franco Manca. There are lots of benches in the rooftop garden so most people took their picnics up there.

The rest of the afternoon we spent following the kids' art trail, watching boats bob around, the thrill of the DLR whizzing past, and scooting riverside.

Short verdict: it was a nice change, the kids had fun and we ate poke bowls. The weather was reallllly cold and we'd have enjoyed it more without the bitter wind tunnels created by the Wharf's massive towerblocks. I was also pretty shocked by how busy the shopping centre was - filled with people milling around, poor mask-wearing, and not feeling all-together safe. (Top marks for the security guard at Boots who wouldn't let anyone in without a face covering).

But more fun is coming: from 15 April, Canary Wharf is putting on free mini golf plus kids' floor games in Columbus Courtyard.

Parking is free for three hours on the weekends when you spend £10 in Canary Wharf shops/restaurants; during the week, two hours are free if you spend £10 in Waitrose (or that proportion can be removed from the bill if you're there for longer). 


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