A Saturday Afternoon visit to the Crossrail Roof Garden, Canary Wharf
Where we live in South East London, it’s not too far to Canary Wharf. Just jump on the DLR at Lewisham and you’re there in a short time.
Canary Wharf is a strange place. It’s obviously primarily a business centre but apartment blocks have shot up in the vicinity and with that comes shopping centres and eateries. We have ventured a few times for some food. As most of the shopping/eating areas are underground, it’s a handy place to go when it’s raining or during the winter.
I had never ventured to the Crossrail Roof Garden before but with a couple of free hours on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I thought I’d check it out.
Space age Adam’s Plaza Bridge
From the DLR, it’s literally a couple of minutes walk on the North Colonnade to One Canada Square. Here’s where the iconic bridge is to lead you into the building and up to the roof garden. It’s actually called Adam’s Plaza Bridge and I it, it’s kinda space-age and really should be where all music videos are shot. It reminds me of some 70s space shows.. like Space 1999.
Walking through the bridge, we’re greeted by the sound of a piano being played, just some people standing around a piano playing. It gives a really nice welcoming vibe.
We head up the escalator and into the garden itself. It’s quiet and actually a really nice place to chill. The roof isn’t fully open so the air is fresh and if it rains, you’ve got a bit of shelter.
The pathways provide a short walking route too if you just want to get in touch with your thoughts. I’m not sure how many times you would want to do a circuit before you got a little dizzy though.
There are lots of wooden benches to sit down on. It’s actually the perfect place to grab a book and a coffee and sit for a while. When we were there, someone was sitting cross legged with their laptop, doing a bit of work.
There’s another piano situated at the far end of the garden and a young man is keeping his parents entertained. Turns out, it wasn’t just his parents as he gets a round of applause from everyone within earshot.
The garden itself is filled with greenery and plants, varying from ferns to what seem like palm trees. Please remember I’m not a horticulturist. But, it’s definitely is an oasis of flora in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Walking through Canary Wharf, it often feels like an airport, somewhere where everything is just slightly not right. It can be too clinical, too clean. Despite being surrounded by plants while I’m in the garden, walking along the paths I want to kick the stones. Call it the kid or the rebel in me. That’s the way I am. But, you can’t do that here. The paths have lovely edges and are perfectly flat and you’re reminded that you’re in a fake environment. None of the nature is where it’s not supposed to be. This and a half covered in roof, you could be in a dome or yes, The Truman Show.
The Crossrail Roof Garden is, no doubt, a welcome relief or a place to escape for an hour for the residents of Canary Wharf. Personally, I might think differently if I visit in the depths of winter and half covered roof becomes the source of cursing as you scramble to get a seat under the covered section. At this time of year, it’s also a way for the fair skinned among us to get out and sit while not directly getting the sunlight… yes I am that sensitive.
Despite everything I think, It won’t be my last visit.