The Millennium Mills with red flowers in the foreground

Art & Culture

Music, meditation, local dramas or fun puzzles: four trails to liven your walk

Vast open spaces are one of the best things about the Royal Docks. Our views are some of the best in London, and you don’t even have to be high up to take it all in. Here, you get that unique sense of space just by going for a walk.

After all those lockdown walks, many of us are craving a little variety from our daily wanders. Luckily, we’ve got some great walking options thanks to artists, musicians and others who created a series of eye- and ear-opening walking tours for our 2020 Join the Docks programme. For those who still have to shield, several can even be accessed fully remotely, providing entertainment for all.

Here are a few great walks that you can go outside and enjoy right now – or listen to online for a flavour of the great outdoors.

Two teens walking in the Crystal gardens

The Crystal gardens

An architectural soundtrack

Musicity is a soundtrack to the Royal Docks, enabling you to experience the area in a brand new way. Innovative music and architecture agency MSCTY worked with local musicians and sound artists to create tracks in response to Royal Docks sites that inspired them. The tracks are geo-tagged to the sites, and available for free to listen to as you explore.

Take your headphones for a walk or tune in at home.

Roses on the bush Blue ironworks of Lyle Park

Lyle Park

Wander with some wonders

If you’re bringing kids along, Wondering Wanders is a great choice. This self-guided activity trail for families comes with a great map created by local creative studio Lunes. Wondering Wanders comes with fun challenges to complete and interesting facts. From the ‘Seeking the sleeping giant’ walking tour we learn that a live elephant was once brought by ship into Royal Victoria Dock. To cover more ground, pick up a Brompton hire bike for the ‘Ride to the heart of the docks’ tour, which highlights the best sights of this amazing and vast area.

Pick up a map or download a copy, and find yourself absorbed for hours.

Doorway of Brick Lane Music Hall in Silvertown

Brick Lane Music Hall in Silvertown

Audio dramas

This is who we are is a unique way to explore local spots. Created by arts organisation Arch 468, this is an audio trail stretching the length of the docks, featuring five dramas by local writers who all take inspiration from the docklands environment. The stories focus on the history and future of the docks, their links to the wider world, as well as the experience of living here – all professionally recorded with actors.

Find the QR codes around the docks or listen online by clicking on the icons on the map.

Statue in Royal Victoria Dock called Bird Boy

"Bird Boy", part of The Line sculpture trail

World-class sculpture

Do you miss museums and art galleries? East London’s open-air gallery, The Line, passes through the Royal Docks. Before you wander on, either north up along the River Lea or south to Greenwich, download the new free digital guide to The Line. The app gives you three choices for your walk: delve deeper into the art by listening to the artists themselves talk about it, focus on nature and local history with anecdotes read by Bill Nighy, or turn it into a wellbeing experience by opting for one of the custom-made walking meditations. 

Get the app for free from Bloomberg Connects from the Apple Store or Google Play.

If you’re taking a walk around the Royal Docks during the pandemic, please make sure you stay safe and follow the latest government guidelines on restrictions and social distancing.

Redbrick round structure that is the entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel

The entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel