Dock water with paddleboarders, historic boat, and buildings

The story of the Royal Docks

  • 1855

    Victoria Dock opens to relieve London’s crowded and chaotic waterways

  • 1921

    A third dock, King George V, is added to what is now the capital’s main shipping hub

  • 1939

    The Royal Docks operate throughout WWII despite severe damage

  • 1981

    After two decades of decline, the docks close to commercial traffic

  • 1987

    The DLR and London City Airport open, later followed by ExCeL London

  • 2019

    The Royal Docks is reborn as a new commercial centre

Past: 1855

The building of the Royal Docks in 1855 introduced a new world of commerce to the capital. They drew produce and people from all over the world, forging London’s position as a global centre for trade and industry.

Past: 1855

Present: today

The Royal Docks is emerging as a prime location for business and as a place to live. Covering over 1,200 acres, this vast area of Newham, East London, is undergoing a stunning revival. It is known for its industrious nature, strong sense of local community, established global connections, and unique expanse of water.

Runners along the dock going past the Emirates Air Line terminal

Future: opportunity

The Royal Docks is London’s only Enterprise Zone and the capital’s most ambitious regeneration project. It is set to become an internationally-renowned commercial district and visitor destination, with thousands of new homes, jobs and recreational opportunities in the pipeline.

Find out why you should live and work in the Royal Docks, and learn more about the area's regeneration.

Read more

CGI street scene with retail and office blocks