Wapping Area Guide

While considered in many respects to be one of London’s more traditional areas, Wapping is far from a sleepy corner of the capital. With an eclectic mix of warehouse conversions, riverside bars and restaurants, plus plenty of famous landmarks, living in Wapping is a highly desirable option. It’s idyllic location on the banks of the River Thames, providing spectacular views across the city, might have something to do with this too! 

Wapping area guide

The Location

Wapping is located in East London on the north bank of the Thames in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. This area was developed around the river; you can clearly see that Wapping closely follows the path of the river on a map. In many ways, the main feature of this prime London location is the River Thames itself. Wapping has developed from one of the leading players in the shipping industry to one of London’s most popular residential areas.

Did you know that Wapping has a unique postcode, E1W? This includes the entire area. Many of the recently developed warehouses offer residents luxurious living coupled with easy access to London’s public transport networks like Wapping station. Canary Wharf and the City, the two main business and financial districts, are just a short commute away.

Wapping area guide

The History of Wapping

Wapping and the riverside around Tower Bridge are steeped in history yet thoroughly modern, defining the regeneration of London’s industrial heritage. Originally, Wapping was little more than a high street within the Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area was inhabited by sailors and boat builders, who capitalised on career opportunities presented by the maritime connections.

So, what does Wapping mean? The name may have been derived from words meaning ‘the settlement of Waeppas people’ or the Old English word wapol meaning ‘marshy place’.

When the London Docks were built in the 1900s, it completely changed the look and feel of this area. Wapping went from being appealing to an area that suffered a 60% decrease in population as the houses that many of these workers lived in were destroyed to accommodate the warehouses on the waterfront. 

Wapping area guide

Living in Wapping

With excellent transport links, views, bars and restaurants, cafes, boutique shopping and countless London landmarks all within close proximity, Wapping’s popularity is only going to increase. There are lots of things to do in Wapping, from sampling delicious food to visiting museums.

  1. Visit the nearby Tower of London - one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the world
  2. Explore Tobacco Dock - the Grade I listed warehouse and venue for all kinds of amazing events from concerts to exhibitions
  3. Sample some of the many pubs, bars and restaurants in Wapping, including, Le Pont de la Tour and Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub The Narrow
  4. Take a stroll along the River Thames and soak up the waterside views
  5. Visit one of London’s oldest pubs, The Prospect of Whitby, which dates back to 1543. It’s a local treasure
  6. Do some exciting water sports like sailing or kayaking at Shadewell Basin
Wapping area guide

Buying Property in Wapping

In the 1980s, regeneration began and many of the abandoned shipping warehouses were transformed into luxurious apartments and flats; Wapping is now an area full of charm and character. Developments such as London Dock have opened up a new world of possibilities for those looking to buy and rent in the area.

Being a traditional part of London shouldn’t detract from what an exciting area Wapping is. A lot of London professionals who work in the City and Canary Wharf look to buy properties in Wapping, especially if you like the concept of village-style living in the heart of the City. The short commute and spectacular views over London also make the area highly desirable.

Find out more about living in Wapping and buying and renting property in the area in our comprehensive London Borough guide.

Transport Links

Wapping is located on the Thames, just a 15 minute walk from Tower Bridge.

Tube Stations:

  • Tower Hill (DLR)
  • Rotherhithe (Overground)
  • Wapping (Overground )
  • Shadwell (Overground & DLR)

Train Stations:​

  • Whitechapel Crossrail (2018)