The CBRE Residential Guide to Student Living in the Docklands

No area of London has been regenerated to quite the same extent as the Docklands. As the name suggests, this part of London is situated right beside the River Thames and was originally classed as being one of the busiest docks in the world helping the city of London to import and export goods with Europe and the rest of the world. 

The Docks were eventually closed in 1981 leading to the possibility for redevelopment and the area hasn’t looked back since. The area around the Thames presents a great opportunity for businesses to acquire iconic locations and the Docklands district has gone from strength to strength since the first works began. Canary Wharf is an iconic London district filled with some of the world’s leading businesses and luxurious accommodation with panoramic London views and the prime location has opened itself up to the various public transport links.

Today, the Docklands and Canary Wharf are London’s prime property and business districts with a number of truly incredible buildings around, many of which are used primarily for commercial purposes with others amongst some of London’s most desirable residential and student lettings.

Many of the high-rising buildings in the Docklands and Canary Wharf offer truly breathtaking views out across London making the area among the most sought after with London’s elite as well as students who enjoy the idea of being a student living in one of London’s most prestigious and high-flying areas.

What’s it like to be a student living in the Docklands?

The Docklands covers a substantial area on the North side of the River Thames, running from London Bridge in the West along past Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, to Woolwich in the East.

To handle the rising number of commuters and residents in the region the Docklands Light Railway was built, opening in 1987, as a light railway system to transport commuters, residents, tourists and – of course – students around London. In 1999 the Underground was extended far enough to cater to Canary Wharf and the rising number of commuters in the area and with the majority of London’s main Universities situated in the City area, the lines began to grow in popularity in both directions with professionals and academics alike.

Today, properties in the Docklands are highly sought after, as are student rentals in Canary Wharf, Woolwich and the Isle of Dogs area. Goldsmith’s is the closest University to the area and is situated on the South side of the River.

Students attending Goldsmith’s are particularly fond of the regeneration projects that have gone on in and around the Docklands, and many of the student rentals in London have either been snapped up by students going to the University or those thinking of doing so and then graduating into a position within Canary Wharf.

As such, student lettings near the Docklands are proving to be particularly popular and here at CBRE Residential we are able to help you to find the kind of property you’ve always dreamed of and that ticks all of your boxes.

We can offer a variety of different student rentals near Canary Wharf including one bedroom student flats in London that are beautifully finished with en-suite bathrooms, balconies and panoramic views over the City. Our lettings agents will also be able to advise you on the prime locations to rent a student property around your chosen University, thereby enabling you to get the very best of student living in London.

The growing popularity of properties to buy and rent in the Docklands means that now is the ideal time to get your hands on a house, flat, apartment or penthouse in this prime London location so be sure to speak to CBRE Residential today about what is available.

Nightlife and live entertainment in the Docklands 

In such a hustling and bustling part of London you might expect student life in the Docklands to be somewhat chaotic. However, it seems to be anything but. Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs are buzzing parts of the Docklands that feature a number of high end bars and restaurants all offer relaxing evenings, delicious food and sumptuous cocktails.

The whole of the Docklands area is popular for socialising, mostly thanks to the riverside locations available. Many bars and restaurants have made the area their home, attracting different audiences including professionals and students to on-trend bars and those with a great reputation for live entertainment.

The major entertainment venue in the Docklands area is possibly the largest aside from Wembley. The O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, is a multi-purpose venue that hosts a number of huge arena gigs each year as well as various performances and exhibitions.

With a capacity of around 20,000 seats, the O2 as we know it today was opened to the public in June 2007 after being transformed from the initial Millennium exhibition venue that celebrated who we are, what we do and where we live.

Transport Links in the Docklands

The main public transport network in the area is the Docklands Light Railway. Built in the late 1980s as the area grew and grew, this Overground railway stretches out as far as Bank, Woolwich Arsenal and Stratford and helps to relieve a great deal of the strain placed on the Underground.

In the coming months the new Crossrail network, which will be named the Elizabeth Line, will run right through the centre of Canary Wharf and will help to make the area more accessible and the system more efficient than ever before – cutting journey times significantly in many cases.

Canary Wharf, Blackwall, Heron Quays and West India Quay are all stations on the DLR network situated within the Docklands area. On the Underground the main station in the area is at Canary Wharf itself. This station serves both the Tube on the Jubilee Line and the DLR from East to West. 

Shopping in the Docklands

The Canary Wharf Shopping Centre is a large, indoor shopping venue that is connected to the Canary Wharf Underground and DLR station. Inside there are a variety of different high-end stores, cafes and restaurants that cater to professionals, students and commuters passing through the area.

Shopping is growing in popularity in the area, just like the residential developments. Businesses and local organisations are realising the opportunity and need for new retail premises now that more people are moving into the Docklands.

There are now five shopping malls in the area with more than 120 shops in total, with the types of shops ranging from small boutiques selling designer clothing and jewellery to brand stores that you’d see on the high street every day and everything in between. For a student living near Canary Wharf it’s the ideal place to go shopping, enabling you to find your high-end luxury items and to pick up your essentials.

Landmarks and Tourist Destinations in the Docklands

The Docklands area is something of a landmark in itself, with the skyline dominating the majority of aerial photographs of London. With some of the city’s tallest towers, the iconic O2 Arena and the meandering River Thames all featuring in this expanding area of the capital, Canary Wharf attracts people from all over the world just to marvel at some of the architecture, to eat in some of the finest restaurants and to take a first-hand look at what can be achieved in terms of new developments in London.

The chances are that wherever you choose to live you’ll be able to see a part of the Docklands from your student accommodation. A lot of CBRE Residential student rentals are flats and apartments giving you some excellent views out across the city meaning that you may be able to spot some of the most famous buildings and landmarks in the area without leaving your home.

One Canada Square is probably the most iconic building in the Docklands area thanks to its sheer size. When it first opened it was London’s tallest building, a title now owned by The Shard, standing 50 floors high in the heart of Canary Wharf.

The tower is accessible from either the main pedestrian area around the building or through the Canary Wharf Shopping Centre, and contains a ground floor restaurant serving up luxurious food from 7am in the morning. The building itself is luxurious and exquisitely finished with numerous works of art and marble pillars creating a feel of class and quality from the moment you walk in.

ExCeL London is a conference and events centre situated between Canary Wharf and London City Airport. Since its opening it has hosted a number of international conventions and major sporting events, including a number of martial arts during the London 2012 Olympics.

The National Maritime Museum itself is the world’s largest museum dedicated solely to the shipping industry. Located in Greenwich on the South side of the River, the Museum is open to the public and takes visitors on a journey through British naval history with a range of boats, ships, equipment and exhibits; as well as providing a ship simulator to give you a feel of what life was like on board.

Keeping with the historic and maritime themes associated with Canary Wharf, Billingsgate Market in Poplar is the UK’s largest inland fish market offering a variety of the very latest fish caught locally and off the coast of the United Kingdom. 

Gyms in the Docklands 

Living in Canary Wharf is ideal for anyone who takes an interest in health and fitness. There are a number of exclusive gyms in the area, many of which are incorporated into the various office buildings, but many also accept members of the public.

A lot of our student lettings near the Docklands feature their own private gym and sauna facilities enabling you to use the equipment at your leisure. After a long day at the University you can go and work off the stress or hire a personal trainer to meet you there to put you through your paces.

There are lot of personal trainers in the Canary Wharf area who already train many of the professionals working in the district, so you can either book for them at their own venue or in your student accommodation if you choose one of our student properties with a gym.

Hospitals in the Docklands

The Royal London Hospital is one of London’s largest and most prominent teaching hospitals. Located in Whitechapel, E1, it is the closest major hospital to the Docklands and Canary Wharf and maintains a close association with a number of the Universities.

It is most easily accessible from the area by road, although Whitechapel Station is a short distance from the hospital on either the District or Hammersmith & City lines meaning that you would have to change Tube trains if you’re going from Canary Wharf.

A lot of medical students opt for London’s top Universities because of their reputation of excellent teaching and research, while placements at hospitals such as the Royal London will help to hone skills and to potentially open doors to a career upon their graduation.

Click here to speak to a member of the CBRE Residential team to find out more about being a student living in London or to learn more about how to buy or rent a student property near Canary Wharf and the Docklands.