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Thames Barrier Park

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by Peter Apps (subscribe)
An East London based journalist, seeking to describe some of my favourite parts of the city. Find me on twitter @peterdapps.
Published July 29th 2012
A modern, secluded park, in the industrial East End
Thames Barrier Park
The 16-foot trench, photo by Alan Stanto

Thames Barrier Park, a largely undiscovered gem in the heart of East London, is the perfect urban retreat on a summer's day.

Located in Pontoon Dock, Silvertown, two DLR stops from Canning Town, the modern park boasts panoramic views of the river and the iconic flood barrier.

The entrance is a courtyard with 30 water fountains shooting jets of water some six feet into the sky. Fully accessible and interactive, this is glorious fun for children (and adults) on a muggy summers day.

Behind the fountains is a trench with 16-foot high, foliage covered walls creating a cavern of green shrubs and pebbled paths through the centre of the park. Depending on your age, this is either the dream setting for a secluded romantic stroll, or perfect hide and seek territory.

The 34.6 acre park also features a modern play area, and a small, but reasonably priced coffee shop.

Luxury apartments rise up on either side, and with the park itself raised several metres above road level, it feels splendidly cut off in such a built up area of London. Despite the occasional drone of planes landing at nearby City Airport, it feels private, exclusive and extremely peaceful.

It is also a short walk from the newly-opened London Pleasure Gardens.

During the London Olympics, the park will be ideally located for a get away from the crowds. It sits on the doorstep of three Olympic venues: within view of the London Excel Centre, a mere 12 minutes on the DLR from Stratford, and a short cable car trip from the O2 in North Greenwich (or a jubilee line journey for vertigo sufferers).
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Why? A modern, secluded park with great views of the river
When: Open seven days a week
Phone: N/A
Where: Thames Barrier Park, North Woolwich Road, London E16 2HP
Cost: Free
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