For centuries, London has been one of the most important cities in the world. Starting in the 1600s, the Museum of London Docklands explores just how important the city was, telling the story of the Thames and its trade. Tracing the highs and lows of the London Docklands, you’ll learn everything for the city’s time as the most important port in the world to the decline in the 20th century. With recreations of the city, memorabilia and artefacts to discover, its perfect for any fans of history!
This week, Quingo Scooters is heading to the capital to learn all about its ports. As the winner of Time Out’s Love London 2015 award – and runner-up in 2016 – hundreds of visitors enjoy this attraction each year. Let’s see what makes the Museum of London Docklands so popular!
At the Museum of London Docklands, there are many exciting and permanent galleries to discover. Let’s see what’s on offer…
- Introduction Gallery: Situated in the previous Number 1 Warehouse of the West India Docks, this gallery looks at how the historic docks and warehouses operated at the height of their success. Journey back a 100 years into London’s past and discover authentic memorabilia and footage of the docks. This immersive experience recreates the atmosphere of the bustling commercial Port of London. History truly comes to life!
- Trade Expansion 1600-1800: This gallery is the perfect place to learn all about the merchants, sailors and pirates who brought the docks to life. Telling the story of how ships sailed from London to India and China, fans of history will love learning about how trade was done 500 years ago!
- London, Sugar and Slavery 1600-present: While London has historically been a port of global significance, it has not always been a positive place. Looking back somberly on London’s past, this gallery covers how the trade in enslaved Africans and sugar shaped London. Here you’ll see the names of captains, owners and destinations of the ships that sailed from London to engage in this trade. While you’re here, make sure to check out the letters of Ignatius Sancho. Born on a slave ship in the mid-Atlantic and brought to England aged 2, his best-selling book was the first prose published in Britain by an African Author. This illuminating piece of work gives an incredible first-hand account of this period of London’s history.
- City and River 1800-1840: Have you ever wondered how the London docks took shape in the 19th century? In this gallery, you’ll discover the transformation of London through the cast new docks. As early 19th century brought great change to London’s river and port, new bridges spanned the Thames and a tunnel was dug beneath it. With the fortune of London always being tied to the river Thames, this attraction uncovers how the river was utilized to build a modern city. It’s the perfect place to learn how London transformed into the city we know today.
- Sailortown 1840-1850: At any port in the 19th century, you were sure to find one type of person. Sailors. These men brought exotic animals, foreign delicacies and money with them, with the ports set up to entertain them after long and dull sea voyages. In this immersive experience, the Museum of London Docklands has recreated the atmosphere of London’s Sailortown. This evokes the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London, as the twisting passages offer secrets and surprises to uncover. From the printer – where sailors could sell or trade books – to the seedy sailors’ taverns, you’ll experience what life was like for these men. It’s a must-see for any visit to the museum!
- First Port of Empire 1840-1880: London was once the hub of the world’s largest empire. As British power and trade spread across the globe, so the port of London grew and prospered. Here you’ll learn more about London and Britain at the peak of its powers as the centre of world trade. Make sure to see the model of the SS Great Eastern while you’re here – it was one the largest ship ever built in the world.
- Docklands at War 1939-1945: Did you know that the London Docklands were the first target in the London Blitz? Late in the afternoon of Saturday 7 September 1940, the Luftwaffe launched a massive daylight raid on London – the first of many attacks on the capital. Here you’ll learn all about how the Port survived this attack and provided vital aid in the war effort, from Dunkirk to D-Day.
- New Port, New City 1945-present: Moving towards the present, this gallery recounts the highs and lows of London’s upriver docks, including their closure from the 1960s to the 1980s and their resurgence as the site of Europe’s largest regeneration project. Here you’ll hear and understand how London’s docks became the area we’ve come to know. Make sure to visit the reconstruction of the Underground station – perfect for learning how new tube lines has linked the Docklands to the rest of the city!
Where to eat and drink
At the Museum of London Docklands, there are a number of delicious excellent cafes and restaurants that make the perfect place to rest. Serving hot and cold meals, sandwiches, cakes and fair-trade tea and coffee, there’s a wide range of tasty treats on offer. The full list of available restaurants and cafes is available here, with something to cover all needs!
Opening times and prices
The Museum of London Docklands is open from 10am to 6pm daily, except for 24-26 December and 1 January. Entry into the museum is free.
The attraction is located by the West India Quay and is accessible by all major forms of transport. If you are travelling by car, the postcode is E14 4AL. There is a car park located behind the museum on Hertsmere Road, with Blue Badge spaces available. The nearest tube stop is Canary Wharf. Frequent buses also service the area. Full information on getting there can be found here.
The Museum of London has been made fully accessible for all guests. This includes galleries, learning rooms, the café, shop and theatre. Accessible toilets can be found on the ground and third floor of the museum, with fully accessible lifts providing access to all floors and public spaces. The information desk has an accessible counter. Blue Badge parking spaces can be found in the public carpark behind the museum. Further information on accessibility can be found here.
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme, which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this, or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
Keep up-to-date with the latest mobility scooter advice, tips and interesting places to visit on the Quingo Scooter Users Blog. Connect with Quingo and keep up-to-date with all our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 308478.