Rumour has it that Canary Wharf has a, frankly, ridiculous amount of fun stuff going on this summer.
And rumour has it that said rumour is actually not a rumour at all – but rather a straight-up fact. Because from watching this summer’s major sporting events on a giant screen (with a Pimm’s in hand); to trying out virtual clay shooting and electric shuffle boarding; taking in outdoor cinema as the sun goes down; wild swimming in Middle Dock; catching live music; and hitting a free five-day festival, there is, as you can probably tell by now, a lot going in Canary Wharf over the warmer months.
And seeing as the very first item on the list of our favourite things is ‘making lists’, we thought we’d make a list of the 10 best things to do this summer in Canary Wharf…
No one likes to be cooped up inside hiding in their house during summer (unless it’s a Sunday morning) and movies always rate better when watched in the fresh air, right? Canary Wharf’s free al fresco film programme has something for everyone with the likes of Mamma Mia!, 10 Things I Hate About You and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs on the lineup, and when the sun sets you’re privy to one of the most picturesque outdoor cinema spots in London.
Details: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH | Screenings most Tuesdays in June & August, check programme here
This multi-coloured crazy golf course in Montgomery Square is a work of art… literally, as it doubles as an installation from artistic duo Craig Redman & Karl Maier. While it may be easy on the eyes, it’s more difficult to navigate on a skill basis with various bumps and tricksy holes, and as it’s free, you can drop in and out as you please. If you’re having an off day with the putter, just say you’ve got to get back to work (or head home). Perfectly legitimate excuse.
Details: Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, E14 | Daily 12-6pm | More info here
If you’ve walked down Canary Wharf pre or post work, and had the urge to just jump into the water, now’s your chance…. without looking like a crazy person. The 600sqm Middle Dock will be open as a pool until the end of September, with the tall modern glass buildings providing a relatively different backdrop to the usual trees and bush that you get at London’s other outdoor swimming areas. There’ll be lifeguards on hand and thanks to NOWCA (who regulate wild swimming water quality) the water is clean and absolutely safe to swim in, so it’s no health hazard as you’d imagine your ‘usual’ dip in the Thames might be…
Details: Middle Dock, Canary Wharf, London, E14 | Cost? £8.50/session, plus £15 annual membership | More info here
Besides the occasional dash for drinks, don’t miss a minute of this summer’s sporting drama – from cricket to the F1 – because (outside of the actual stadiums and grounds themselves) the grass of Canary Wharf will serve as London’s hub for all the major sports events coming up. Catch all the big matches on two whopper screens in the park (with an outdoor bar for refreshments), or in a fountain-filled square packed with al fresco dining. And unlike a ticket for the live-in-attendance stuff, it’s all free (just bring a blanket for the park, as there are no chairs).
Details: Canada Square Park & Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH | Screenings throughout summer, check programme here
As long as it’s not a weak Christmas present, surprises are always the best and this applies to mystery gig maestros Sofar Sounds, who’ll be at an unnamed Canary Wharf venue for four evenings this summer with a band of surprise artists in tow – the quality of which, if their track record is anything to go by, will be pretty darn good. That shouldn’t come as a surprise…
Details: Location TBA | Select Wednesdays from June 7-6 September, 8-10pm | Tickets are £23 and you can find info here
Relive your childhood glory days at the coconut shy (or make up for the giant cuddly toy you never managed to win) at Fairgame, a souped-up throwback to old-school fairgrounds. Use a contactless pass to duke it out through a tournament of mini-games, from shooting ranges to whack-a-mole, then toast your inevitable victory over street food, house cocktails, and prosecco-flavoured candy floss on their glorious waterside terrace…
Details: 25 Fishermans Walk, London E14 4DH | Open Tuesday – Sunday | Book here
As great as rush hour in the Tube’s underground stations may be, some of London’s best busking talent will have an actual stage to perform at Canary Wharf this summer. Busk in London, a scheme supported by Mayor Sadiq Khan to lend a helping hand to the city’s street musicians, will be selecting a performer every Wednesday to gain some live experience via a two-and-a-half hour set at Jubilee Park. The shows are free but donations are always welcome.
Details: Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY | Wednesdays June 7-9 August, 12-2.30pm | More info here
We’re talking virtual clay target shooting and, unsurprisingly, it’s a real blast. Clays Canary Wharf uses the latest tech to simulate the sport as it might be at the Olympics; you’re handed a real shotgun (decommissioned, of course), you then take aim, open your eyes hopefully, and ruthlessly fire away at flying objects on a screen. Once you’ve emptied all your ammo, don’t think the fun’s over – there’s a terrace with a dedicated bar serving up creative cocktails and delicious sharing platters.
Details: 1 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14 4QJ | Open daily | Book here
There’s lots of festivals happening in London over the summer, but the longest back-to-back one is taking place in Canary Wharf. Festival 14 is a jam-packed five-dayer where you can bring your mates, bring the family or head down after work to dance to live music on the main stage (with headline sets from Craig Charles and Soul II Soul among others), and complement it with comedy, theatre, and dance, as well as workshops for children, popping up in sun-drenched parks and secret gardens around Canary Wharf.
Details: Throughout Canary Wharf, E14 | 26th – 30th July | Free, some events ticketed | More info here
Yes, sailing down CW on a fully electric, self-driven boat (also known as a GoBoat). For £85 you can rent out your own private boat (with space for up to eight people) that traverses you and your party around the waterways of London Docklands, ticking off the sights and sounds of the neighbourhood, including Harbour Quay Gardens and the iconic One Park Drive. There’s the option of bringing your own food, otherwise you can splash out with a picnic from Gallio (delivered direct to your boat), or a trip to one of the best restaurants in Canary Wharf after the ride.
Details: 22 Churchill Pl, London E14 5RE | Rental is from £85 p/h, with more prices and times available | More info here
Want to find out more about the area? Check out the Canary Wharf website HERE.