As well as incredible landmarks, beautiful parks and pretty places, London’s gorgeousness is even routed into its streets themselves. One picture-perfect spot almost looks like its stuck in the Victorian times.
Shad Thames has one end just below Tower Bridge before winding round and into Bermondsey. Although its now known by many as the ultimate Instagram spot, it was actually famed for its rows of warehouses around 150 years ago.
I visited the street for the first time one rainy day and felt like I stumbled onto a period drama filmset. Wandering down from Bermondsey station, as I turned onto Shad Thames I suddenly found myself on a much narrower street; quieter with far less traffic and paved mostly with cobbles.
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Although now filled with lucky Londoners in beautiful flats, the street still holds on to its history in the form of the huge painted warehouse signs. From Java Wharf to St Andrews Wharf the original warehouses were completed in 1873 and used to store produce from all over the world.
But now with these high brick buildings lining the narrow, winding, cobbled streets, I just felt like I was on the set of Oliver! but with all the actors having a break. It was as if I’d stepped out of the Tardis at Bermondsey station and ended up in a quiet Dickensian world.
As I admired the gorgeous converted warehouses I felt far from the busy main streets surrounding Shad Thames. I was lost in the picturesque fantasy of this area, quiet even at the beginning of half term.
Bringing me back to reality around every other corner stood out-of-place, modern flat buildings that were bright and glass-heavy, contrasting to the brick buildings either side.
However, these contemporary, more 21st Century sections were like a nod to the maintenance of this pretty street. Perfect flower boxes lined the windows of many buildings as their bursts of colour add further Instagram-perfectness to Shad Thames.
My favourite part of the long, bending street were the ordinary, yet incredible, overhead footbridges. Once used to roll barrels full of goods between the warehouses, they now act as balconies for the fabulous flats. But walking below them almost felt a little bit like an old New York movie, this section slightly like the set of West Side Story.
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Adding to the whole picturesque feel was the little glimpses of the Thames the street teased me with around the corners and towards the more tourist-suited end – between the restaurants and cafes.
Shad Thames is a beautiful Instagram spot that’s actually pleasant to visit. It’s perfect for a little lunch time wander to absorb London history and take some pretty pictures while you’re at it.
Stepping into the madness of Tower Bridge in half term as the street spilled out into modern, touristy London, I felt like I’d really passed through time. It’s a true reflection of the capital’s ability to hide the old within the new and still do it justice.
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