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Boy oh buoy! Billed as London Docklands’ most exciting arts quarter, Trinity Buoy Wharf is a historic working wharf on the River Thames that in later life became a cultural confluence and creative hub.
Trinity Buoy Wharf is now home to artist’s studios, gallery space and shipping container commerce (plus one of the best unique American diner style restaurants in London).
Although the area is predominantly arts and business focussed (with new apartment blocks all around), you’ll still see plenty of boats and maritime history here, as the Thames Clippers and historic tugs are docked here.
Trinity Buoy Wharf is situated in Canning Town, and hosts onsite exhibits and alfresco arts, with incredible views of the River Thames and the Greenwich Peninsula / O2 dome.
Here is our guide to Trinity Buoy Wharf in London (2023):
Table of Contents
Trinity Buoy Wharf Longplayer
Inside the lighthouse at the top, you’ll discover Longplayer, a musical composition featuring Tibetan ‘singing bowls’ that play without any repetition for over 1,000 years; surely even Spotify Shuffle can’t compete with that?
Composed by artist Jem Finer, Longplayer’s hum began playing at the end of the last millennium and will continue to play without repetition until the end of 2999 at which point it will (hopefully) start all over again – talk about longevity!
Longplayer can be accessed at the weekends between 11am to 4pm November to March and 11am to 5pm April to October.
Fat Boy’s Diner
A little bit of 1950’s America in east London, Fatboy’s Diner is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and due to it’s rather unique set-up (a retro diner right by the river), it is one of the more memorable dining experiences you’ll have in London.
Fat Boy’s Diner offer all the usual American diner favourites including pancakes, burgers and sundaes.
We are particularly taken with their Fatboy’s burger special featuring 3 beef patties, dill pickle and monterey jack cheese (a walk back into central London from here should burn off all those calories).
Originally built in 1956 and used in Massachusetts, USA, Fat Boys Diner has also featured in several music videos plus and in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors (as was the Blue Anchor pub in Hammersmith). It first popped up in Spitalfields before being relocated to Trinity Buoy Wharf.
Fat Boy’s Diner is open daily from 9am to 5pm as of March 2023.
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Trinity Riverside Bar
Looking for one of the best London bars on the river?
Then pull up a deckchair at the Trinity Riverside Bar for an ice cold drink with an amazing view of the London skyline, O2 Arena and Canary Wharf.
Trinity Riverside Bar is open Friday – Sunday during the summer months, and serves beer, wine, prosecco, cocktails, mocktails and food.
Please note that as at March 2023, the Trinity Riverside Bar is closed although may reopen in the summer months – check the Trinity Buoy Wharf website ahead of your visit.
Trinity Buoy Wharf Tug Boats
Several historic tugs and other maritime vessels are moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, either being lovingly restored by volunteers or reimagined as buoyant businesses. One of the tugs is home to a recording studio – the Lightship 95 Recording Studio.
Giving a plug to the tugs, you can see the Lighterage, Knocker White and Varlet vessels here, the latter two of which moved to Trinity Buoy Wharf from the Museum of London Docklands.
Assorted Art and Exhibits
Whilst there are permanent displays at Trinity Buoy Wharf like the Longplayer, the wharf also hosts temporary and evolving pieces of art, which you generally discover by accident as you meander around the wharf.
On display whilst we visited was the Andrew Baldwin Cab Tree, essentially a black London cab (Hackney Carriage) with a large tree sprouting out of the top (beat that, Uber!).
The Orchard Cafe
This cute shipping container cafe is hard to miss as its rooftop hosts the huge taxi cab we just mentioned.
Featuring a standard range of hot and cold snacks (lighter fare than Fat Boy’s Diner), tea, coffee and daily specials, the Orchard Cafe may end up being the apple of your eye.
The Orchard Cafe is open daily from 8am to 5pm as of March 2023.
Trinity Buoy Wharf Events
Trinity Buoy Wharf has an eclectic and exciting events schedule from free temporary exhibitions to paid for musical recitals and performances. Further information about upcoming events can be found here.
Chain and Buoy Store Wedding venue
Tempted to tie the knot at Trinity Buoy Wharf? One of the more unique riverside wedding venues in London is home to the Grade II listed Chain and Buoy Store, a Victorian warehouse built in the 1860s.
As well as being a picture perfect setting with London’s only lighthouse next door, it offers a riverside terrace with views of the River Thames, Docklands and Greenwich.
Trinity Buoy Wharf as a Filming Location
Trinity Buoy Wharf is a popular filming location – recent series of the BBC TV series The Great British Sewing Bee have been filmed here, plus Netflix 2022 thriller Rogue Agent (filmed in the lighthouse).
TV series Spooks, Ashes to Ashes and Waking the Dead have also been here to film.
New Apartments and New Housing Estates
We recently revisited the Trinity Buoy Wharf area in 2023 and the entrance to the site is now barely recognisable as many of the old wharf buildings along the main entrance way have been demolished to make way for new housing and homes (like Orchard Place).
Given the incredible waterfront views, it is no small wonder this neighbourhood has become such a property hotspot and one of London’s newest (albeit reinvented) waterside living space.
It sure does look like Trinity Buoy Wharf is set to become one of London’s latest property hotspots so we just hope its unique chaotic charm and riverside realm isn’t diminished too much.
Trinity Buoy Wharf opening times
Trinity Buoy Wharf is open every day of the year between 7am and 7pm (later for special events).
How to get to Trinity Buoy Wharf
The nearest stations to Trinity Buoy Wharf are East India DLR or Canning Town DLR/London Underground.
Unless you own an apartment or work there, parking onsite in the area is limited so your best bet is to get public transport.
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