Saturday 17 October 2015

Why I love living in Canada Water

Before I started working at my most recent job, I'd never heard of Canada Water. If asked, I would have assumed it was over by Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. Not so, although it is part of what was the docklands. After realising how unhappy living in my Tower Bridge flat was making me, I decided to start the arduous (but necessary) task of househunting again. I was incredibly lucky and managed to find the perfect houseshare in Canada Water straight away. After a nervous week waiting for the girls to decide if they wanted me as their new housemate, they thankfully saw sense and agreed that I could take the room! 

Since moving in at the end of July, I've come to really appreciate living in this area. Although my house is a little way from the station, that doesn't bother me. I became the proud owner of a bike earlier in the year (and put it together myself which I'm very proud of!) and it only takes me about 10 minutes to cycle to either Canada Water or Rotherhithe tube stations. There are also a couple of decent buses that pass close to the house so it's pretty well connected.

Having said that, it's not so well connected that I'm in the centre of the noise and crowds of London. In fact most of the time you can forget you're even in the city. It's so leafy and green you feel worlds away from the pollution and dirt of the city centre. It's probably not, but it feels like it! I live right near the river, so it's easy to take a walk along the Thames, and this is a great way to spend a couple of hours. You are reminded of how close you really are though, as you catch glimpses of the skyscrapers at certain points as you walk (or in my case cycle) around. As I head back to my house from Rotherhithe I head straight towards the big buildings of Canary Wharf - as it's directly opposite us on the other bank of the river. Usually on my way to Canada Water station (bus and tube) I spy the top of the shard over in the distance. 

I'm writing this post from Canada Water library, an incredibly busy library that is always full - many people studying, children running about (!) and people enjoying a cup or coffee or a language exchange in the downstairs cafe. The building itself is an unusual design - one people are likely to either love or loathe for its quirky shape. I actually quite like it, and I hope that when the new shopping/apartment complex that's currently being built is finished it will complement the library as well. I'm very excited this week as I've checked out three books from the library, and have another on the way that I reserved this week. Although I do love owning books, I don't have a lot of space to store them, and really only put them on a shelf to get dusty when I've finished reading them, so I'll probably try and get more for the library when I've finished with these - actually two of them are cookery books which I'll probably just take photos of decent recipes from before I take them back. I've usually thought that a downside to library books is that new releases are not available, but I noticed today as I picked up Girl on the Train, that they have the newest Nigella cookery book that came out last week. So perhaps the days of waiting for a new release are over!

For the sake of this post, I walked into the library today so that I could more easily take photos of my walk through Russia Dock Woodland. Created in the old Russia dock basin, this is now a park, ecological nature reserve and has a small man-made hill from which you can gaze over the famous London skyline. 

A few weeks ago, I spent a Sunday morning in the Canada Water Cafe - mostly because I had turned up to use the library 3 hours before it opened (they need to update their website!). I was surprised at how busy the cafe was on a Sunday morning. Although this is a very busy and residential area I wasn't expecting quite so many people to be out eating breakfast in the cafe. Although I think the drinks are overpriced for what you get, it's a nice space to sit and work, or to catch up with friends. I've eaten there a couple of times, and the food seems decent too. I really enjoyed the ambience and atmosphere and in the end it was a slightly nicer place to work than the library - although with the prices I wouldn't make it a habit! 

Mostly, I love living here because it gives me the best of both the worlds I've grown to enjoy. Nature, trees and open spaces, but near enough and well connected to the city to not feel isolated. Canada Water, I'm here to stay!

I like cycling through the woodland and encountering all the ducks, moorhens and coots that live there as they run across the path just as you're approaching - why do they wait until you're nearly on top of them before they run across?! The less said about the foxes the better, they never fail to scare me particularly at night! There are also plenty of little squirrels scampering about and as we have a small garden, we see quite a lot of cat traffic passing through.

I really appreciate how much care Southwark council take of the woodlands too. Each day I go through the park they seem to be there - clearing out the waterways, repairing benches, and caring for the trees and plants.

Canada Water Library with a lovely red dusk sky

What do you love about the place where you live? Are there certain things you will never compromise on where your home is? Do you have ideas about where you'll move to in the future? Let me know in the comments!
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  1. It's a lovely area to live, you have the best of both worlds!! Living as your Dad and I do in the countryside is lovely and visiting London not too difficult but so much easier for you with everything on your doorstep. Never mind, I have a lovely B & B available when I come into town!!!

  2. Nice blog post. I love CW too.