Bus Route 135: City to Docklands

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Dining, docks and Dickens: New in 2008, the 135 starts at Old Street and heads through Hoxton with its trendy venues and then along Shoreditch High Street. It also forms a vital link between the twin financial centres of the City and Canary Wharf

  • Route 8 | Route 25 | Route 135 | Route 149 | Route 277 | Route 394

    Route 135.jpg Now there is no need for an expensive, traffic-choking taxi; instead, bankers can simply jump on the 135 and whizz along the bus lane with the rest of us. What’s not to like?

    Hoxton
    Heading east on Old Street, this route has great access to Hoxton, where the ‘clubbing revolution’ of nearly 20 years ago turned the dark streets into a buzzing enclave. Today it’s hard to imagine this area any other way. So much so that you may want to base yourself here, at stylish boutique hotel The Hoxton Urban Lodge (81 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HU, 7550 1000). Look out for their legendary £1 room sales.

    The Hoxton Pony (104-108 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3AH, 7613 2844) is known for great cocktails and their alcoholic twist on afternoon tea. Foodies are spoiled for choice here. You can’t go wrong with Hoxton fixtures like bar-restaurant Cantaloupe (35-41 Charlotte Rd, EC2A 3PD, 7729 5566), with a South American menu, or smart and funky Rivington Bar & Grill (28-30 Rivington St, EC2A 3DZ, 7729 7053), excellent from breakfast to dinner.

    Prime among the area’s many art galleries, the White Cube (48 Hoxton Square, N1 6PB, 7930 5373), is renowned for having supported the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. To get a taste of Hoxton’s art scene, step into Contemporary Art Projects (20 Rivington St, EC2A 3DU, 7739 1743) and ask them about their East End art gallery tours.

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    Start

    Hoxton is also a great shopping destination. Hoxton Boutique (2 Hoxton Street, N1 6NG, 7684 2083) has cutting-edge designers, its own label and some vintage clothing. The collections at Start (42-44 Rivington St, EC2A 3BN, 7729 3334) range from timeless pieces to the latest must-haves from established luxury labels and new designers. Boudoir boutique Bordello (55 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3HP, 7503 3334) has an edgy take on saucy lingerie, and SCP (135-139 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3BX, 7739 1869) is the place for contemporary furniture and homewares from top designers like Matthew Hilton and Tom Dixon. For something more unusual, check out The Circus Space (Coronet St, N1 6HD, 7729 9522), where you can train to be an acrobat. There are evening classes, skills fun days and youth programmes.

    Spitalfields
    Continue on the bus along Shoreditch High Street and jump off at the junction with Great Eastern Street. Here you can experience the eighteenth-century living museum Dennis Severs' House (18 Folgate St, E1 6BX, 7247 4013), or take a break and pamper yourself at the E Rejuvenation Centre (132 Commercial St, E1 6NG, 7650 0718) offering relaxing East-meets-West spa treatments. Use the street map in this guide to explore the area some more.

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    The Circus Space

    Aldgate to Limehouse
    At satisfyingly gritty Aldgate East, the newly refurbished Whitechapel Art Gallery (80-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX, 7522 7888) will be an essential stop for art-lovers when it reopens in April. Next door is the venerable Freedom Bookshop (Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX, 7247 9249), London’s largest anarchist bookshop. Or take the bus a little further to the start of Commercial Road and walk south to the gorgeous old Wilton's Music Hall (Graces Alley, off Ensign St, E1 8JB, 7702 9555), which has a programme of music and theatre.

    Venture further south (you could hop on the 100 bus at Aldgate tube) and you will reach St Katharine Docks, with a good selection of bars including the monumental Dickens Inn (St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LB, 7488 2208). Further east, there are some great pubs in Wapping – try the Prospect of Whitby (57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SJ, 7481 1095), where Dickens used to dine, or the Town of Ramsgate (62 Wapping High St, E1W 2PN, 7481 8000). There’s also The Wapping Project, a great restaurant and gallery (Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, E1W 3SG, 0871 332 8754). For more fine dining, stay on the 135 to Limehouse station and walk south to Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub, The Narrow (44 Narrow St, E14 8DP, 7592 7950).

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    Museum of London Docklands

    Isle of Dogs
    Now the route curves right, heading south into Docklands with its mix of modern skyscrapers and original Victorian architecture. Museum of London Docklands (West India Quay, E14 4AL, 7001 9844) is an essential stop for anyone interested in the heritage of the East End and the River Thames.

    The route goes through the heart of Canary Wharf, but it’s worth getting off a little earlier, at Westferry Road, to take in the stunning views on foot, via the picturesque walkways and bridges.

    The 135 curls along the Westferry Road loop, down to the tip of the Isle of Dogs. Hop off at Island Gardens DLR station, where you’ll find the entrance to the Victorian pedestrian tunnel under the river. For a change of scene, the tunnel leads you to magnificent Greenwich. Stay on the 135 at Island Gardens as it makes its final turn north up East Ferry Road to Crossharbour. Get off at Mudchute DLR station and walk east through Mudchute Park to reach Mudchute Farm (Pier St, E14 3HP, 7515 5901), a wonderful spot for kids.

    Route 8 | Route 25 | Route 135 | Route 149 | Route 277 | Route 394

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Now the route curves right, heading south into Docklands with its mix of modern skyscrapers and original Victorian architecture. Museum of London Docklands (West India Quay, E14 4AL, 7001 9844) is an essential stop for anyone interested in the heritage of the East End and the River Thames. The route goes through the heart of , but it’s worth getting off a little earlier, at Westferry Road, to take in the stunning views on foot, via the picturesque walkways and bridges.The 135 curls along the Westferry Road loop, down to the tip of the Isle of Dogs. Hop off at Island Gardens DLR station, where you’ll find the entrance to the Victorian under the river. For a change of scene, the tunnel leads you to magnificent Greenwich. Stay on the 135 at Island Gardens as it makes its final turn north up East Ferry Road to Crossharbour. Get off at Mudchute DLR station and walk east through Mudchute Park to reach (Pier St, E14 3HP, 7515 5901), a wonderful spot for kids.Route 8 | Route 25 | Route 135 | Route 149 | Route 277 | Route 394

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