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Museum of London Docklands

Museums Isle of Dogs Free
4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
Museum of London Docklands_CREDIT_copyright Museum of London.jpg
© Museum of London

Time Out says

Housed in a warehouse built 200 years ago to store sugar, coffee and rum, the museum tells the story of the Thames and its port and the people from all over the world who settled there. Thousands of objects and pictures – many rescued during the 1970s and 1980s when containerisation and competition forced London's port to move downstream – trace the area's history, from the arrival of the Romans to the rise of Canary Wharf. Historic photographs and printed material from the Port of London Authority Archive show the vast scale of the docks at the turn of the twentieth century and workshop reconstructions illustrate the many traditional port trades, now mostly lost. Metropolitan Fire Brigade footage and captured Nazi footage documents the impact of the Blitz on the area and oral testimonies explore the port's role in secret wartime projects. The Mudlarks gallery for accompanied under-8s includes a water play area (aprons provided) and a soft play zone. 



Address: No.1 Warehouse
Hertsmere Rd
West India Quay
E14 4AL
Transport: Tube: Canary Wharf; Rail: West India Quay DLR
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm
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  • Until Sunday November 1 2020

Users say (13)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:8
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Having recently moved to the area, we were interested in knowing more about the history of where we now live.

The Museum of London Docklands is set amongst some lovely bars & restaurants along the edge of North Dock. The building itself is lovely, and is one of the few remaining original warehouses in the area. Starting on the top floor & working our way down, we were amazed at the scale of the museum. It is huge! There is so much history in the area, and really was interesting reading about what life used to be like in the Docklands.

All in all, a great afternoon out for all ages, especially if you like shipping :)


The Museum of London Docklands is a small and specialised museum. You could probably see it all in one afternoon. If you have a particular interest in Shipping, Slavery or the London Docklands you are likely to enjoy this museum all the more. Even for those with a more general curiosity, the Museum of London Docklands has a lot going for it.

It is free, although they will ask for a donation. It is well organised and it is quite interactive and very child friendly. I enjoyed the WW1 posters and the very early trade union banners. The choice of food in the café is a bit uninspiring and the service is slow, (only one barista, working flat out at lunchtime!) but still a very worthwhile addition to the (packed) list of London Museums.


Firstly, I must declare that as an Isle of Dogs resident, I have a keen interest in the history of my neighbourhood. I like the epic scale of the museum which takes a broad sweep of social history and makes it vivid and relevant to all age groups. My own personal favourite is Sailortown. 

The fact it's free allows you to see the museum in several bite sized packages which keeps things fresh. 


Entrance to the museum is free but there are special events like Santa's grotto which you will have to pay for. Otherwise, it is a great museum that depicts the history of Docklands. The children's play area is great but there are restrictions on weekend due to its popularity. You will need to get your voucher from the reception. Each play session lasts for 45 minutes. Cafe has limited food choices but serves good coffee.


This museum is really well put together. Having recently moved to live in the docklands area I am understandably more interested in the history of the docks now and this attraction answers every question you could possibly have. It goes through the entire history of the docks, through the war years and right up to their closure and their present day use.

The highlight for me was the living museum area wherein you can walk through a dockland street from the past. Really well done.


The London Docklands Museum is one of my favourite museums, not just because of my weird fascination with London’s maritime history, but for the sheer breadth of information they share, the immersive experience they offer, the exhibition they put on show and its location.

Located in West India Quay among the plethora of shops that line wharf, The Museum of London Docklands charts the illustrious history of London’s Docklands and its importance to London from the medieval period through to today. 

Here, you’ll learn everything there is know from the rise of steamships in the Victorian age, the importance of the Docklands in trade, the slave trade, the Docklands during the great wars and how the Dockland came to be this shiny and ultra-modern space in London we know today.

the museum itself was once an important Dockland warehouse. It’s fitting that the museum has endeavoured to preserve part of rich history. Right at the start of the museum (which starts on the top floor), you’ll get up close to all the equipment such as measuring scales, and wheelbarrows used to measure and wheel goods into warehouses coming into England from all corners of the globe. You’ll also get to hear interviews from those who once worked at the Docklands. The exposed brick walls tell you this was once a busy warehouse.

The best part of the museum for me was the fully immersive recreation of a docklands as it would have looked, sound and smell in the Victorian period. It’s a dark passageway with Victorian signages, posters, shops and even a pub. Although you cannot enter the individual shops (except the pub!) you can peer through the glass. It’s located on the 3rd floor and entitled Silvertown which I assume is another wharf somewhere in London which no longer exist (please correct me if I am wrong).

At the end of your visit, you can freshen up in the museum cafe and if you have little ones in tow, there a dedicated children's play area for them to have bags of fun and learn more about the Docklands. 

A fantastic museum for the family, I say The Museum of London Docklands is just a good as those in central London. Well worth visiting.


This branch of the Museum of London is everything you want from a museum: good for all ages (but specially children, so families, bring on your prams!), not too big so you can take your time and really get to know the Docs story and has a great location. The cafe is pricey so I would not count on it, but this is the only negative aspect. I went during the Your East End Festival, there were extra workshops and performances from local charities and associations. 


Everyone loves a freebie.. and this is a great, free way to spend a few hours in London. An interesting museum giving a good insight into the history of the London Docklands. Some highlights, in my opinion, are the exhibits relating the functioning of the docks during both World Wars, the fantastically realistic reconstruction of a 19th Century town and the details of the DLR construction.

There are numerous floors to the museum, each representing a different era. Lots to see and easy to navigate. There is also a lovely café on the ground floor serving delicious cakes, although it is a little pricey. If you want a real taste of the history of London’s east end and its Docks, this is a great place to start.


Museum of London Docklands was a very nice surprise, it is free and located in the Isle of Dogs and within minutes walking from West india Quay (DLR), Westferry (DLR) and Canary Wharf (Jubilee/DLR). If you're interested in London's history and in particular in knowing more about Docklands and its roles throughout the centuries, this is surely the museum where to go, it tells the story of London's Docklands from the 18th century when London was the major international trading hub, but it also deals with the key role Docklands had during WWI, arriving up until the near-present and dealing also with the flourishing of Docklands and the building of the DLR in the 1980's. The museum's visit starts on the third floor and proceeds in chronological order, every room has a specific theme or deals with a specific era and overall, it is very easy to follow, without getting confused. The only thing is that there is quite a lot to see and read, so I would suggest a couple of visits to have a better experience. 

**Bonus: there is a wonderful and very realistic reconstruction of a sailor's town and you can walk through it

Museum of London Docklands is a magical place and tells an incredible story. A great day out for all the family.

This is a very interesting museum - when I visited we were so fascinated that we wanted to learn all about the history of the Docklands in one go, but I would recommend visiting a few times to get the most out of it. There are several floors dedicated to different era's. Children will love the re-built mid-19th century street, which I think is of a decent size. The little cafe area downstairs serves lovely coffee and cakes and a few other things too, and the gift shop is great - wonderful books, toys and stationery that make perfect pressies. Mudlarks is a staple favourite of ours and we visit often - the ground floor gallery has been enjoyed by my son ever since he started crawling but now he is 18 months it is really coming into its own. He not only enjoys the soft play area but now engages with the many other activities on offer, such as tower building and water play. This is simply a fantastic museum in the real East London.  

The Isle of Dogs may be one of the less visited areas of London, but it has a fascinating history which is makes a trip to this museum very worthwhile. Located in one of the few remaining dockside warehouses in the area, the museum tells the story of how the area became fundamental to the growth of London as an international trading hub in the 18th and 19th century, faced incredible hardship as a target for bombing raids during the Second World War and declined with the growth of containerisation in the 1970's, before its rebirth in the 1980's as the financial district that it is today. The story is told through original artifacts and photographs and a reproduction of a street in mid-19th century Wapping, which children will find particularly interesting. The permanent exhibition detailing the importance of slavery to international trade and the path to its eventual abolition is very though provoking. The museum is just the right size to allow visitors with young children to get round it all before exhibition induced temper tantrums kick-off. Westferry and West India Quay DLR are very close by and the surrounding area has many restaurants, shops and a cinema, so a few hours spent looking round the exhibits can be part of a day out in Docklands. Well worth a look.

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