From the late 18th century through to the middle of the 20th, this area became the world's most important port. By the 1960's the new containerised port had been established at Tilbury, Essex, and the East End was in deep economic and social decline.
From 1981 to 1998 the London Docklands Development Corporation made huge inroads in redeveloping 22 square kilometres (eight and a half square miles). The initiative now continues in the hands of the local boroughs.
This is the new London for the 21st century where newspapers like The Times and Telegraph have moved from Fleet Street along with many finance companies. This all gives great possibilities for some striking new styles of architecture, as you will see.
We recommend several possible stops: a walk through picturesque St Katharine's Dock; a visit to Tobacco Dock, a warehouse complex dating back to 1811; or maybe a drink in one of the area's many old and interesting pubs. You will tour the Isle of Dogs and see its centrepiece, Canary Wharf Tower, at 850 feet the tallest building in the U.K.
You will also catch some views of the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome), the focus of the year 2000 celebrations. And what about the traditional real Eastenders? And Jack the Ripper? Well, that's another story...