Secret Gardens: Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Canary Wharf

The secret rooftop garden above the new Canary Wharf Crossrail station

Its geographic location on the West India Docks places the garden almost directly on the Prime Meridian, the line separating the eastern and western hemispheres. This has inspired the planting of the garden, with one half containing plants from the east, and the other half with plants from the west.

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Above: east meets west in the landscaping of the garden

The West India Docks were opened in 1802, and the site for the cargoes of 18th Century merchant ships, including tropical plants brought to London.

Walking through the garden transports you across the globe; plants from the east include Golden Bamboo and Japanese Maple, and Tree Ferns and Sweet Gum from the west.

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Above: the lattice design of the garden

The architectural design of the garden features a lattice roof, inspired by the glass ‘Wardian Case’ - the first type of sealed protective container for plants which helped them survive long journeys across seas. Today, we recognise the Wardian Case as a terrarium.

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Above: the garden is overlooked by the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf

The building was designed by Sir Norman Foster, the architect who designed similar iconic structures including the dome of the British Museum’s Great Court, The Gherkin, and City Hall.

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The garden is 310m long, which is the same length as the height of the Shard! This makes the garden one of London’s biggest rooftop garden spaces.

Things to see and do

The floors beneath the garden are filled with places to eat and explore. If you want to continue your day out, visit Canary Wharf Shopping Centre. Greenwich is a short trip on the DLR, or a walk along the Thames through the Isle of Dogs, accessible via a foot tunnel under the river at Island Gardens. What will you discover?

How to get there

Crossrail Pl, London E14 5AB

Travel: Nearest tube is the Elizabeth line to Canary Wharf (the garden is above the station), or a short walk from Canary Wharf Underground Station (Jubilee Line), Canary Wharf or Heron Quays DLR stations.

Entry: Free

Opening times: Open daily from 9.00am-9.00pm or sunset in summer.

Read more on the Canary Wharf website