Just moved to London City Island? Lucky you! You’ll be part of one of London’s most exciting developments. The island is a hub of activity, with everything you could possibly want from a development. With a close-knit community of self-confessed ‘islanders’, and a fascinating history (check out the blog here to read more) it’s an all-round wonderful place to call home. Read on for an in-depth look at what life is really like at London City Island and how you can become an ‘Islander’.
If you’re passionate about fitness, then you’ll love living at London City Island. Located on the Limmo Peninsula Ecological Park and The East India Dock Nature Reserve, it’s a great place to go for a riverside run in the morning sunshine or a post-work stroll as the sun sets. The development itself has plenty of green space and pockets of nature including Botanic Square, which is perfect for curious children and adventurous adults alike. It is often bustling with dog walkers and picnickers on pleasant days and weekends. One resident says that ‘the outdoor facilities are perfect for children of all ages, my little one loves the playground onsite.’
However, it’s inside the development that you can really get stuck into your fitness aspirations. The development has not one but two pools, one of these being outdoors and tinted, so you can take full advantage of the brief, but glorious English summers that we have. In the winter months you can still swim al fresco as the pool is heated, but this is also the perfect time to venture indoors where you’ll find the large sauna and steam room. Adjacent to these is a large and inviting Hydrotherapy pool which is a great place for a relaxing spa-like Saturday or after a long day.
Looking towards the outdoor pool is the stunning fitness centre. High ceilings and plenty of natural light give this gym an airy and modern feel. Even when it’s busy, it never feels claustrophobic. Around the edge of the room are all of the cardio machines, from bikes to cross trainers, rowers to running machines ready for you to get your sweat on. Towards the centre are mats and free weights with a full range of dumbbells, as well as a whole range of weight machines and a TRX. An unusual but great addition to the London City Island gym is the antique gym equipment set in front of the electric blue tiled wall, offering a glimpse of how exercise used to be.
If you’re on your way to work and you don’t have time to head back to your apartment, you can take advantage of the lockers and changing rooms. Rivalling the showers of luxury London gyms, you’ll have enough space to dry your hair, put on your makeup and still be at work in plenty of time.
Food, Glorious Food
The Island Grocer is currently the only restaurant on London City Island but don’t worry, with plenty of options you never feel stuck for choice. Run by iIL, the Italian micro-chain behind iL Bacino in Wapping and iL Bianco in Canary Wharf, you can expect delicious hearty servings of traditional Italian pizza, pasta and antipasti with a wide selection of fine Italian wine.
In the emerald-green tiled foyer, you can grab any essentials from bread and milk, to snacks and household staples such as cleaning products. An extensive deli counter with meats and cheeses stretches down the side of The Grocer, perfect for dinner parties, picnics or Sunday roasts. In the morning you can grab a freshly made Italian coffee and croissant from the onsite espresso bar, perfect for a quick and tasty start to the day.
Another coffee shop is arriving in a few weeks’ time and supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is coming to LCI later this year. Just across the purpose-built bridge into Canning Town, you can find a whole range of restaurants and an emerging food market scene so you’ll never feel like you’re missing out.
Inclusive Island Culture
As previously mentioned, the Island is built on a foundation of inclusivity and community with a true island feel. Our Residential Director, Clynton Nel, has been living on the Island for three years and comments that it really is as peaceful as it seems. ‘It’s on a peninsula so there’s water all around and you feel quite spacious and secluded, like you’re on holiday.’ The London Film School and The English National Ballet will offer islanders an even greater sense of culture and variety, with shows and performances that they can see without having to step foot on the tube.
Our New Homes Director, Walter Mythen, comments that ‘the sense of community is incredibly strong amongst residents. Once a month people on the development come together for drinks in the reception lobby, and we often hold games nights for whoever wants to attend.’ This strong close-knit community vibe is also felt by the new businesses moving into the area, with the English National Ballet inviting all residents to book in for a free tour of their new site, as well as early access to some of their performances. Mythen also mentions that the art galleries at London City Island often host exclusive open evenings for residents to attend, where they will showcase works and exhibitions before opening to the public.
Only a five-minute walk from the Island is Trinity Buoy Wharf, a fascinating Docklands site that offers artists, architects and sculptors a space to live and display their work in the ‘Shipping Container Village’. It also houses London’s only lighthouse that has been in the area for 200 years, which is now playing a 1,000-year long piece of music that was switched on for the millennium celebrations and will run interrupted until 2999. It’s also home to a mini-museum dedicated to the famous scientist Michael Faraday, who carried out some of his experiments in the lighthouse.
For foodies there is Fat Boys Diner, a traditional 1940s American Diner serving classic US staples such as milkshakes, chilli hotdogs and pastrami sandwiches. For film buffs who might recognise the place, it was featured in the 1998 classic Sliding Doors.
Also at Trinity Buoy Wharf is a rather unique Parkour Academy, the UK’s first purpose-built indoor parkour and functional fitness facility. The Academy offers daily drop-in sessions that are perfect for those wanting to try parkour as well as strength and conditioning classes, dance, yoga and more. All of the instructors are certified by the NGB Parkour UK and international standards, meaning you not only get a great workout with a difference, but you know you’re in safe hands. They also host classes for all ages, perfect for both children and their parents.
Despite feeling secluded, London City Island is actually incredibly well-connected. A short stroll across the now famous red bridge drops you right into Canning Town Station. Located in Zone 2/3, it offers the Jubilee Line heading towards either Stratford or Stanmore – perfect for people working in Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Waterloo or Bond Street. The Jubilee Line is also on the night tube, meaning you’ll never have to worry about getting back home on Friday and Saturday evenings. Canning Town also has the DLR meaning fast and frequent services to Bank, London City Airport, Stratford, the ExCel centre and more.
For those not wanting to take the Underground, Canning Town has day and night buses running to Canary Wharf, Trafalgar Square, East Ham, Bethnal Green and Mile End, Prince Regent, Aldgate, Newham and as far east as Romford.
The Thames Clipper is opening a new stop at Goodluck Hope only a five-minute stroll from LCI, meaning you’ll be able to take a more scenic route along the river. If you’re new to the Clipper, take a look at some of the interesting stops along the way.
If your’re interested has been piqued by this snapshot of life on a London island, then why not take a look at the properties available to rent and buy in London City Island?
If you’re an islander yourself and you have any top tips or favourite things about living in E14, then let us know on Twitter!