Many years ago I used to commute to London on the train to get to work and when the train passed through Stratford, where the Olympic Stadium is now being built, I saw the start of the work on what was to be the Docklands Light Railway. This was to run from Stratford, where it connects to the Central Line and the overground railway services, to Docklands at Island Gardens. Construction started in 1984 and that section of line opened in 1987 and it has extended over a number of other routes since. We hadn't any reason to use the Docklands Light Railway, or DLR as it is known, until yesterday when we had our first planned day trip to London to get photographs for the web site.

We decided to visit three separate areas of London and Docklands was the first. We left home just before nine o'clock in the morning and eventually arrived back just after 8.30 in the evening; a trip of nearly twelve hours.

We left our train at Stratford so that we could travel on the DLR to Canary Wharf. The DLR has all the appeal of a giant train set and has been described as "the biggest toy train set in the country". The drivers can't say anything, can't hear anything and can't see anything but that's how it is when you are an electronic circuit board. Trains are fully automatic and are operated entirely by an onboard computer system linked to a central control room.

Because the trains are driverless it is possible, if you are lucky, to sit at the front of the train looking forward out of the windows. The distance between stations is sometimes very short and when we alighted at Canary Wharf I took this picture from the end of the platform looking towards the next station, Heron Quays, which shows the train that we were on just leaving that station. It may look as if that train is crossing the right-hand track but, in fact, both tracks bend ninety degrees right at that point.

Having emerged from Canary Wharf Station we found ourselves in an ultra modern environment. If you like only old buildings then you would be wasting your time here as there are none but if you do have some interest in modern architecture then this is for you. The skyscrapers here are very, very tall and mostly seem to be faced with glass. The structure in the picture below with the curved roof is the entrance to the station on the Jubilee Line and the picture below that shows the view from inside the station.

I generally favour old buildings but I did find this area very interesting. There are a number of old docks here and it is easy to walk from one to another with footbridges to take one across docks where necessary such as that shown below. The 'toy train' is running on a viaduct having just emerged from Heron Quays Station on the right.

We walked across the bridge and took this picture from the other side looking back.

Walking along this side of the dock we passed a Turkish restaurant and had a look at the menu outside expecting, that in an area like this, it would be expensive so we were pleasantly surprised to find that one could have a two course lunch for £9.50 each and that smaller snacks, tea and coffee were also available at very reasonable prices. We made a mental note and continued walking on past the restaurant where we eventually found this view of the Millenium Dome.

On the way back along the dock we decided that, as it was now around midday, we would have an early lunch and went into the Hazev Turkish Restaurant we had spotted earlier which turned out to be a very good decision. Well appointed and light inside the staff were both cheerful and very helpful but more to the point is that the food was excellent.

The Docklands around Canary Wharf is certainly both modern and interesting. It is, in our view, worth a visit although I have to admit we didn't see a single canary.  :???:

We decided to move on, after lunch, to our next destination which will feature in the next post.