London neighbourhoods: Wapping vs Shad Thames

Embarking on a quest to find the perfect London neighbourhood to call home can be as thrilling as it is daunting.

For those drawn to the charm of riverside living, the adjacent enclaves of Wapping and Shad Thames present a compelling case. This article delves into the unique allure of each area, offering insights for those considering them as a residential or investment haven.

Wapping: A maritime haven

Boats on St Katherine Docks in front of residential proeprties

St Katharine Docks in Wapping

Living in Wapping, with its cobbled streets and historic warehouses, whispers tales of its maritime past. Once the heart of London’s docklands, it has transformed into a residential gem that retains its old-world charm. The area is peppered with local landmarks such as the iconic Prospect of Whitby, London’s oldest riverside pub, and the architectural splendour of St. Katherine Docks, offering a marina lifestyle amidst the city’s bustle.

A Wapping landmark - London's oldest riverside pub, The Prospect of Whitby

London’s oldest riverside pub, the Prospect of Whitby

For leisure, residents can stroll along the Thames Path, taking in the serene river views, or explore the verdant King Edward VII Memorial Park. Wapping’s allure is not lost on professionals who seek a tranquil retreat that is still within arm’s reach of the city’s financial districts.

A runner in King Edward Memorial Park, Wapping

King Edward VII Memorial Park

5 things to do in Wapping

Here’s the Cluttons Wapping team’s suggestions on some of the best things to do in the area:

  • Check out the local pubs. We suggest starting at the Prospect of Whitby, then go down to The Captain Kidd, meander over to The Town of Ramsgate then finish up at the Dickens Inn in St Katharine Docks.
  • Weekend stroll or roll along the Thames Path with a stop off at Wapping Docklands Markets.
  • Support the local community and enjoy fun days out via the Annual Wapping Shindig (2024 date tbc) held on Wapping Green, or volunteer with the WaSh Wombles litter picking group.
  • There is lots of green spaces to enjoy in the summer; we have a soft spot for Hermitage Memorial Riverside Gardens (opposite the Cluttons Wapping office) as we love going there for a lunchtime picnic when the weather is hot!
  • We’re surrounded by water, so of course we have to add in water sports at Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre which offers kayaking, sailing and many other sessions.

Shad Thames: A culinary and cultural scene

Living in Shad Thames, a stone’s throw from Wapping comes with a a vibrant atmosphere with its bustling riverside walkways and the gastronomic delights of Butler’s Wharf. The area is synonymous with the iconic Tower Bridge, and its converted granaries and spice warehouses now house chic apartments and offices.

Out and about in Shad Thames

Cultural aficionados will revel in the proximity to the Design Museum and the array of galleries dotting the locale. Shad Thames is a favourite among foodies and professionals alike, drawn to its dynamic mix of culture, cuisine, and contemporary living.

People sitting and enjoying the view of the iconic Tower Bridge

Enjoying the iconic view of Tower Bridge

6 things to do in Shad Thames

Here’s the Cluttons Shad Thames’ team’s suggestions on some of the best things to do in the area:

  • Take a stroll/roll along the Thames path and stop off at the historic Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe Village – their Sunday roast is legendary.
  • Head to Maltby Street Market on a Saturday to explore the delicious food stalls on offer close by.
  • Hop on the Thames Clipper either East to Greenwich or West to Chelsea Embankment and the incredible Battersea Power Station. It’s also the best way to see Shad Thames and Wapping from a different perspective – you can jump on at the Tower of London on Wapping’s side of the river, too.
  • If you’re looking for a breakfast treat, we recommend The WatchHouse which has excellent coffee and sandwiches. For later in the evening, dine at Le Pont de la Tour – it’s wonderful food and epic view of Tower Bridge make it an unforgettable experience!
  • Sign up to the Courage Yard newsletter and be the first to know about all the great community events taking place in the Shad Thames neighbourhood.
  • Release your inner Mo Farrah or Andy Murray with a run/roll or tennis at Southwark Park. There’s even a bowls club.
Shad Thames restaurants and apartments, London

Le Pont de la Tour restaurant

Residential charms and investment potential

Both Wapping and Shad Thames offer a variety of residential properties – you can view some currently for sale here – from luxury apartments with breathtaking river views to charming period conversions. These areas are magnets for professionals and investors, given their strategic locations and the lifestyle they afford. The blend of historical significance and modern amenities makes them not just fabulous places to live, but destinations to experience.

Residential property in Wapping

Residential properties in Wapping

What’s going on in the housing markets?

The property landscape in Wapping and Shad Thames is as dynamic as the areas themselves. In Wapping (E1W), the average property price stands at £677,500. Prices have decreased by 6.5% in the surrounding local authority over the last 12 months as the market has adjusted to the post-pandemic conditions and rising interest rates. There are signs now that activity is coming back to the market, and the latest data shows sales volumes surged by 21% in the three months to November 2023 compared to the previous quarter. The rental market also saw a positive uptick, with average rents in Tower Hamlets increasing by 5% in 2023. (Source: Cluttons, Land Registry, Rightmove, Zoopla, ONS).

Shad Thames, nestled within Southwark, tells a similar story of vibrancy and growth. The average property price in the SE1 postcode reached £795,900 in September 2023. Although there was a slight contraction of 3% in average property prices over the year, the sales volumes in Southwark rose by 11% in the same period, and the average rents climbed by 7%, reflecting a robust and upward-moving market. These figures paint a picture of two neighbourhoods that, while experiencing some fluctuations, continue to attract interest and investment, promising a lively housing market for potential residents and investors alike (Source: Cluttons, Land Registry, Rightmove, Zoopla, ONS).

The best of both worlds

While Wapping and Shad Thames may lightly jostle for the spotlight, the truth is that their proximity means residents can enjoy the best of both worlds. Whether it’s the maritime tranquillity of Wapping or the culinary and cultural buzz of Shad Thames, these neighbourhoods offer a slice of riverside London that is both enchanting and exclusive. For those looking to dwell or invest, the choice between Wapping and Shad Thames is not so much a competition as it is an invitation to embrace the rich tapestry of London living.

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The information provided in this article is the sole property of Cluttons LLP and provides basic information and not legal advice. It must not be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, either in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Cluttons LLP. The information contained in this report has been obtained from sources generally regarded to be reliable. However, no representation is made, or warranty given, in respect of the accuracy of this information. Cluttons LLP does not accept any liability in negligence or otherwise for any loss or damage suffered by any party resulting from reliance on this publication.

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