Once home to the “Beckton Alps”, this distinct area of London is best described as a residential haven and a shopper’s paradise.
Being set close to the Royal Docks, as with much of East London, Beckton was built up in line with industry that developed as a result of the Thames. As containerisation occurred and the ships became too large to go fully down the Thames, industry moved away and swathes of land and buildings became derelict/disused. The above mentioned Beckton Alps was formed on the remnants of the vast Beckton Gas Works that closed down around this time.
In the 1980s, building schemes began to develop which took these old buildings/derelict land and started building new homes and leisure/shopping facilities. Gallions Reach is one such example as well as the Beckton Triangle retail park.
As all the building started from scratch in the 1980s, there are very few historic buildings around. One that has still survived though is the Gallions Hotel, built by P & O in 1883, and during these days of Empire, that last night of many a traveller was spent here before shipping out to the colonies. Closed in 1972, the hotel is now to be part of a £100 million project to regenerate the area and build housing and leisure facilities.
Existing developments in the area can be seen in places such as Building 1000 which overlooks City Airport and the Royal Docks. Taking the Greenway walking and cycle path, you can take most of these sights in.
All in all, Beckton is a peaceful place to live with a modern feel to it. Having been built virtually from scratch in recent years, the infrastructure is well planned out with good DLR links and a quite peaceful style of life. Being slightly further away from central London, property prices are quite modest and your pound goes a long way.