Hidden London| Wapping Wall

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Finally! The "stay at home" law has been lifted! What a joy it is to be able to get out and about again..... it was so surreal parking up in Harpenden station car park, normally I'm stressed up to my eyeballs as I can never find anywhere to park and have to walk miles after parking at the other end of the town. But now, the car park is virtually empty, it's wonderful. The platform and the trains into the city are also very quiet. I don't feel nervous about travelling into the city. I've had my first vaccination, and I always wear a mask unless I'm in the open air away from people. And I'm forever rubbing my hands with hand sanitiser. I am conscious of COVID19 virus still being out there, but I need to start enjoying my life again, and being outside photographing is making me happy.

My train took me via my favourite station in London, Blackfrairs, it's the only station on a bridge over the Thames and WHAT A VIEW! It was beautiful, St Paul's looked resplendent in the sunshine. Quick change at Canada Wharf and crossed back over the Thames to Wapping. Even our take away coffee from URBAN was great - it's been ages since I've had a take away!

Our location for today's shoot was the Thames Beach at the Prospect of Whitby, in Wapping. It's easy to find on the hight street, and to the right of the pub is a tiny set of stairs called "Pelican Stairs" leading down to the beach.

Using What Three Words search for ///admit.bucked.alert for exact directions.

We checked out the Thames tides before we went to make sure we were there at low tide so that we could relax and not feel rushed. The best website for this information is the Port of London Authority.


  1. Always check on google maps where you are going and know which way the sun will be shining. In this case, we also had to make sure that we were there at low tide. I would have preferred to be here earlier in the day when the sun wasn't so strong, but the tides just didn't allow it. Nature ALWAYS dictates outdoor shoots.

  2. Check out images online so that you know in advance how to access the area, and if you are driving, where you can park.

  3. Use the images to familiarise yourself and use as a virtual scouting mission. In an ordinary world, I'd probably go in advance to a location and have a good look round and figure out a couple of compositions, but under COVID19 times, I had to do this virtually. But, it meant I already knew the images I wanted before I got to Wapping, so it meant our shoot time was lessened.

  4. With this shoot, I met my model at location, but if you are on your own, always tell someone where you are going to be, especially if you are shooting in rural areas where wifi or networks aren't going to be reliable. Safety is paramount.

  5. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks with you, it's amazing how much energy you burn just taking photographs!

Once we'd finished at the beach, we then wandered around the area and found other interesting points of view, especially the Bascule Bridge over Shadwell Basin on the Wapping Wall giving an incredible view of the London skyline.

We also had time to walk around Holland Park and Notting Hill to find some beautiful magnolia and cherry blossoms.

Wapping is definitely a location I will visit again, there is so much to explore in the area and all I need is more time.....

Hope you enjoyed this look into a not so touristy part of London!

Emma :-)

My kit:

  • Nikon d500

  • Nikkor 24-70mm, F2.8

  • Urth filters

  • Location app: What Three Words

Follow on socials and share your images with me if you go to this location!

Instagram : @emma_closeup

Facebook: Emma Solomon Photography

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