Definitive guide

Museum of London Docklands

Explore the history of the city’s port and docklands, their role in global trade and the British Empire at the Museum of London Docklands

The Museum of London Docklands, previously known as the Museum in Docklands, is a museum dedicated to the history of the River Thames and the Port of London and their link to the Atlantic slave trade. The London Docklands Museum is part of the institution of the Museum of London, dedicated to the city’s history.

The museum’s collections are arranged in chronological order, taking visitors on a journey that goes from the development of the Thames as a port in Roman times to modernity. Through models, pictures, and historical artefacts, the London Docklands Museum shows the evolution and transformation of the city in a global context.

Museum of London Docklands exhibition room
The museum is complete with immersive displays to recreate the atmosphere of 1800s sailor districts in the city.

Inside the museum, you’ll find the following permanent galleries.

  • No. 1 Warehouse, an introductory gallery about London’s docks and their warehouses
  • Trade Expansion, about the trade of spices, tea, and silk between India, China, and England.
  • Sailortown, dedicated to recreating the atmosphere of London’s sailor neighbourhoods.
  • London, Sugar & Slavery, dedicated to examining London’s role in the slave and sugar trade
  • First Port of Empire, on how the London docks became the centre of the world trade under the British Empire.
  • City and River, dedicated to the city’s transformation between 1800 and 1840.
  • Warehouse of the World, a look at London docks at the height of their activity in the late 19th century.
  • Mudlarks family, an interactive space for children
  • Docklands at War, on how the London port survived WWII
  • New Port, New City, on the docklands' ups and downs during the 20th century.

Aside from these, the Museum of London Docklands routinely temporary exhibitions, talks, and displays. You can find out all about them on the museum’s website .


No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AL.

The Museum of London Docklands is located in Canary Wharf, in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. Although it is still considered part of inner London, the area is located just east of the centre.

The area is not as densely populated by well-known sites as other more central districts. The closest famous sights are the Tower of London (west of the London Docklands Museum, following the River Thames), Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College, and the Greenwich Observatory (all south of the Museum, across Isle of Dogs).


General admission to the Museum of London Docklands is free. Advance booking is not required, you can just turn up at the museum on the day.

If you want to visit one of the temporary exhibitions, you will have to pay an entry fee, which you can do online on the Museum of London Docklands’ website or in person at the ticket office.


The Museum of London Docklands is open every day of the week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors are allowed to enter until 4:00 pm, as a minimum of one hour is required to view the museum.

Day Opening time Last admittance Closing time
Mon-Sun 10:00 am 4:00 pm 5:00 pm


The Museum of London Docklands is quite easy to reach from all areas of London if you know what transport to take. If you prefer to use the Underground, you can either take the Jubilee or the Elizabeth lines and get off at Canary Wharf or take the DLR and get off at West India Quay station. Both stations are in London transport Zone 2.

If you want to take the bus, lines 135, 277, 734, D3, D7, and D8 will drop you off not far from the London Docklands Museum.

You can find a summary of the public transport options in the table below.

Method Underground Bus
Lines DLR, Jubilee, Elizabeth 135, 277, 734, D3, D7, D8
Stops West India Quay, Canary Wharf -

Of course, you could also reach the Museum of London Docklands by taxi but you’ll have to keep in mind that cab fares in London tend to be quite high. If you are getting here from the city centre especially, you might find it quicker and far cheaper to just get public transport.

Nearby sights

Cutty Sark - 3.8 km (2.3 miles) south.

Old Royal Naval College - 3.8 km (2.3 miles) south.

National Maritime Museum - 4.1 km (2.6 miles) south.

Tower of London - 4.2 km (2.6 miles) east.

Greenwich Observatory - 4.9 km (3 miles) south.

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Museum of London Docklands