ten things to do on fish island london feature image

Ten Things To Do On Fish Island East London

My Ten Things To Do On Fish Island East London showcases the conservation area in Tower Hamlets E3 and E20. The Fish part of the name is due to the fishy street names – Bream Street, Roach Road and Dace Road. It’s not actually an island, but a 50-acre triangle section of land with water on two sides, and the third side is the A12 road. It sits next to Hackney Wick, separated by the Hertford Union Canal and faces the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park across the River Lee/Lea. With Bow behind the A12 and Victoria Park within walking distance, Fish Island is an excellent location to explore. It’s full of industrial warehouses, street art and studios with a few places to eat and hang out and those breathtaking views of the River.

fish island street art

Ten Things To See Do On Fish Island List:

1. Take the glorious Greenway Walk to Fish Island
2. Enjoy the scenic River Lee/Lea views
3. Watch the bubbling weir and appreciate the Old Ford Lock
4. Instagram the vibrant street art and graffiti
5. Admire the Industrial warehouse buildings
6. Rent an artist, film or photography studio
7. Self-publish at the London Centre For Book Arts
8. Stop off for coffee at the Ethical Bean Company
9. Hang out at one of the canalside bars and eateries
10. Check out the London Scottish Salmon Smokehouse

My Favourite Ten Things To Do On Fish Island

greenway to fish island

1. The Greenway Walk begins at Victoria Park and rewards you with excellent views of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It takes you to Fish Island, over the River Lea to Stratford, West Ham, and ends at the Royal Docks in Beckton.

river lea fish island views

2. Fish Island benefits from being close to the stunning River Lee/Lea, which separates it from Stratford on the opposite side of the bank. The Hertford Union Canal also runs through the area, dividing it from Hackney Wick.

old ford lock fish island

3. The Old Ford Lock is a paired lock at a weir on the River Lee Navigation at Fish Island; it was once a natural ford hence the name. Next to the Old Ford Lock, you will see a small brick building with signage saying Old Ford Stables.

street art fish island

4. You’ll notice the imposing historic industrial warehouses, walls, lamp posts, and everything else adorned with colourful street art and graffiti.

industrial warehouse buildings fish island

5. Although Fish Island is a conservation area, none of the Industrial Victorian and Edwardian buildings has listed status, which is a shame. Some beautiful buildings to look out for are Percy Dalton’s Old Peanut Factory, Iron Works, Algha Works and Swan Wharf Stable Block on Dace Road.

artist studio fish island

6. You’ll find artist studios in some warehouses like Britannia Works in the historic Percy Dalton Peanut Factory. If you’re lucky, their door may be open, and you can peek inside. The artists are moving to cheaper locations now that the area has new apartments built, and the rents have rocketed. The Anderson Contemporary on Roach Road has studio residency and exhibition spaces for contemporary artists that support the Hackney Wick artist community. There are quite a few studio spaces to hire for sound, film and photography. These include; Gaff, Peanut Factory Studios, Multichannel Studios, Mello Studios and The Heath Studio.

london centre for book arts fish island

7. London Centre For Book Arts is an artist-run venture. They offer affordable access to artists and community involvement. Those working in book form and self-publishing can become involved.

ethical bean co fish island

8. I can recommend the coffee at the Ethical Bean Company on Dace Road. Their ethically sourced and fair trade coffee is excellent. You can order a snack to tide you over if you’re hungry.

fish island bars and eateries

9. Stop off at one of the canalside eateries for weekend brunch or dinner. Rule Zero is a bar, eatery and board game venue with live music. Two More Years has a bar, kitchen, DJs and some studios for artists.

h foreman and son at fish island

10. Along the canal is a salmon shape and colour building called H. Foreman & Son. The family has been in the fish business for over a hundred years. They are famous for their London Cure Smoked Scottish Salmon and for providing leading food retailers, hotels and chefs with fish specialities.

See My Ten Things To Do On Fish Island Video


Ten Things To Do On Fish Island Information

fish island warehouses

To discover more about the area, read the Fish Island Wikipedia Page. You can travel to Hackney Wick or Stratford and walk from either of those stations.

fish island street signs

Look out for the road and street signs that someone has changed with a sense of humour; for example, Ream Street has been updated to Dream Street!

fish island bridge to queen elizabeth olympic park

While in the area, you should also walk around Hackney Wick and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Victoria Park and Victoria Park Village are close by and worth visiting if you have additional time.

Please read my relevant posts for more information:

Ten Things To Do In Hackney Wick London
Hackney Wick East London Guide
Ten Things To Do In Stratford East London
Ten Things To Do In Victoria Park Village Hackney
Visit Victoria Park East London

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Please check that the places I referenced in this article are still in business before you visit to avoid disappointment.