Canada Water is the only body of fresh water found in the Docklands area of London. Formed from half of the Canada Dock (so named because many trading ships bound for Canada would berth there) the remainder was in-filled during the 1980s to provide land for the Surrey Quays shopping centre which now overlooks the lake.
Canada Water is fed from underground aquifers by a wind-operated pump, and is now fringed with reed beds. This has made it popular with many species of water fowl who now call it home. In fact, I was lucky enough to see this little family group on my visit…
Leading away towards the Thames from here is the Albion Channel, which is lined along its 1/2 kilometre length by apartments and townhouses. If you can shake off the perception that you’re in London for just a moment, it has very much of an Amsterdam feel about it – it’s a very beautiful part of town. The large body of water at the other end of this channel is Surrey Water, the remnant of another old dock, which sits almost on top of the route of the 1908 Rotherhithe Tunnel which crosses the Thames about 200 feet away. Surrey Water is dotted with floating artificial bird habitats, and there lots of swans and coots taking advantage of these shelters when I was there.
It’s a nice spot for a walk, and you can extend it by taking the Thames Path along the riverside through Rotherhithe and Bermondsey to Tower Bridge 1.5km away. There are more photographs for you to peruse here.