Discover Tower Hamlets

Destination Guide for London Eastside

Tower Hamlets has a rich and colourful history. It has always been known as the heart of the East End of London. Evidence exists of humans in the area for many thousands of years - axes and other implements from the Stone and Bronze ages have been found.

The Museum of London Docklands charts the borough’s more recent history as London’s port, through to the modern day. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge dominate the borough’s panoramic riverside.

Tower Hamlets takes its name from the historical association between the Tower of London and the hamlets that surround it. Once populated by colourful characters from Dick Turpin to Captain Cook, this is the part of London where Roman legions marched and which Queen Victoria loved.

The borough presents a vibrant mix of old and new, a bustling community unique in culture and character. The instantly recognisable 'U' bend in the River Thames describes the southern boundary of this diverse and dynamic community.

This area of spectacular regeneration with the pyramid topped Canary Wharf Tower marking out the internationally renowned Docklands is fast becoming a major European financial centre; it’s often referred to as ‘Manhattan-on-Thames’ because of its stunning skyline of high-rises.

Visitors to Tower Hamlets today are assured of a wealth of history, a richness of culture and some truly fascinating ancient and modern places to explore and enjoy. See our map of the borough's best historic and modern buildings.