Explore The Royal Docks On A Self-Guided Audio Trail

Explore The Royal Docks On A Self-Guided Audio Trail
MCSTY x Royal Docks © MCSTY

Footsteps over the Royal Victoria Footbridge. London brick being smashed to dust. A tidal surge at the Thames Barrier.  

These are just some of the sounds to listen out for on a new audio trail that celebrates the Royal Docks' architectural and cultural heritage.

As part of the annual Join the Docks festival, MSCTY — an agency specialising in music and architecture — has teamed up with local musicians to create atmospheric soundscapes inspired by the historic waterfront. The result is six geotagged tracks, available to stream for free at various locations within the neighbourhood.

Highlights include Ecka Mordecai's Swansong, an ode to the area's industrial legacy inspired by Royal Victoria Dock's disused Stothert & Pitt cranes; and Factory Road, a meditation on the thoroughfare that's home to Silvertown's historic Tate & Lyle factory by Debbie Kent, a writer and artist with a focus on intensive urban development.

Cranes at Royal Victoria Dock. Image: Matthew S via the Londonist Flickr pool

A second set of audial adventures at the Royal Docks comes courtesy of arts organisation Arch 468. Like MSCTY, Arch 468 has collaborated with locals to create site-specific soundscapes — this time a series of audio dramas that focus on past, present and future life in the neighbourhood.

Look out for five listening posts hidden in Thames Barrier Park and scan their QR codes to access narratives inspired by the area (or, if you're not into scavenger hunting, each location is mapped here).

Not able to make it down to the Royal Docks yourself? Both audio trails can also be accessed online for free here and here.

See the full Join the Docks programme here.

Last Updated 14 December 2020