Couple looking at The Line info signage

Art & Culture

New ways to experience The Line, London’s public art walk

Bird Boy, a sculpture statue by Laura Ford, stands motionless in the waters at Royal Victoria Dock, surveying the Crystal Building gardens and the people passing by. Carry on in either direction and you will experience a fantastic trail of not just art but also natural beauty and local heritage. 

The Royal Docks is proud to be a key part of The Line, London’s first dedicated public art walk follows the waterways and line of the Greenwich meridian. Now, five years after its launch, a free digital guide has been launched to accompany people as they explore the three-mile-long route that passes through Greenwich, Newham, and Tower Hamlets.

In 2020, when most museums and galleries have had no choice but to close because of the pandemic, public art has become more important than ever. The new digital guide with the free Bloomberg Connects app, offers three ways to explore The Line further: delve deeper into the art, focus on nature and local history, or turn it into a mindfulness and wellbeing experience. 

Sculpture of child in bird costume floating on a raft in the dock

Laura Ford's Bird Boy (without a tail)

This bronze sculpture of a lost child in a bird costume keeps watch over Royal Victoria Dock.

If you want to know more about the art, the guide has brand-new introductions from artists featured on the trail, including Alex Chinneck, Abigail Fallis, Richard Wilson, whose sliced sand dredger sits on the beach on the Greenwich Peninsula, Thomas J Price, Antony Gormley (the artist behind the mesmerising Quantum Cloud), Gary Hume, and Larry Achiampong, whose sound commission Sanko-time accompanies you as you travel from the Royal Docks to Greenwich on the Emirates Air Line cable car. 

The Line is also a spectacular nature walk, featuring several of London’s greatest waters and industrial heritage sites. Now, you can experience The Line in the company of actor Bill Nighy, as he takes you on an audio tour of the hidden stories of along the route, from the rivers and canals to Trinity Buoy Wharf and Three Mills. If you’re looking for something a more soothing, the guide has a specially-commissioned mindfulness guide from Mindful London author Tessa Watt, whose three meditations will bring you closer than ever to your surroundings.

The mindfulness guides feel particularly pertinent as London’s lockdown continues and the importance of access to public space is felt by all.

Megan Piper, Director of The Line

“The mindfulness guides feel particularly pertinent as London’s lockdown continues and the importance of access to public space is felt by all,” said Megan Piper, Director of The Line. “I hope that the guide brings The Line to life for listeners.”

Along The Line, anyone can stumble across a piece of art that they can enjoy in their own time, on their own terms. If you can’t get outside, this new guide has a wealth of visual material too, with images from the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich and Newham Archives, plus some brand new photographs of The Line by local photographer Emily Lovell.

Access the new digital guide to The Line via the Bloomberg Connects app, available free from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Sculpture that appears to be an electricity pylon that has crashed landed into the earth head first Bronze abstract sculpture reminiscent of a pair of legs

World-class sculpture

Gary Hume's Liberty Grip and Alex Chinneck's A Bullet from a Shooting Star both sit on the river's edge on Greenwich Peninsula.