On one of the coldest night of the year, the Artic travellers, maps in hand are out exploring, children clutching the hands of their parents in case they get lost in among the tall grey structures, dark on the outside, but still well lit on the inside, some still under construction and, surprisingly, one with red love hearts pulsing slowly on and off through its windows. Then there are screams of enjoyment as the travellers can sit on a light bench, or a large sofa which changes colour – great for a photo-, explore the coloured trees in the gardens, spin the coloured prisms, be immersed in lights as if in the bubbles of the sea, be photographed under the halo of an angel or follow the trail of turtles, birds, plants and other creatures floating on the water in the gardens. And then, the travellers are not alone – they come across a parade of elephants, rhinos and other animals walking along the quayside.
This is the year of Canary Wharf’s ‘Winter Lights’ initiative, which brightens up the dark January evenings, creating a walk between 20 different installations, plus the coloured fountains in Cabot Square where food stalls provide much-needed sustenance. The theme, appropriately, is sustainability, the environment and recycling and many of the installations are created from recycled materials, with a balance between new installations and some repeated from last year.
An great initiative which is free, with maps available along the whole trail, brings people to explore Canary Wharf, and starts immediately they leave the Jubilee Line station. And, of course, it ends below ground in the shopping areas where is much to distract them.