Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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1 June 2009

Climb the 'Beckton Alps'

The 'Beckton Alps' is the highest point in Beckton, East London. Originally quite large, it is essentially a former toxic spoil-heap from the nearby gas works which operated for 100 years from 1870 to 1970, and in the 1980s the hill was landscaped into a smaller hill which, for a while, was home to a dry ski slope.

Now derelict, the site is only accessible through a hole in the fence and is probably unsafe or something so your author firmly recommends you shouldn't go there. Having said that, when your author visited over the weekend there were stunning views back towards Docklands and the centre of town and a neglected atmosphere which had a certain charm, in a largely charmless area.

It is, apparently, also worthy of Grade II borough site for wildlife, but considering that it is a green space in a lot of grey spaces this is probably understandable.

Plans to turn the site into an indoor ski slope apparently floundered recently when budgetary constraints meant developers simply couldn't overcome the massive contamination in the ground, so it looks set to remain an unloved bit of wasteland for a while yet, but one which certainly has something special about it.

For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beckton_Gas_Works#Beckton_Alps.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture looking back at Docklands from the 'Beckton Alps'^


  1. You can almost see the roof of my house.

    The only dangers numerous sharp metal poles sticking out of the ground and so on. It's pretty easy to get up there though.

    Whole area smells.

  2. Spent many a happy day skiing at Beckton Alps !!!!

  3. The whole area is badly contaminated with toxic waste from the old Beckton Gas Works - they were going to build a SnowDome there after the dry ski slope closed, but the decontamination costs and the workers having to work in contamination suits scuppered the plans.

    How they ever got permission to build the original dry ski slope I'll never know - I dread to think what toxins we users of the slope were exposed to, let alone the people who constructed it!!