Living in Royal Arsenal Riverside

Lorna Dempsey (36) moved to Clapham, London from Ireland back in 2016 after signing with an acting agency. After initially renting in Clapham, her head was turned after visiting Royal Arsenal Riverside for the first time.

“I was asked to attend a business meeting at the Dial Arch in 2017 . As soon as I walked through the gates, I could not believe I had never heard of this hidden gem before. The architecture, the history and the river make it incredibly unique. Even then I got a real sense of community. From that point I knew this place was where I wanted to live. Within a matter of months, I was living and renting at Royal Arsenal Riverside and I have not wanted to leave since.”

Business commitments back in Ireland required Lorna to split her time between England and Ireland. This feat was made easier by the range of transport connections in Woolwich such as the DLR and Thames Clipper, options which have only increased since the Elizabeth Line station opened at Royal Arsenal Riverside last year.
“When I first moved here I used to use City Airport’s planes like buses. It was incredibly easy for me to get back to Ireland and look after the performing arts school that I ran with my sister. There is no escaping the fact we have a wealth of travel options here. When I need to travel it is incredibly easy. You will be hard pushed to find a better-connected neighbourhood in London.”

With over 9,000 people now calling Royal Arsenal Riverside home, it is a place that also caters for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the Waterside Club, an exclusive residents-only gym and pool, there are also a number of health and wellbeing amenities to be taken advantage of.

“I think lockdown really brought home the importance of having open spaces to explore. During that period, I saw even more people walking, running or having bike rides along the 1km Thames Path or sitting down in the sunshine in Maribor Park. The spirit in the community was amplified with people asking each other how they were. Even the clapping for the nurses was spine tingling as I had never heard so much noise before.”

In fact, it was during this period Lorna welcomed a new professional and personal addition to her life. The self-confessed holistic thinker said:
“I actually met my partner whilst having a walk along the Thames Path in lockdown and we had our first drink at the Dial Arch once the restrictions were lifted. He is actually an even bigger fan of Royal Arsenal Riverside than me, having lived here since 2008. When we decided to move in together we both agreed we had to stay here. Fast forward two years and we are now renting a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Building 50. It has an incredible lagoon in the centre and has great access to the Thames Path. We really can’t see ourselves moving anytime soon.

“Living here is also incredibly easy for work. In between my acting jobs I am a qualified Reiki practitioner and have my own business ‘Tru Reiki’ at Gunnery Terrace. I also run dance classes at the PureGym which opened last year and I am a member of the Royal Arsenal Riverside Business Networking Group.”

With a range of bars, restaurants, on the go supermarkets, bi-monthly farmers markets already on the development, Lorna has also been impressed with London's newest cultural hub, Woolwich Works which opened in 2021.

“It is safe to say that there are periods when I do not leave the neighbourhood. You can essentially stay here all the time and since the opening of Woolwich Works I can experience live music, stand-up comedy, theatre, dance and cabaret on my doorstep. You have even got the immersive PunchDrunk theatre that I love. I am forever bumping into people here that I know, which shows how close we all are here.”

You can find out more about Royal Arsenal Riverside here.