While the name South Bank might not sound familiar, it’s the location of one of the best know attractions in London, The London Eye, offering views over the city, including Buckingham Palace, from an altitude of 135 metres. Nearby, there are other attractions such as Sea Life and London Dungeon.
Besides the attractions, there are several cultural institutions. It is the home of the National Theatre, one of the UK’s most prominent publicly funded theatre companies. The British Film Institute (BFI) next to the river hosts film festivals and special events throughout the year. If you fancy seeing a blockbuster movie, the BFI IMAX theatre is only a few minutes away. The Southbank Centre is a complex including the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. There’s also a skateboarding place on the river side of the Southbank Centre, which is surprising and cool to watch. These institutions are located in concrete brutalist architecture buildings next to the Thames and Queen’s Walk, a lovely promenade along the river.
For visitors, there are numerous options for dining or having a drink, from cafes and restaurants to jazz bars with live music. If you want to do some shopping, there are many small design and arts and crafts shops at the Oxo Tower Wharf or the Gabriel’s Wharf.
Having a relaxing day walking along the Thames and enjoying the view, both this and the other side of the Thames is a good reason to spend some time on the South Bank. There are also various events and festivals, including food festivals, literary events and music festivals annually. A bridge connects South Bank to Embankment on the other side of the river, which is a quick way to get to Central London.
South Bank is a place where you can easily spend an entire day exploring, dining, watching performances, and simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of this cultural hotspot.