Your Guide to London Bankside
Where is Bankside?
Experience one of central London’s most fashionable and popular riverside destinations and come to colourful, artistic, historic and inspirational Bankside! As Bankside lies in Southwark, just south of the River Thames, and stretches from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge, you’ll get fantastic views of The City of London and St Paul's Cathedral from the riverside walkway here. You’ll also be surrounded by other attraction packed districts of London including South Bank and Lambeth. Bankside is inside the congestion charging zone, but thanks to the excellent transportation links such as Southwark Tube Station (in tube Zone 1) and London Bridge Train Station, you don’t need your car here.
History of Bankside
From the Middle Ages, Bankside was known as ‘Stew’s Bank’ – stew being slang for brothel. Up until the 18th century the area was seen as an Elizabethan ‘red light zone’ and was home to illicit brothels, taverns and theatres. It eventually developed into London’s finest theatre district and some of England’s greatest writers and players (including William Shakespeare) lived and worked here. But the Puritans closed the theatres in 1642 and many were demolished - including Shakespeare’s Globe.
By the 19th century, Bankside was a centre of industry and warehouses and factories lined the river. After the Second World War industrial decline took place in the area and it remained largely undiscovered… until recently! The regeneration of Bankside has been impressive: the derelict Bankside Power Station became the Tate Modern in 1981; a reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was built in 1997; and nearby Borough Market now attracts people from all over the city and beyond. London's riverside has always played an important part in the capital's work and leisure, and today it’s a must-see for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the culture of the city. Your trip to London would be incomplete without taking in the vibrancy of Bankside, one of London’s top visitor destinations.
The Positives of Bankside
If you stay in London’s Bankside you’ll be in the heart of an extremely stylish district, just south of the Thames. It’s a stunning riverside location with a real buzz about it that you will love. As culture and the Arts are so important to Bankside (and have played a major part in its history) this is a truly inspiring place to spend time in. Major attractions - including Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the London Eye - are just a short stroll away, and if you cross the Millennium Bridge you can visit breathtaking St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London! With the excellent London Underground transport links and London Bridge Train Station nearby, the whole of the Capital will be with easy reach.
Need to Know Bankside
As with many parts of London, Bankside is a hotspot for visitors and city dwellers alike, and it can be a really busy area. However, it’s this liveliness that helps give character and vibrancy to this fantastic riverside location. It can also be pricey, but there are so many places to eat and drink that you’re bound to find something to suit your budget. Besides, Bankside has such great transport links that you can easily get to other areas of the city where prices can be lower.