Your Guide to London Waterloo
Where is Waterloo?
Named after the Battle of Waterloo, and most famous for carrying millions of passengers through London Waterloo Train Station, this central London district in the borough of Lambeth has so much to offer. Home to famous attractions like the London Eye, entertainment venues such as the IMAX, art galleries including the Dali Universe, relaxing parks and famous landmarks, there really is something for everyone in Waterloo! Situated inside the congestion charging zone, Waterloo is bordered by a number of famous areas including the South Bank, Southwark and Lambeth, and just across the River Thames from Westminster. Located in tube Zone 1, Waterloo Station is obviously the m
History of Waterloo
The most well known history of the district of Waterloo is intertwined with the success of the British Army at the Battle of Waterloo and predominantly revolves around Waterloo Bridge, Waterloo Road and Waterloo Train Station. Waterloo Bridge was designed in 1809-10 by John Rennie, officially opened in 1817 and named after the British success at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Waterloo Road again has strong links to the Battle of Waterloo, and St John’s Waterloo Church was another building built in honour of this great victory. Another interesting part of the area’s early history is Lower Marsh, or Lambeth Marsh. This is how the area was formerly known before the change to Waterloo, and reflects just how marshy the area was that made up this district. Lower Marsh actually dates back to the Domesday Book, and although it has become overshadowed and overpowered by Waterloo, it is still a street in the area and Lower Marsh Market is still very much part of the local community.
Most famously, the district is known for its major train terminus, London Waterloo Train Station. The station was originally opened in 1848, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that extensive redevelopment saw it become a much larger and important terminus. Today, Waterloo Station and the area immediately surrounding it is thriving, as tens of thousands use the station on a daily basis to get to and from London, famous attractions in the area and the South Bank. In recent years, until the opening of St Pancras International, Waterloo was also the London terminus of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. There’s much more to Waterloo than just a train station though; there’s a huge array of interesting landmarks and attractions, all of which play their own part in the history of Waterloo and make it what it is today!
The Positives of Waterloo
One of the most amazing things about Waterloo is its location! To be honest you couldn’t wish for a better location as there are hundreds of fascinating places to visit, either in or within walking distance of this great district. There’s modern attractions such as the BFI IMAX and world famous places such as the and London Eye for you to experience. There is also a thriving arts and cultural scene in Waterloo with theatres such as The Old Vic providing entertainment, and a large selection of bars, cafes and restaurants. You’ll also find Westminster and its landmarks (including the Houses of Parliament) just across Westminster Bridge. Waterloo Train and Tube Station is another huge positive of the district as you can access all areas of London and beyond in next to no time!
Need to Know Waterloo
Waterloo is one of the busiest parts of London thanks to its train station; in fact, it is estimated that around 170 million passengers use Waterloo Train Station each year! This means that you should not expect a peaceful time here, but let’s be honest, you don’t come to the heart of London for peace and quiet! Having said this, the area surrounding Waterloo Train Station is arguably quieter than some of the neighbouring districts as it has a large residential area, mostly full of professionals who’ll be at work during the day. As with all Central London districts, there’s the usual problem of traffic congestion and it can be really difficult to drive to the area. To counter this, excellent transport links circle Waterloo, and as you can walk to so many places, you shouldn’t need or want to drive anyway!