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South Bank Attractions
Ah, the South Bank. A stretch of Thames with an amazing array of institutions crammed onto its shores. The bank of the Seine in Paris is put very much in the shade by the sheer volume of things to do on this expansive parade, and you will have a tough time deciding how to spend your time most effectively. And we’re going to find it tougher still to choose a particular “Thing to Do” to outshine the rest! But whatever you do in the area, make sure to take it all in. We recommend a week to get a grip on everything the area has to offer, and even this may not be enough.

Recommended Attraction in South Bank
However, it is possible to do a great deal in one day. And our one must-do activity is something of a cop-out, we must admit: do our special walk. We’ve spent a while perfecting this particular walk, but we feel that it really does have it all.

Start out getting to London Bridge Station at a decent time in the morning, but don’t eat any breakfast before leaving. Once there, head down Borough High Street to Borough Market, where you will be hungrily gaping at the food and drink on offer. That’s your breakfast sorted. Then exit the market next to the railway bridge and head down the marble steps next to Southwark Cathedral, which has an interesting history, incredible architecture and is well worth a visit. Then hang a left and follow the road round until you come to the Golden Hind, a scale model of Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship. If you want, you can even get on and go on a tour around it. It it’s not too early for you, the pub next door (the Thameside Inn) has a good ale selection.

Keep going, past the ruins of a very old cathedral, down Clink Street, where you might want to pop into the Clink Museum, London’s oldest prison. Continue past the Anchor pub (great fish and chips) to Shakespeare’s Globe, then on past the Tate Modern and all of the street performers in the area. Across the river you’ll see St Paul’s Cathedral. Beyond this, you have the National Theatre and the South Bank Centre, and for lunch you should jump behind the South Bank Centre to the Real Food Market for a reasonably priced bite of gourmet deliciousness.

Alternative Things To Do in South Bank
You can also go to Katzenjammers, just off Southwark Street, for a Bavarian Beer Hall experience, or to the Menier Chocolate Factory to see some of the best theatre London has to offer. Or you could pick up a few bottles of excellent wine for a decent price at Vinopolis, or have a meal at any of the fantastic little restaurants around Borough Market and get a pint in the Globe Tavern, where Bridget Jones’ Diary is set. Also, there’s Europe’s oldest remaining operating theatre, which is worth a look and not as creepy as it sounds!

Attraction List in South Bank
With so much to do, you’d be very strongly recommended to book a discount room near the South Bank and just mill around at your leisure. With the number of great deals we’ve got, we reckon you should look at our South Bank hotel booking service to make sure you can get the best deal possible for your stay.

Westminster Bridge

To get great view along the River Thames all you need to do is to cross Westminster Bridge. When you stroll across this famous old bridge you’ll get really good views along the Thames and up at the London skyline.

Address: Victoria Embankment, Westminster, London SW1A 2JR

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London Aquarium

Come to the London Aquarium and you can spend hours transfixed by the huge array of sea, salt and fresh water species. The aquarium has one of the most substantial and diverse collections in Europe and you’ll have a great time here!

Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
Phone: 871 663 1678

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Dali Universe

If you’re a lover of art and particularly interested in the works of Salvador Dali, you should definitely pay a visit to the Dali Universe. Even if you’re not a great art lover you’ll still be really interested by the creative works on display at this permanent exhibition.

Address: Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PW
Phone: 870 744 7485

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London Eye

If you want to get a true picture of just how vast and spectacular London actually is, why not do it from 135 meters up on the London Eye?! The panoramic views are truly breathtaking and will give you an experience you’ll never forget. If you’re not keen on heights it’s still worth coming, just to take a look at the amazing architecture of this oversized Ferris wheel!

Address: Riverside Bldg, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
Phone: 871 781 3000

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Jubilee Gardens

Another place to come and relax is Jubilee Gardens. These peaceful gardens sit in the heart of the district, overlooked by the London Eye. The gardens were created as part of the celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

Address: Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Phone: 020 7202 6900

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The Queens Walk

The Queens Walk is the promenade on the South Bank and stretches between Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge. You’re guaranteed to stroll along The Queens Walk to get to the famous attractions, and the walk alone is one that is well worth taking. The walk was developed to honour the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

Address: The Queens Walk, South Bank, London SE1 7PB

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Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall is the largest and main attraction in the Southbank Centre. The hall was part of the original Festival of Britain in 1951 and is a huge part of the history of the South Bank area. Come here for a really moving performance and if you’re really lucky you might even catch the London Philharmonic Orchestra!

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Phone: 844 875 0073

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South Bank Centre

One place you’ll definitely want to visit during your stay on the South Bank is the South Bank Centre. Here you’ll find The Hayward, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Saison Poetry Library and Royal Festival Hall.

Address: Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Phone: 844 875 0073

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The Hayward Gallery

The Hayward Gallery is one of the attractions that lies within the South Bank Centre. Come here to view a large selection of impressive modern artwork.

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Phone: 020 7960 4200

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Queen Elizabeth Hall

Another of the South Bank Centre’s popular attractions is Queen Elizabeth Hall. The hall is the second largest concert hall on the South Bank and you should definitely take a look at what’s on. You can come here to enjoy classical, modern and jazz music.

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Phone: 020 7960 4200

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South Bank BFI

The South Bank BFI is more famously known as the National Film Theatre, having only recently been renamed. Independent films, festivals, gala openings and a huge Mediatheque which gives visitors extensive archive access all feature here. In addition to this you can grab a bite to eat and take a look at the gallery.

Address: Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Phone: 020 7928 3232

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National Theatre

For a great night out you should pay a visit to the National Theatre. As well as checking out what performances are on, you can also see one of the free exhibitions and even maybe catch some free music.

Address: Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Phone: 020 7452 3000

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Gabriel’s Wharf

Gabriel’s Wharf is a great place to come and relax, enjoy a bit of shopping in the unique design shops or grab some food or drink in one of the bars, cafes and restaurants. Another added bonus of this riverside haven is the views of the London skyline.

Address: 56 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PP
Phone: 020 7021 1686

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London Television Centre

Another place of interest is the London Television Centre. This is the home of ITV and also where a number of Britain’s top television programmes are filmed on a daily basis. Hang around here and if you’re really lucky you might spot a celebrity!

Address: Upper Ground, London SE1 9LT

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Bernie Spain Gardens

A great place to relax and maybe get away from the crowds is the Bernie Spain Gardens. Part of the Coin Street community, these gardens were named after Bernadette Spain, one of the original Coin Street Action Group campaigners. If you’re in London in the summer it’s well worth coming here to see the Coin Street Festival and The Mayor’s Thames Festival.

Address: Upper Ground, London SE1 9PP

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Oxo Tower Wharf

One of the most recognisable and dominant features of the skyline on the South Bank is the Oxo Tower Wharf. You can come here to visit the design boutiques and studios, as well as enjoying the exhibitions at the Bargehouse and some great food and drink in the Oxo Tower Restaurant and Brasserie.

Address: Barge House Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Phone: 020 7803 3888

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Borough Market

Situated in a Victorian, purpose built covered market next to London Bridge station, the market has for years been the site of gourmet food. Everything you could possibly want from your ideal diet is represented here, and the fish plus the surrounding restaurants are particularly noteworthy.

Address: 8 Southwark Street, Bankside, London SE1 1TL
Phone: 020 7407 1002

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Golden Hind

One of the country’s most famous (and controversial) personalities from antiquity is Sir Francis Drake, a man from Plymouth who led several notorious expeditions all over the globe in his galleon, the Golden Hind. An impressive reconstruction of this eponymous ship is dry-docked on London’s South Bank, tucked away behind Southwark Cathedral.

Address: Units 1 & 2, Pickfords Wharf, Clink Street, Bankside, London SE1 9DG
Phone: 020 7403 0123

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Victorian Operating Theatre

Just inside St Thomas Street (off Borough High Street) is Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre from the Victorian Period, the Victoria Operating Theatre. This great, antiquated venue offers a herb-laden attic showing medicines through the ages, all of the disturbing operating tools employed back then, and hundreds of other knickknacks from that time. The theatre itself is impressive and has been meticulously maintained to show visitors a glimpse of the Victorian medical world.

Address: 9a Saint Thomas Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9RY
Phone: 020 7188 2679

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Anchor Pub

Pubs went through some distinctive phases, and before the open-plan Victorian era was a more warren-like set up, where pubs felt like several different houses crammed into one, with little rooms and chambers hidden everywhere around a larger saloon. The Anchor is this type, with all sorts of little rooms, a restaurant, a gallery overlooking the Thames and an outside area all for the visitor’s amusement.

Address: 34 Park Street, Bankside, London SE1 9EF
Phone: 020 7407 1577

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Bavarian beer hall, anyone? Well, on Southwark Street, pointed to only by a small sign on the street, visitors are shown down into this vaulted, sawdust strewn beer hall of Katzenjammers, where you can buy schnitzel of all kinds, wurst of every description and huge steins of a range of German beers. The layout is typical of the German hall, with long trestle tables set out where you sit next to total strangers, rather than the tired British tradition of little, two-seater tables tucked away in corners!

Address: The Hop Exchange, 24 Southwark St, South Bank, London, SE1 1TY
Phone: 020 3417 0196

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Menier Chocolate Factory

Situated in a Victorian, purpose built covered market next to London Bridge station, the market has for years been the site of gourmet food. Everything you could possibly want from your ideal diet is represented here, and the fish plus the surrounding restaurants are particularly noteworthy.

Address: 8 Southwark Street, Bankside, London SE1 1TL
Phone: 020 7407 1002

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Globe Tavern

Fans of Bridget Jones’ Diary will be familiar with this fun, little pub inside Borough Market. Bafflingly, this great (and very reasonably priced) pub hasn’t succumbed to the rampant tourist-minded renovations that have dogged other drinking establishments, and the quirky Globe Tavern has stayed true to itself. The magnificent, high ceilings with rafters sporting all manner of globes in different forms belie the basic simplicity of this pub, and it’s one of our favourite haunts!

Address: 8 Bedale Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9AL
Phone: 020 7407 0043

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Situated in the vast expanses of London Bridge’s railway vaults is Vinopolis, a huge wine and whisky retailer. The shop offers tasting and wholesale on an impressive variety of wines, but the venue also operates no less than five bars and eateries in the surrounding buildings, catering to more or less all tastes. Occasionally, the large vaults host private parties, and these are legendary!

Address: 1 Bank End, Bankside, London SE1 9BU
Phone: 020 7940 8300

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