A former industrial district, South Bank is now a vibrant, trendy area at the heart of London's cultural scene. This is where the first part of the Queen's Walk is located, a beautiful walk along the Thames from Westminster Bridge to the district of Southwark.
Discover this district which hosts many cultural and family activities and offers beautiful views of the north shore.
The Queen's Walk: walk between South Bank and Southwark
Queen's Walk is a pretty pedestrianized promenade along the Thames from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge which offers a magnificent view of the north bank of the Thames and the City skyline. It was inaugurated in 1977 on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
Built in the 1900s, this building was initially a power station before being bought and remodeled in an Art Deco style by the Liebig company for the manufacture of its famous Oxo cube broths.
The building now houses apartments, art galleries, fashion and design shops and a panoramic bar restaurant located on the 8th floor.
Address : Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
A fortress of raw concrete, the National Theater is one of London's most renowned theaters with a varied program, offering both avant-garde plays and musicals.
You have free access to the foyer where you can admire its beautiful design from the 70s which houses a bookstore and a bar.
Guided tours lasting around 1h15 are organized several times a day, the opportunity to discover the backstage of the theater and its history.
Included in the London Pass.
Address : Upper Ground, Bishop’s, London SE1 9PX
This symbol of brutalist architecture of the 1970s, forms a group of stone, concrete and glass buildings with a rigid and austere appearance.
The largest cultural center in Europe, the South Bank Center offers quality programming with nearly 1000 artistic events per year.
This musical and cultural multicomplex with exceptional acoustics, includes three rooms dedicated to classical and contemporary music, jazz and dance, which are the Royal Festival hall, the Queen Elisabeth Hall and the Purcell Room.
Contemporary art exhibitions are also offered within the Hayward Gallery.
Open all year round, the public can stroll through the shops and have free access to the 5th floor to admire the panorama of the Thames, the London Eye, the Parliament or St Paul's Cathedral.
Address : Belvedere Road; London, District postal SE
Located between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge, Hungerford Bridge is a steel truss railway bridge completed in 1864. In 2002, due to the narrowness of the pedestrian bridges, two new bridges were built and named the Golden Jubilee Bridge in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reign of Elizabeth II.
Suspended from masts and guy ropes, this construction offers pedestrians a beautiful view of the river and a direct connection between South Bank and Trafalgar Square.
Address : Bishop’s, London
Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel ou Bansky Tunnel
Located under Waterloo station, Leake Street is a 300m long tunnel where street art expresses itself freely. It is indeed the only place in London where the municipality allows Street Art artists to express themselves freely. It is also called the Banksy graffiti tunnel, in tribute to the street artist whose identity is still unknown.
If you love street art, get lost in the Bricklane, Brixton, Shoreditch et Camden where works are numerous.
Address : Leake Street Lambeth, London SE1
BFI Southbank ( British Film Institute)
The British Film Institute is one of the most important film libraries in the world with four cinemas and a bookstore with a rich collection of books on film and television.
Opened in 1951, rebuilt in 1957 and enlarged in 1970, the film library hosts several festivals each year, including the London Film Festival, in October.
Address : Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London SE1
Odeon BFI Imax
Built in 1999, the BFI IMAX is the UK's largest state-of-the-art cinema seating up to 489 people who can see two and three-dimensional films. Its gigantic 20m by 26m screen (as tall as five double-decker buses) features digital surround sound.
Address : 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, South Bank, Waterloo SE1 8XR
Speed boat on the Thames
Climb aboard a speed boat and visit London differently! Hair in the wind, discover the most famous monuments of the capital in an original and fun way. With peaks of up to 30 knots on the Thames, thrills are guaranteed!
This commented cruise is also a fun and original activity led by a guide-actor, who reveals anecdotes, fun facts and funny stories about celebrities.
The 50-minute ultimate London Adventure cruise takes you through more than 20 London landmarks such as the parliament and Big Ben, Shakespeare's Globe, shard, Tower Bridge or the cruiser HMS Belfast.
Children can enjoy the joys of the speedboat from 10 years old.
Address : Boarding Gate One, The London Eye Millennium Pier, London SE1 7PB
Ultimate London Adventure Cruise - 50 min
Thames River Cruise from South Bank
Take advantage of your stroll through the South Bank district to cruise the Thames from London Eye Pier. Two companies offer cruises: City Cruises et Thames Clipper.
The boats of the City Cruises company cross London from Westminster to Greenwich by offering commentaries in French thanks to the audio guides included in the price.
City Cruise cruises operate on the same principle as hop-on-hop-off buses, meaning that you get off and board the boat at your convenience.
At a price of 24 €, the ticket is valid for 24 hours allowing you to discover the most beautiful monuments of London over the water. If you are with your family, children are free up to the age of 15 for the purchase of an adult ticket. You can take advantage of this offer on the Great Britain Tourist Office website.
Thames Clipper which has a dozen catamarans, provides a river shuttle service that crosses the Thames from east to west. Mainly used by Londoners, this fast and convenient means of transport is less expensive than sightseeing cruises.
A single ticket bought on site costs £ 9, the best way to pay less is to have a transport card, namely a Travelcard or a Oystercard . Indeed, a single trip to central London costs £ 7.20 with an Oystercard and £ 7.20 with a Travelcard.
You can also opt for a day pass with unlimited journeys at a price of € 22, available on the Great Britain tourist office website.
London Eye and its panoramic view of London
Inaugurated on December 31, 1999 to celebrate the new millennium, the London Eye has grown over the years to become one of Britain's top tourist spots, welcoming 3,5 million visitors a year.
Inspired by a bicycle wheel, the London Eye is made up of 32 glass cabins, the number of boroughs in London, and can accommodate up to 25 people.
With its 135 m high, the London Eye holds the title of the largest Ferris wheel in Europe, which on a clear day offers an exceptional panorama over London to Windsor Castle located more than 40km from the center!
Closer, one can also observe other emblematic monuments of London, such as the Palace of Westminster, big ben, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade St Paul's Cathedral and shard .
The London Eye is for free for children under 3 years old.
Address : The Queen’s Walk, Bishop’s, London SE1 7PB
Laid out on the site of the Festival of Great Britain, Jubilee Gardens was created in 1977 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
This park located at the foot of the London Eye is also a memorial to the victims of the International Brigades where two bronze statues are exhibited.
Address : Belvedere Road, Bishop’s, London SE1 7PG
The London Dungeon: a museum of horrors in the heart of South Bank
This famous horror museum traces London's dark and gruesome hours over the centuries. This attraction recounts several historical events such as the Great Fire of London, the execution of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England or the story of the most famous serial killer of the Victorian era: Jack l’Eventreur.
London Dungeon is for free for children under 3 years old.
Included in the London Explorer Pass.
Address : The Queen’s Walk, Bishop’s, London SE1 7PB
Inspired by the four films, Shrek's Adventure is a virtual and interactive adventure in the realm of Far Stronghold.
Shrek, his friend the donkey, Princess Fiona and the other characters from the animated film meet children and parents in the last attraction of the Queen's Walk located in the district of South Bank.
On the program, special effects, fairy tale shows, a ride in a 4D bus in the sky of London and finally meeting with the green giant.
Shrek's Adventure is for free for children under 3 years old.
Included in the London Explorer Pass
Address : Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd
Book on Visit Britain
Sea Life Aquarium
With over 500 aquatic species from around the world, theaquarium Sea Life houses one of the largest collections of marine specimens in Europe divided into 14 thematic areas.
Renowned for its great diversity of marine species such as sharks, penguins, octopuses and the popular anemonefish, this visit to be shared with the family is an opportunity to discover the wonders of the marine world and to become aware of the interest in preserve our oceans.
The aquarium is for free for children under 3 years old.
Included in the London Explorer Pass
Address : Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Bishop’s, London SE1 7PB
House of Vans: an underground place in South Bank
Located under the arches of Waterloo Station in an area of nearly 3000 square meters, House of Vans is one of the hubs of underground culture. This vast space bringing together art, music and street culture enthusiasts houses an art gallery, a cinema, skatepark, a concert hall, a café and bars.
An unusual place in the heart of South Bank whose activities are free and original!
Address : Arches, 228, 232 Station Approach Rd, London SE1 8SW
Florence Nightingale Museum
Located at St Thomas' Hospital, the museum pays homage to Florence Nightingale, a nurse who pioneered modern nursing and the use of statistics in health care.
Opened in 2010 to mark the centenary of Nightingale's death, the museum traces his life story through exhibits and personal effects.
Included in the London Pass and London Explorer Pass.
Address : 2 Lambeth Palace Road, Bishop’s, London SE1 7EW
St John’s Waterloo
St John's Waterloo is a Greek Revival Anglican church, built between 1822 and 1824 to plans by Francis Octavius Bedford. The church becomes some evenings a place of concerts.
Address : 73 Waterloo Rd, Bishop’s, London SE1 8TY
Guided tour of the South Bank district
Accompanied by a French-speaking guide specialized in the history of the city of London, visit for 3 hours the districts of South Bank and the City of London, where avant-garde monuments and more historical ones coexist. A real journey through the history of the English capital!