South Bank, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 132 Reviews

Waterloo, SE1

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  • Tap dancing duet
    Tap dancing duet
    by Galaxy31
  • Artist working with sand
    Artist working with sand
    by Galaxy31
  • Living statue
    Living statue
    by Galaxy31
  • cleocat's Profile Photo

    Street Performers South Bank

    by cleocat Written Feb 4, 2015

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    The South Bank area (where the London Eye is) is great for a walk. Street performers favour this area and there is always something to see. Many bars, pubs and restaurants as well. Take a stroll next to the river and enjoy the views and entertainment.

    Street Performers South Bank

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    Walking alongside the River Thames at South Bank

    by Anjuschka Written Aug 10, 2014

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    It's a great occation to spend a nice afternoon out.

    I think the best way to get is arriving at London Bridge train station or TUBE station.
    You can also plan a walk from Tower Bridge to the London Eye or even The Parliament near Vauxhall Bridge.

    I always loved Sout Bank with the great view on the Thames and the things around.
    There might be banks you can sit on for a break and you can watch what happens on the Thames.

    I really love the Royal Festival Hall and of course the London Eye.
    At the Southbank Centre you have many things close together.

    +BFI Southbank
    +Riverfront Bar & Kitchen (where I had a nice soup)
    +National Theatre Bookshop
    and a lot more...

    When I went there last time in November there takes place a special (German) Christmas Market - what I thought was a great joy for me...

    I could highly recommend to spend some nice quality time there:

    I took a long walk from Hay's Galleria towards Westminster Station which is also nearby. It's situated not far behind the London Eye...

    love these lamps... Some of the Christmas Market stalls... View on Big Ben and the Parliament Hay's Galleria View on the London Eye from the Westminster area..
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    • Festivals

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    Time Stands Still in London

    by Elena_007 Updated Jul 26, 2014

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    In this remarkable sculpture by Salvador Dali, time seems to stand still, almost as if in a time warp. The clock face appears to be melting and is attached to branches, perhaps resembling the tree of life? There is also an angel to the right kneeling by the hands of time. It is located practically next to the London Eye, and is worth stopping for a look. I found it rather interesting. There are several other examples of Dali's work along the South Bank of the Thames.

    There are other works inside County Hall by the famous Spanish artist, that I would have liked to see, but I will have to plan on seeing that on my next visit, as, unfortunately, I was limited on time.

    An Original Dali Artwork Sculpture
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    Street entertainers

    by Galaxy31 Written Jul 16, 2014

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    In Southbank you will find a lot of street perfomances going on all the time.
    A lot of them are by the London Eye, Gabriels Wharf and Tate Modern .
    It could be from musical performers, dancers, acrobatics, living statues, juggling and much more.
    It's a great way of spending a few hours watching them and they are free.
    Some of the acts are amazing but you have others that are not so good. Usually at the end of their perfomance they do go round so people can donate (tip) money for their act. If there are good I always give them something if not I walk away well before the perfomance finishes.

    Tap dancing duet Living statue Living statue
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    Art in the sand

    by Galaxy31 Written Jul 16, 2014

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    While taking a stroll one sunny Sunday morning along the Southbank by Gabriels Wharf I came across this artist creating a beautiful face out of sand. They do that as soon as the tide goes in and that gives them a few hours to make their creations

    Artist working with sand Artist working with sand Having a rest after a long days work Make a wish
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    Gabriel’s Wharf

    by toonsarah Written Apr 26, 2014

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    This former row of old garages was transformed in the late 1980s by some sprucing up and the addition of quaint shop-fronts. These shops are now occupied by a selection of independent retailers (designers, artists, printmakers, florists, clothing, jewellery) making it an interesting place to shop for gifts or unique pieces for the home. There are also several places to eat and drink. I have so far only been in one of these, the excellent Gourmet Pizza Company. The other options include a pub, a restaurant specialising in seafood and steaks, and a pie shop. On the decking of the wharf you’ll find seating and a slightly bizarre collection of wood-carvings, the work of Friedel Buecking who occupies one of the shops. Children are welcome to ride the wooden animals, and often do! The whole is overlooked by the painted backdrop that disguises the wall of the ITV television studios next door.

    Gabriel's Wharf

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    Statue of Nelson Mandela

    by toonsarah Written Jan 26, 2014

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    This statue of Nelson Mandela has stood beside the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank for almost thirty years, but it took on particular poignancy in the days following the news of his death in December 2013. Many admirers left flowers and tributes here , and for a short period after his death a selection of quotes by the great man were projected on to the Royal Festival Hall.

    The statue, by Ian Walters, was commissioned by a former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, when he was leader of the Greater London Council., and was unveiled in 1985 by ANC president Oliver Tambo, at a time when Mandela was still imprisoned. At this time the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was very hostile to the Greater London Council, which she later abolished. It would be charitable to think that it was for this reason, rather than any opinion she may have held about Nelson Mandela, that she refused to visit the statue, though I have my doubts …
    ’The day after the unveiling Labour Party firebrand and anti-apartheid activist Tony Brand stood up in the House of Commons, complete with ANC T-shirt and goaded the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Would she find time, he asked, "to go to the South Bank to see the statue of Nelson Mandela erected by the GLC?" She replied with a terse "No".’

    The full inscription reads:
    ”THE STRUGGLE IS MY LIFE”
    NELSON MANDELA
    GAOLED 5th AUGUST 1962
    SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
    12th JUNE 1964 FOR HIS ACTIONS
    AGAINST APARTHEID

    ERECTED BY THE GREATER LONDON COUNCIL
    UNVEILED BY OLIVER TAMBO
    PRESIDENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
    28th OCTOBER 1985

    NELSON MANDELA WAS RELEASED
    AFTER 27 YEARS' IMPRISONMENT
    11th FEBRUARY 1990

    AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
    10th DECEMBER 1993

    INAUGURATED PRESIDENT OF THE
    REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND
    ITS GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY
    10th MAY 1994.

    If you’re walking along the South Bank do make the detour, up the steps to the right of the Festival Hall as you face it, to see and pay tribute to the great man.

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    View Europe's biggest from Europe's tallest!

    by worldkiwi Written Aug 17, 2013

    The View in The Shard, London and Europe's tallest building, provides stunning views from horizon to horizon over Europe's biggest city! I was lucky enough in 2013, to be shouted a visit to The Shard by my cousins and we all enjoyed looking down on the intriguing Lego city that was London from 244m up! I would recommend this activity to anyone in London on a fine sunny day. It is expensive (I discovered) at £25 per person and you need to book in advance to secure a time that suits you.

    The Shard - a striking new landmark in 2013. St Paul's from The Shard (2013). The Tower of London, from the tower above London!

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    The Shard

    by Britannia2 Written Jul 5, 2013

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    The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass is a 72-storey skyscraper in London. Its construction began in March 2009. It opened to the public on 1 February 2013. Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the European Union. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.
    The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck – the UK's highest – on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244.3 metres (802 ft).
    The Shard is home to offices, a hotel, restaurants and residential homes - a city in the sky I guess.
    You can visit the viewing area at the top - expensive but see the website for details.

    The Shard in evening light
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    More London

    by antistar Written Jul 4, 2013

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    A new development on the south bank of the Thames is More London. Opposite the Tower of London at the south end of Tower Bridge you will discover a elegant piece of landscaped riverfront real estate that incorporates the new glass bulge of London's City Hall. From here you can enjoy some of the best views in London, sit on a grassy bank and enjoy lunch with the many government workers, or just stroll along the Thames.

    More London More London More London More London More London

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    THE SHARD

    by davidjo Updated Apr 30, 2013

    The Shard is a London Pyramid (1016ft tall) which was constructed between 2009 and 2012 which will be open to the public in 2013. It is called the Shard as it has a broken glass tip to it and it will house offices, apartments and a hotel. The Italian Renzo Piano designed this monstrosity which is the second tallest building in Europe and will have a viewing deck on the 72nd floor (another expensive attraction for the public). There will be 10 apartments at the cool price of £50 million each ( no, this is not a typo).
    Several people have base jumped from there and on one occasion the French urban climber Alain Robert was spotted by security guards but now there is a court injunction against him to prevent him from entering the building. Prince Andrew has Abseiled from the 87th floor to raise money for his charity.
    It is now possible to visit the 68th floor "TOILETS"where there are magnificent views all over London. ^great views from 69th and 72nd floors also. you can book online for the craxy price of up to 25 pounds
    http://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/#plan-your-visit/booking-and-tickets

    glass monstrosity from Tower Hill From Tower of London
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    County Hall

    by mikey_e Written Dec 27, 2012

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    The County Hall was once the seat of local government for the metropolis of London. This role is now played by the oddly shaped ball by Tower Bridge, but the County Hall continues to be a tourist and cultural attraction for Londoners and visitors alike. In part, County Hall derives its fame from the difficult relationship that existed between the Council and the British government in the period that led to the dissolution of the Greater London Council in the 1980s. Since then, the building was used for a number of different government and private functions, with its current usage dedicated to an aquarium, various low-brow horror shows and the London Film Museum. It was designed in Edwardian Baroque style and erected during the 1920s. If you aren’t interested in the horror maze or the aquarium, the ideal photo backdrop is still a good idea for a visit, as you can snap a few shots of yourself or others with the same background as the opening of the Hitchcock film Frenzy.

    County Hall from the Bridge Courtyard of the Hall
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    London IMAX

    by mikey_e Updated Dec 21, 2012

    IMAX theatres are not new, but the technology that is used to enhance the technical forms of cinematic arts seem to advance every few years, opening a third way (in addition to content and form in the initial sense of the word) for the development of the seventh art. In recognition of these technical advances, the British Film Institute has opened up the London IMAX, a massive glass cylinder that stands not far from Waterloo Station on the Southbank of the Thames. The building was constructed in 1999, and was specially designed in order to insulate it from the noise and vibrations that might have been caused by the street traffic and subway lines around and below the IMAX. Both films and other performances (mainly operas) are shown at the IMAX, and such events can be quite popular, meaning that you should book your tickets well in advance if you’re hoping to partake of something at the IMAX.

    IMAX over the arches London IMAX IMAX and Lambeth
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    Waterloo Station

    by mikey_e Written Dec 18, 2012

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    Waterloo Station is the UK’s busiest train station, and one of the busiest stations in all of Europe. Although a station has stood on this particular location since the 1840s, the current structure was not completed until 1922, after a series of expansions. The proximity of Waterloo to the City and to various other heavily populated and well-heeled sections of London ensured that its gradually increasing number of platforms seemed to be out of breath in the race to keep up with the steadily growing passenger numbers. The station is truly a city within a city, and features not only the ticketing offices and the various usual facilities that are associated with train stations (waiting rooms, coffee shops and restaurants) but also retail spaces and a police station. Given that the construction period for the new station spanned the First World War, the current building now contains a Victory Arch at the main pedestrian entrance to the facilities. The Arch is dedicated to the employees of the station who were killed during the Great War.

    Lamp posts at the station Victory Arch Pedestrian entrance to Waterloo View of the side of the station
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    The Golden Hinde

    by mikey_e Written Dec 14, 2012

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    London may be removed from the seas that made the British Empire powerful, but that doesn’t mean that the city is lacking in maritime flair. Apart from the HMS Belfast floating museum, visitors can also find Drake’s Golden Hind on display on the Thames’ south shores. The Golden Hind was used by Drake in the late 16th century in order to sail around the world. Drake was effectively a pirate with Royal backing (taking his role in the long tradition of proxy wars) and made a hefty return by attacking and robbing Spanish ships. After he returned to England, his ship was put to use for a trading company that focused on the Levant, and then was put on display. The original ship rotted away, but today there are various replicas on display throughout the British Islands. One such replica is on display here in London, not far from London Bridge. While it may make a good background for pictures, it is also used as an educational tool, and welcomes visits from school grounds wishing to get hands-on experiences with the 16th century maritime tradition.

    The Golden Hind from afar Drake's Golden Hinde Close-up of the ship The mast Entrance to the educational program
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