London area of South Bank guide

What to do and where to stay in London's South Bank neighbourhood

The Southbank Centre is a classic example of brutal 60s concrete architecture. Everyone has an opinion on its distinctive design - famous detractors include Prince Charles, who once described it as a '''monstrous carbuncle'''. Yet, if the West End is the centre of popular culture in London, it is the Southbank Centre that is the centre of true excellence in the arts. Comprising The Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery, the complex consistently produces classical and world music events and fine art exhibitions of international renown. Just next door the BFI Southbank and the National Theatre are the pinnacle of British cinema and theatre. It also offers the very best riverside spots in central London for soaking up the view and a long series of parks and plazas, dominated by the London Eye. This stretch along the Thames is one of the cultural and social hubs of London with nearby hotels in great demand.

See our recommended nearby South Bank Hotels, Events, Entertainment, Sights and Attractions, Shopping, Restaurants, Pubs, Nightlife, Leisure, Education, and Meeting Venues.

South Bank Hotels

in or near South Bank
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1
The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a modern, design-led hotel a short walk from some of the city's most iconic attractions, such as Big Ben and ... More
 
 
 
Park Plaza County Hall Hotel London
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel
1 Addington Street, SE1
Close to Waterloo, the 4 star Park Plaza is - as the name suggests - just behind County Hall. Near to the Thames, it's also convenient ... More
 
 
 
London Marriott Hotel County Hall
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1
A simply unbeatable location for anyone who loves to keep themselves busy. London's County Hall is at the heart of the South Bank, surrounded by theatres, ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Events

in or near South Bank
BBC Children's TV Archive Rarities from The 50s And 60s
London > Events > Film Events
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
... More
 
 
 
Blue Velvet
London > Events > Film Events
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
Jeffrey Beaumont yearns for a little excitement in his life. He is granted his wish when he discovers a severed human ear in a field, and ... More
 
 
 
Cinderella
London > Events > Film Events
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
... More
 
 
 

South Bank Entertainment

in or near South Bank
PICK
The Slug And Lettuce
London > Entertainment > Comedy Clubs
County Hall, 5 Chicheley Street, South Bank, London SE1
Situated in the heart of London at Southbank, and right in front of tourists' favourite the London Eye, The Slug and Lettuce is the perfect place ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Old Vic Theatre
London > Entertainment > Theatres
103 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1
With the exception of The Globe, the Old Vic has had a greater influence on the history of drama than any theatre standing today. From John ... More
 
 
 
PICK
BFI IMAX Cinema
London > Entertainment > Cinemas
1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
With a huge 26m x 20m screen, a 12,000 watt digital surround sound-system, and the special multi-dimensional technology of the IMAX format (short for Image Maximum), ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Sights and Attractions

The best museums, galleries, attractions in or near South Bank
PICK
London Dungeon
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
The London Dungeon closed its doors on its old Tooley Street home on 31st January 2013 (while London Bridge station is being redeveloped) and the new ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Sea Life London Aquarium
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
The Sea Life London Aquarium features hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from around the world. Here you'll come face-to-face with sharks and watch ... More
 
 
 
PICK
St George's Cathedral
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
One of two cathedrals in Southwark, St George's Cathedral opened in 1848 as the first Catholic cathedral in the UK after the Reformation. The impressive building ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Shopping

The best shops and markets in or near London's South Bank
PICK
Crockatt and Powell
London > Shopping > Books
119-120 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
If you hate the commercial, branded feel of mega bookshops like Waterstones and Borders this one's a treat. Crockatt and Powell is an independent bookshop that ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Greensmiths Market
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
27 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
Greensmiths combines an excellent butcher's (The Ginger Pig), artisan baker's (The Old Post Office Bakery) and Covent Garden Market greengrocer's (Solstice) under one roof - all ... More
 
 
 
PICK
I Knit London
London > Shopping > Clothing
106 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
Stocking a wide range of yarns, needles, patterns and accessories, I Knit London started as a knitting community in Vauxhall in January 2006, meeting at the ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Restaurants

What are the best dining options in or near South Bank London?
PICK
Scooterworks Bar and Cafe
London > Restaurants > Cafes and Delis
132 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
Scooterworks may sound like a place to pick up a two wheeled motorised vehicle but the smell of coffee soon suggests there's something more. "We never ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Inshoku
London > Restaurants > Japanese restaurants
23 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
Japanese cuisine. Booking advised. ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Cotto
London > Restaurants > Italian restaurants
89 Westminster Road, South Bank, London SE1
... More
 
 
 

South Bank Pubs

The best pubs in or near London South Bank.
PICK
King's Arms
London > Nightlife > Pubs
25 Roupell Street, South Bank, London SE1
A short walk from the South Bank Centre, The Old Vic and The National Theatre this traditional old watering hole is a good place to have ... More
 
 
 
PICK
The Anchor & Hope
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
36 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1
This is a gastropub that takes both parts of its name seriously, and you can certainly have a good evening just popping in to sample some ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Red Lion Pub
London > Nightlife > Pubs
48 Parliament Street, Whitehall, South Bank, London SW1A
Right across the street from the Houses of Parliament, the Red Lion is perfectly positioned for politicos to pop in for a pint after a heated ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Nightlife

South Bank clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
PICK
Bassoon Bar
London > Nightlife > Bars
Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, South Bank, London SW1A
The cocktails in the Bassoon Bar are very good, expensive, yes, but very, very good. Not only that but the bar has a piano which is ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Gordon's Wine Bar
London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
47 Villiers Street, South Bank, London WC2N
Home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s, the building housing Gordon’s is now home to a regular, thriving crowd of drinkers of all ages and all ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Oxo Tower Bar & Brasserie
London > Nightlife > Bars
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London SE1
Boasting one of the best views in town, the Oxo Tower Bar is perfect for combining a spot of leisurely (if static) sightseeing with some classy ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Leisure

South Bank gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
PICK
London Marriott Hotel County Hall Spa
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
Fancy detoxing in the building where the Greater London Council used to run the city? The Spa at the London Marriott County ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Jubilee Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
3 Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
The concrete promenade along the South Bank greatly benefits from this large patch of green grass for striders, strollers and sightseers to relax on. Not ... More
 
 
 
PICK
ESPA Life at Corinthia
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
Whitehall Place, South Bank, London SW1A
The people at Espa take grooming pretty seriously, and quite rightly, when it comes to appearances it's often best to leave it to the experts. You'll ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Education

in or near South Bank
Straight Up Bartending School
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
2nd Floor Dover House, 170 Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
Learn to make a Martini like a pro at one of the top schools in the world. Bartenders trained here have popped up in some fabulous ... More
 
 
 
Morley College
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
61 Westmister Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
Morley College, one of the oldest adult education colleges in the country, dates back to the early 1880s when it was set up by visionary, Emma ... More
 
 
 
London City College
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
Royal Waterloo House, 51 Waterloo Road, South Bank, London SE1
... More
 
 
 

South Bank Meeting Venues

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course in or near South Bank.
PICK
London County Hall
London > Business > Venue Hire
Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
... More
 
 
 
PICK
London Eye Venue Hire
London > Business > Venue Hire
Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
The London Eye (or Millennium Wheel) elbowed its way onto the capital's tourist scene as one of the statement pieces to mark the turn of the ... More
 
 
 
PICK
Skylon
London > Business > Venue Hire
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
The Royal Festival Hall's refurbishment has done away with 'The People's Palace', the marvellously 1950s restaurant that used to occupy this space, and replaced it with ... More
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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