There is nowhere more beautiful on a summer’s day than London’s South Bank of the River Thames. As you walk along the river, gazing out at the barges and tourist boats, you will take in one of the most romantic and stunning views in the world. As an added bonus, there are lots of free attractions which make this a particularly fun place to hang out during your holiday. In fact, you can easily spend the whole day taking in the sights along this action-packed section of the Thames.
Here are a few of my personal South Bank favourites:
The London Eye
It’s virtually impossible to be on the South Bank and miss the London Eye: it is definitely one of the main attractions of the River Thames skyline. Even if you don’t want to pay for the flying ride, it’s still quite attractive to wander over and admire its scale from close-up. The ultimate treat, of course, is to take a ride on it and enjoy the awesome views across the whole of London. It’s worth considering a “night flight” to see the London skyline lit up before your eyes underneath a starry sky.
The South Bank Centre
The South Bank Centre has been completely refurbished and yet maintains a relaxed, retro feel. Inside there is a brilliant café, a bar and free exhibitions galore which change throughout the year (not long ago there was even a Brazilian “favela” model on show!). If you just want a fun place to chill out with your friends and maybe pick up some leaflets on the latest cultural events in the area, this is a great place to stop off.
The Houses of Parliament
You can see various London icons from the South Bank across the River Thames including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the classic London-designed Edwardian lamp posts. There is no more spectacular London view, particularly at sunset.
Gabriel’s Wharf is a fantastic place to go for relaxation and fun. Here, you can visit designer shops, stop off at a bar or watch some local artists at work. You can also hire a bike around here and explore the local area on two wheels.
Tate Modern Gallery
The Tate Modern is a free museum which was converted from a former power station – in fact the building still looks more like a power station from the outside than an art gallery. If houses a fantastic, vibrant modern art collection and is completely free to visit (though you are encouraged to make a voluntary donation if you wish to). You’ll also be able to view the futuristic Millennium Bridge from in front of the Tate Modern to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding area.