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 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
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
Tune Hotel - Westminster, London
London > Hotels > Budget Chain Hotel
118-120 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1
With a stay at Tune Hotel - Westminster, London in London (South Bank), you'll be minutes from Florence Nightingale Museum and London Aquarium. This hotel is ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Events

in or near South Bank
Eyes Down: Bingo With Ida Barr
London > Events > Theatre
London Wonderground Spiegeltent, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
The former music hall singer turned hip hop and R&B rapper presents a night of bingo with a difference.... More
 
 
 
Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique: A Feast Of International Cabaret
London > Events > Theatre
London Wonderground Spiegeltent, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
The flaneur, raconteur and bon-viveur presents the cream of alternative international cabaret acts, along with bawdy chansons and world-class sex poetry.... More
 
 
 
London Swing Dance Society: Swing Out: A Journey Back To The Heyday Of The 1940s
London > Events > Sporting Events
London Wonderground Spiegeltent, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
Intermediate dance classes, live band, top swing DJs, vintage dance cabaret and fun competitions hosted by dance champion Simon Selmon.... More
 
 
 

South Bank Entertainment

in or near South Bank
PICK
The Vaults, Arch 233
London > Entertainment > 10 Leake Street, South Bank, London SE1
The Vaults under Waterloo are an intriguing venue that play host to a number of underground events.... More
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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Shrek's Adventure
London > Attractions > Attractions for Kids
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1
Having already been the subject of a West End musical back in 2011, the Shrek saga is now the inspiration behind a new London attraction. A ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Shopping

The best shops and markets in or near London's South Bank
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 

South Bank Restaurants

What are the best dining options in or near South Bank London?
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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
 
 
 
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Inshoku
London > Restaurants > Japanese restaurants
23 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London SE1
Japanese cuisine. Booking advised. ... More
 
 
 
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The Fire Station
London > Restaurants > British restaurants
150 Waterloo Road, South Bank, London SE1
Modern British cuisine ... 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
 
 
 
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The Anchor & Hope
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
36 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1
The Anchor & Hope is a gastropub that takes both parts of its name seriously, and you can certainly have a good evening just popping in ... More
 
 
 
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The Thirsty Bear
London > Nightlife > Pubs
62 Stamford Street, South Bank, London SE1
If you're the kind of drinker who gets thirsty, very thirsty, and you don't have the time or patience to queue for at a very busy ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Nightlife

South Bank clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
PICK
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
London > Nightlife > Bars
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
Designed by the Eden Project, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening for stunning sundown views over the ... More
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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Bernie Spain Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Upper Ground, South Bank, South Bank, London SE1
Located between Oxo Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf, Bernie Spain Gardens is a pleasant green space to stop off on a riverside walk along the South ... More
 
 
 

South Bank Education

in or near South Bank
PICK
Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, South Bank, London WC2R
The Courtauld is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, affiliated with the Oxbridge system and boasting a huge private location and prime ... More
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
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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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Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall
London > Business > Venue Hire
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1
Located by the River Thames, with sweeping views of the capital from the London Eye to St Paul's Cathedral, the Southbank Centre is a unique metropolitan ... More
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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