SOUTHBANK, A LONDON CULTURAL LANDMARK

by / Wednesday, 25 January 2017 / Published in BlogEN
best to do in South Bank visit

Hi, how are you? I hope the week is going well.

So the other day I was walking around Southbank and I thought, what a great place, I’m sure the guys would want to hear about it!

Basically Southbank is the name given to the quayside that runs from the London Eye to Shakespeare’s Globe, where it joins Bankside. It’s the perfect walk for a sunny day, there are so many things to do there, especially related to culture!

You can get there with the tube, at Westminster, Embankment, Waterloo… Take your pick! So you start your walk and you can see the London Eye, the famous Ferris wheel that faces Big Ben! It was built in 1999 and opened in 2000, and it was then the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. So you’re not afraid of heights – it is 135m tall – you can hop on one of the capsules and go for one of the most beautiful views of this beautiful city we call home.

Right next to the London Eye, you will see the County Hall, which becomes lit up at night in different colours like blue, red, or pink… It is an old building – dates back to 1911 –  as it was used as headquarters for the city council till 1986. The County Hall now hosts several attractions for the locals and the tourists! As the new millennial brought change to the Southbank, the County Hall was a big part of it and saw in its walls the opening of SEA LIFE London Aquarium in 1997. This underwater experience is perfect for kids and adults alike, as you can see sharks, sea turtles, octopuses, and even a crocodile!

 

? : South Bank ? : Unknown #southbank #londoneye #cocacolalondoneye #thames #london #thelondondream

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Another attraction you can find in County Hall building is The London Dungeon, a macabre-themed interactive ride! If you guys are interested in London’s history, you know that a lot of weird things happened, and they are for the most part related in The London Dungeon in a mix of shows and historical facts. Visitors embark on a journey through a thousand years of history, meeting famous symbolic figures and fictional characters such as Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, re-enacting some of London most gruesome events! This can be pretty funny and interesting but you probably shouldn’t be bringing any kids in there…

Stop just round the corner of County Hall to say hi to the South Bank Lion! This Coade stone statue of a lion was originally made for the Lion Brewery in Lambeth, but when it was demolished in 1949, it was painted red and mounted as an ornament in front of Waterloo station. But the poor beast was to be relocated again in 1966 as Waterloo station underwent some improvement, and was finally moved to its current location just beside Westminster Bridge. Maybe he’s the brother of Trafalgar Square’s lions? Who knows…

You can take a little break in the Jubilee Gardens, which have been completely remodeled in 2012 for the Queen’s Jubilee, and are now cute patches of grass where you can sit, have a picnic and relax! Seeing one of London’s most beautiful views with the London Eye and Big Ben overlooking the River Thames while lying down on the grass is pretty exceptional, don’t you think?

Walk along the bankside till you reach the Southbank Centre, Europe’s largest complex of artistic venues! You have three main venues: the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room, that host more than 2000 art performances each year! If you climb up the stairs and go around it, you may also arrive to a nice little food market, just round the corner from Waterloo station!
And the area just under the centre has been turned into a skate park, and is one of the most important places for graffiti culture in London, with its intricate ways and pillars.

 

? : Oxo Tower ? : Unknown #oxotower #tower #london #bricks #red #thelondondream

A photo posted by The London Dream (@the_london_dream) on

Lift up your head: do you see the tower that looks a bit like Big Ben? It’s the OXO Tower! Originally constructed as a power station, it now includes housing, shops, exhibition space a restaurant from the terrace of which you can see the prettiest sunset over London and the river Thames.

If you still feel like exploring the whole of Southbank, walk a little further till you reach another big building that looks like a factory: it’s the Tate Modern! A huge rectangle with a tall tower in the centre that used to be exactly what it looks like – an old power station – is now Britain’s national gallery of international modern art. And just as the UK’s other national museums and galleries, the entrance is free! So go on, question your mind and your view of life with some modern art!

Next famous building in Southbank – there are a lot, I know! – is Shakespeare’s Globe! Did you know the original Globe theatre was torn down and an exact replica was built about 230 meters from it? This pretty special theatre venue is round, and the centre part is not covered by any roof! It actually looks like a donut seen from above J You can still see Shakespeare plays there, and you can either sit in the galleries where wealthy people used to sit, or stand in the pit with the rest of the people! The latters were actually called ‘the stinkards’, and you can understand why, as the pit would often get muddy and dirty from all the people there…

Well well, if you managed to do all that, congratulations! You’ve seen Southbank and all its wonders! But if you want, you can cross the river Thames on the Millenium Bridge and reach St Paul’s Cathedral for more beautiful London landmarks!

 

? : Millennium Bridge ? : Unknown #millenniumbridge #london #blackandwhite #bridge #thelondondream

A photo posted by The London Dream (@the_london_dream) on

I hope you kept up with me on this nice little walk, I’ll see you guys soon!

xxx

The London Dream Team

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