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South Bank of the Thames Cultural Walk

From torture to war to art, a stroll along London's most famous and historic river
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  London’s South Bank area is a perfect place to enjoy hundreds of years of history as well as a vibrant contemporary city culture.

... more »

Tips:  This is a great walk to do in leisurely fashion, meandering slowly through the historic cityscape. Or you can slip on your running... more »

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Points of Interest

Tower of London: This history-soaked edifice has served as a palace, prison and royal execution site during its 900-year history. It is now a fascinating museum and home to the crown jewels.

It was built by William the Conqueror in the late 11th century. Famous royal inhabitants include Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, who spent the night ... More

The Victorians built this attractive drawbridge across the river as a demonstration of their engineering prowess. First powered by steam, the bridge is now powered by electric motors. Today, Tower Bridge opens its gates 1,000 times a year with any vessel taller than 30 feet allowed to sail through.

As you cross the river via this scenic structure... More

City Hall is the contemporary headquarters of the Greater London Authority and the mayor. This new building symbolically communicates themes around the transparency and accessibility of the democratic process and demonstrates the potential for a sustainable, virtually nonpolluting public building. City Hall was designed by Foster + Partners, one... More

One of the most powerful large light cruisers ever built, HMS Belfast is the only surviving vessel of her type to have seen active service during the World War II.

The ship served Britain for 32 years during WWII, the Korean War and peacekeeping duties in the 1950s and 1960s. Saved from destruction in 1971, HMS Belfast is now part of the... More

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays visit the stunning array of British food producers in a covered structure of Borough Market. Marvel at the array of cheeses or the entire venison (deer meat) complete with antlers. Snack on your purchases in the pretty gardens of the adjacent Southwark Cathedral. Parts of this building are more than 800 years... More

Marvel at the Golden Hinde, a full-size reconstruction of the ship explorer Sir Francis Drake used to sail around the world in 1577. The Golden Hinde, captained by Drake, circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580 during the reign of Elizabeth I.

"El Draco," as he was known by his Spanish rivals, was one of the most famous men in... More

Enjoy the ambiance of the restored open-air Elizabethan theater. You can tour the theater outside of its May-to-September performance season and in summer you might stop in for a play.

Pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker founded the Globe Trust in 1970 to explore the work of Shakespeare through architecture and performance. This... More

In a converted power station, the impressive collection of modern art at Tate Modern is complemented by the powerful architecture in which it is housed. Enjoy a huge range of free exhibitions as well as temporary ones, which are ticketed.

The vast size of the collection is clear when you enter via the dramatic turbine hall entrance, where a huge ... More

If you still have energy and feel like walking a little farther, or you're a Princess Diana fan, then cross the Millennium Bridge and continue a few more blocks along Peter's Hill until you get to St. Paul's.

It's the first church dedicated here to the apostle and was erected in A.D. 604. It is best known as the site of the wedding between... More