Guide to the South Bank

Updated: Oct 25, 2018

By LULU LE VAY, AUGUST 2017


The South Bank is a hang-out haven for both visitors and tourists alike. Overwhelmed with what’s on offer? Then let us help you, from where to eat and run, through to watching the latest drag performance.

The Swan Set over two floors, the Swan bar and restaurant has a glorious view of the Thames, set within stunning surroundings. Sitting next to its sibling, the Globe theatre next door, there is a special three course theatre menu available which will make your mouth water, and at a reasonable price, too. If you fancy a treat, indulge in the seasonal afternoon tea – gourmet sandwiches, scones, tarts and pastries. With an additional £10, you can wash it all down with 90 minutes unlimited Prosecco. Hic!

Image Credit: sofia.bladinjansson

Southbank skate park Get a sense of real London by visiting this 40-something-year-old skate park in the under-croft of the Southbank centre. Despite concerns related to safety – and in some cases violence – skate parks are core to community cohesion, globally – important urban activities. This particular London skate park was saved from being turned into retail units in 2014, and it is awash with some incredible graffiti. Take a look, but perhaps don’t join in unless you’re an experienced skater.

Image credit: longlivesouthbank

Underbelly Festival Two of London’s biggest South Bank festivals, Udderbelly and Wonderground, have merged together this year for the first time to create the Underbelly festival. A smorgasbord of entertainment can be found here, from comedy, circus and cabaret to street food and day time drinking. What’s not to love? This year highlights include, Iconic: A Brief History of Drag, and Ashes to Ashes: A Cabaret Tribute to David Bowie. Book ahead

Image credit: mj_hewitt

Oxo TowerThe Oxo Tower Brasserie is currently offering a special three course summer menu (with a cocktail) for a bargain price of £33. Wash all this down to stunning views of the Thames and the City of London, through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Try and bag a table on the outdoor terrace for the full visual impact.

Image credit: oxo_tower

Run for itIf you like running, then the South Bank is one of London’s most scenic and atmospheric routes, especially at night. Wait for the crowds to disperse, and absorb the views by weaving across the Millennium Bridge and up to Tower Bridge. If you’re unsure about the route, you can join the Southbank Bar running club, which takes place every Sunday at 10am (10k) or Wednesdays at 6pm (5k). Sweat, soak in the views, and make some new friends in the process.

Image credit: pointypurpleswampwitch

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