November 28, 2016

South Bank of the Thames

On our first full day back in London we took a bus to the south bank of the historic River Thames. The stretch of riverbank from Westminster Bridge in the west to Tower Bridge in the east is comprised of three districts: South Bank, Bankside and London Bridge. There are enough restaurants, pubs, museums and entertainment venues to keep any visitor amused. Here’s a photo tour of sights between the London Eye and City Hall.

Westminster Bridge, London

1.  SOUTH BANK  (Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge)

Flamboyant buskers and a children’s carousel give South Bank’s riverside promenade a carnival vibe. This is where you can catch a ride on the air-borne London Eye or an amphibious London Duck Tour. There’s also Shrek’s Adventure and the SEA LIFE London Aquarium for the kids. From May through September, the London Wonderground festival features circus and cabaret acts beneath a tent plus food stalls, bars and rides.

London's South Bank

The London Eye

London Duck Tours

South Bank Busker

Carousel on London's South Bank

Snog Frozen Yogurt

Statue of Laurence Olivier,
Founding Director of the National Theatre

South Bank Riverside Promenade

Sand Sculptures by The Beach Captain

Blackfriars Bridge

Dragon Guarding the Entry to the City of London on Blackfriars Bridge

2.  BANKSIDE  (Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge)

Bankside takes itself a little more seriously with Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Tate Modern art gallery. The Anchor Bankside pub is where Samuel Pepys observed The Great Fire and I sipped my first glass of Pimm’s (the traditional summer beverage made with a gin-based liqueur, lemonade, cucumber, mint and fruit). From the Anchor we walked through Bridget Jones’s neighbourhood near Borough Market.

St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge Access Ramps

Wedding Photos on the Millennium Bridge

Tate Modern Art Gallery

Musician Playing a Saw

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The Anchor Bankside

Popular Summer Beverage, Pimm's

The Anchor Bankside's Bar

Rose Window in the Great Hall of Winchester Palace

Model of Sir Francis Drake's Ship, the Golden Hinde

London's Oldest Cathedral Church Building, Southwark Cathedral

Bridget Jones's Apartment Building

3.  LONDON BRIDGE  (London Bridge to Tower Bridge)

London Bridge today is just an ordinary modern bridge. A wharf where ships once unloaded cargoes of tea has been converted to the Hays Galleria and the WW II warship HMS Belfast is docked nearby. From June to October Londoners can enjoy free music, theatre and open-air screenings under the shadow of City Hall during the London Bridge City Summer Festival.

The UK's Tallest Building, The Shard

Hay's Galleria

The Navigators, by David Kemp 

R.B.'s BFG Dream Jar:
Healthy Start, Happier Lives

HMS Belfast

London Bridge City Summer Festival

London's City Hall

Zoella's BFG Dream Jar:
For the Love of the Hedgehog

This section of the Thames is also a great place to view some of the city’s more unusual buildings across the river: The Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street), The Cheese Grater (Leadenhall Building) and The Gherkin (30 St. Mary Axe).

The Walkie-Talkie, The Cheese Grater and The Gherkin

We’ll end our tour at the gothic-inspired Tower Bridge which is often mistaken for London Bridge. Next time we’ll walk across Tower Bridge to visit one of Her Majesty’s Historic Royal Palaces, the Tower of London.

Tower Bridge

My Tip for the Day:
London hosts lots of festivals, especially during the summer months, and many of them are free.

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