South Bank – Offers Tourists A Plethora Of Attractions
Combining the old and the new London, the South Bank of the River Thames offers tourists a plethora of attractions, from the famous London Eye to the historic Globe Theater. If you don’t have enough time to fully explore London, then a walk on this side of the river is the perfect way to experience the atmosphere of this amazing city. South Bank
Start your journey from the Westminster Bridge, with one more look at the Palace of Westminster. The London Eye is just a few yards away, in the Jubilee Gardens. This Giant Ferris wheel also known as the Millennium Wheel has become one of the most recognizable symbols of London since it was built in 2000. During its first six years, this was also the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Google.com
Today, tourists love to take a ride on the wheel, despite very long lines. The amazing views from the top include the Palace of Westminster with Big Ben, Whitehall and most of London’s South Bank.
Right next to the Eye, the Jubilee Gardens offer a welcome place to rest for tired tourists. Created in 1977 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elisabeth II, this green space was redesigned in 2012, just in time for the Diamond Jubilee of Elisabeth II and the Summer Olympics.
The pier along the Tames is mostly pedestrian and it is lined with some of the most interesting buildings in the city. One of the most peculiar ones is the Southbank Center, a very important art centre in the city. Built over half a century ago, this peculiar complex features the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Though the concerts that are held here on a regular basis are quite impressive, the actual building is well worth a look.
Right next to the Southbank Center, film buffs can take in a movie at the BFI Southbank, formerly known as the National Film Theatre. This venue houses three screens and it usually shows classic movies, including silent ones, and foreign films.
Another great perk of taking a stroll alongside the Thames is the fact that you get to admire some of the most beautiful bridges in London, including the Millennium Bridge which connects the Tate Modern museum with St. Paul’s Cathedral. This pedestrian bridge offers great views over the river but also one of the most photographed spots in London – the St. Paul’s Cathedral seen from the South Bank, framed by the bridge’s supports.
There are several interesting landmarks in this area, including the distinctive building of the Tate Modern museum. Housed in a former Bankside Power Station, this interesting museum features thousands of modern and contemporary art pieces and the national collection of British art since the turn of the century. This is also one of the most visited modern art museums in the world thanks to a number of masterpieces by Monet, Matisse, Rothko, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Dali and many more.
On the other side of the Millennium Bridge, one of the most important buildings in the world attracts thousands of visitors every day. The famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is not the actual theatre where the Bard created some of his most popular plays, but a reconstruction finished in 1997. The original Globe was built by Shakespeare’s playing company in 1599, but it was destroyed by fire, 14 years later, during a production of Henry VIII. Though the theatre was rebuilt a year later, it was once again closed and demolished in 1644. The present-day version was reconstructed flowing evidence from both buildings with traditional materials and techniques that were used during those times. During summertime, visitors can take in a play, or they can simply take a tour of the theatre and find out more about its amazing history.
As you approach the Tower Bridge, you’ll soon realize that some of London’s landmarks are not necessarily on land. The last survivor cruiser of the Royal Navy, HMS Belfast, is docked on the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. This mighty vessel was commissioned in 1938 and participated in Allied landings during D-Day. The boat is part of the Imperial Museum and houses an impressive naval collection.
Among all the historical buildings, the London City Hall with its bizarre shape is quite a sight. This round building made mostly out of glass was completed in 2002 and because of its peculiar shape it has gained a number of nicknames, including “the Onion”. Outside the City Hall, a sunken amphitheatre called The Scoop hosts open-air performances during summer.