South Bank Walk, Part 1, London

The South Bank is the area in London on the southern bank of the River Thames that houses a number of important cultural buildings and is always crowded with tourists. It is now one of London's most important cultural centers. Take this tour to reveal all of the South Bank secrets.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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South Bank Walk, Part 1 Map

Guide Name: South Bank Walk, Part 1
Guide Location: England » London (See other walking tours in London)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Author: clare
1
Garden Museum

1) Garden Museum

The Garden Museum, formerly known as the Museum of Garden History, is based in the deconsecrated parish church of St Mary-at-Lambeth adjacent to Lambeth Palace on the south bank of the River Thames in London, located on Lambeth Road. The church originally housed the 15th and 16th century tombs of many members of the Howard family, including now-lost memorial brasses to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (died 1524), his wife Agnes Tilney, Duchess of Norfolk (died 1545) and is also the burial place of Queen Anne Boleyn's mother Elizabeth Boleyn, formerly Howard. St Mary's, which was largely a Victorian reconstruction, was deconsecrated in 1972 and was scheduled to be demolished. In 1976 John and Rosemary Nicholson traced the tomb of the two 17th century royal gardeners and plant hunters John Tradescant father and son to the churchyard, and were inspired to create the Museum of Garden History. It was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of gardening.

The museum's main gallery is the main body of the church. The collection comprises tools, ephemera and a library. The tool collection includes items purchased at auction and donations from individuals and horticultural companies. The ephemera includes items such as prints, photographs, bills, catalogues and brochures, and gives an insight into the social history of gardening as well as the practical aspects of the subject. The museum covers the whole range of gardening, from royal gardens to allotments. In the early 1980s, a 17th century style knot garden was created in the churchyard, planted with authentic plants of the period.

Opening hours: Sunday to Friday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday 10:30 am – 4:00 pm. The Museum is closed on the first Monday of every month. Admission charges: adults - £7.50; senior citizens - £6.50; students - £3; free for children under 16.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Florence Nightingale Museum

2) Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum is located at St Thomas' Hospital, which faces the Palace of Westminster across the River Thames in South Bank, central London, England. The museum is open to the public seven days a week. It re-opened on May 12, 2010 following an extensive £1.4 million refurbishment. The museum tells the real story of the lady with the lamp from her Victorian childhood to her experiences in the Crimean War, through to her years as an ardent campaigner for health reform. Florence Nightingale is recognised as the founder of modern nursing in the United Kingdom. The new museum explains her legacy and also celebrates nursing today. In 1860, four years after her famous involvement in the Crimean War, Nightingale founded the Nightingale Training School for nurses at St. Thomas' Hospital and the museum is located on this site.

The new museum is designed around three exciting pavilions which tell her story. The Gilded Cage tells the story of her privileged childhood and her struggle against stifling social conventions. The Calling is dramatic and moving, explaining how Nightingale and her team coped with the crisis in the military hospitals where the legend of the lady with the lamp was born. Reform and Inspire shows the other side of Florence, the reformer who campaigned tirelessly for health reform at home and abroad. Highlights from the Collection include: the writing slate Florence used as a child, her pet little owl Athena which she rescued in Athens and hand reared, he became her constant companion, travelling everywhere in her pocket. Nightingale’s medicine chest which she took with her to Crimea. The displayed Nightingale’s medicine chest, that she took with her to Crimea, contains a mix of medicines and herbal remedies, from bicarbonate of soda to powdered rhubarb. A rare Register of Nurses which lists women who served under Nightingale in the military hospitals in Turkey and Crimea.

Audio tours are free with entry and accessed via your own set of stethoscopes. New interactive exhibits have been created to offer different ways of exploring Florence's story and influence. Free creative activities for children are offered during the holidays. Operating hours: daily form 10 am to 5 pm. Admission prices: adult - £5.80; children - £4.80; families (two adults and up to five children) - £16.00.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
London Dungeon Museum

3) London Dungeon Museum

The London Dungeon Museum is a famous horror attraction in London. A great hit with ghoulish children, the museum illustrates the most bloodthirsty events of British history. You'll encounter Druids performing a human sacrifice at Stonehenge, a room full of people who die with agony from the plague and many other terrifying performances.
4
London Eye

4) London Eye (must see)

The Merlin Entertainments London Eye (commonly the London Eye, or Millennium Wheel) is an extremely large passenger-carrying Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in Central London in the United Kingdom.

It is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people in one year. At the time it was erected, in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer on 11 February 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel".

The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens in the London Borough of Lambeth in England, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery.

Why You Should Visit:
A nice way to gain perspective of the city, especially if it's your first time in London. You can enjoy spectacular views with Shard and London bridge on one side and Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster on the other side. The ride lasts roughly 30 minutes, and you can both stand or be seated in the pods.

Tip:
Getting your ticket(s) in advance online is a good idea.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11am-6pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-8:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Royal Festival Hall

5) Royal Festival Hall

The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900 seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected. The London Philharmonic Orchestra performs the majority of its London concerts in the hall, which is part of the Southbank Centre. The hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain and was officially opened on 3 May 1951. Since the late 1980s the hall has operated an 'open foyers' policy, opening up the substantial foyer spaces to the public throughout the day, even if there are no performances. This has proved very popular and the foyers are now one of the best used public spaces in London. Each year Southbank Centre puts on a festival known as 'Meltdown'. A large head and shoulders bust of Nelson Mandela (by Ian Walters, 1985) stands on the walkway between the hall and Hungerford Bridge approach viaduct.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
BFI Southbank (National Film Theatre)

6) BFI Southbank (National Film Theatre)

BFI Southbank (formerly known as the National Film Theatre) is the leading repertory cinema in the UK specialising in seasons of classic, independent and non-English language films and is operated by the British Film Institute. The National Film Theatre was initially opened in a temporary building (the Telekinema) at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and moved to its present location in 1957, replacing the Thameside restaurant on the site. On 14 March 2007, the National Film Theatre was relaunched as BFI Southbank in considerably enlarged premises, taking over space that had been used by the Museum of the Moving Image. In addition to the three pre-existing auditoria, the complex now includes a studio, a médiathèque, gallery space, a shop, and a bar. It is sited below the southern end of Waterloo Bridge, forming part of the cultural complex on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The site comprises three cinemas and studio space, as well as cafes and exhibition space.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings)

7) Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings)

Llewellyn Alexander has been in exhibiting business for more than a quarter of a century. Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings Gallery features about 10 new exhibitions yearly, dedicated to the most talented contemporary British artists. Here can be seen the works of Peter Graham, John Yardley, Jeremy Barlow, Edna Bizon and many others. Highly professional staff are always on hand to provide all the necessary information about each of the works of art presented.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
8
OXO Tower

8) OXO Tower

The OXO Tower is a building with a prominent tower on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The building currently has a set of bijou arts and crafts shops on the ground and first floors. The second to 7th floors contain 78 residential apartments. The OXO Tower is located towards the eastern end of London's South Bank cultural area, and is within the London Borough of Southwark. The building is flanked on the upstream, western side by Bernie Spain Gardens and Gabriel's Wharf market place, and to the east by Sea Containers House. The building was originally constructed as a power station for the Post Office. It was subsequently acquired by the Liebig Extract of Meat Company, manufacturers of Oxo beef stock cubes, for conversion into a cold store. The building was largely rebuilt to an Art Deco design by company architect Albert Moore between 1928 and 1929. Much of the original power station was demolished, but the river facing facade was retained and extended.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Kirkaldy Testing Museum

9) Kirkaldy Testing Museum

The Kirkaldy Testing Museum is a museum in Southwark, south London, England, located on the site of David Kirkaldy's testing works. It houses Kirkaldy's huge testing machine, along with many smaller more modern machines. It is open on the first Sunday of each month. Kirkaldy worked at Napier shipworks, but left in 1861 and over the next two and a half years studied existing mechanical testing methods and designed his own testing machine. William Fairbairn had pioneered tensile strength measurement as well as assessing creep and fatigue on large and small structures. Entirely at his own expense, Kirkaldy commissioned this machine from the Leeds firm of Greenwood & Batley, closely supervising its production. Aggrieved over the slow rate of manufacture, after fifteen months he had it delivered to London still unfinished, in September 1865.

The testing machine is 47 feet 7 inches long, weighs some 116 tons, and was designed to work horizontally, the load applied by a hydraulic cylinder and ram. The working fluid is water not oil. The load is measured by a weighing system consisting of a number of levers with the final one carrying a jockey weight. When in use, the operator lets water into the hydraulic cylinder and, as the pressure and hence load on the test piece increases, the jockey weight is wound along to balance the hydraulic load. As it is wound it moves over a graduated scale and when the object under test fails the number on this scale is noted and multiplied by the weight to give the failure load. The weight can be varied in increments of 50 pounds using slotted plates on a hanger. On the lower scale this reads up to 150 and up to 1000 pounds can be put onto the hanger. A separate jockey weight system above this one allowed the machine to measure loads of up to 1,000,000 pounds.

The machine is still held in working order at the Kirkaldy Museum in Southwark, although problems can occur with the gasket which seals the single hydraulic cylinder. This machine still uses the original material - leather - rather than a more modern material. Historically, the water supply would have come from the London Hydraulic Power Company, but now the museum uses an electric pump. When breaking specimens for visitor demonstrations, a load not exceeding 20 tons would be used.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Tate Modern

10) Tate Modern (must see)

The Tate Modern is a National Gallery of International Art and one of the four Tate Galleries. It was opened in 2000 in the disused Bankside Power Station building on the South side of the River Thames. This wonderful gallery is a must for all lovers of modern art.

On levels three and five of this remarkable gallery you will find permanent exhibitions. On Level 1, the Turbine Hall once housed the power station’s generators. Today you can visit Contemporary Art exhibitions from October to March. Level 2 holds temporary Cutting-edge Contemporary Art exhibitions

On Level 3 you will find the Material Gestures Exhibition of Abstraction Art, Expressionism Art and Abstraction/Expressionism Art, with works by Claude Monet, Anish Kapoor, Barnet Newman, Henri Matisse and Tacita Dean, among other great artists. A second gallery on this level is called Poetry and Dream, which displays Surrealist Art. Level 4 of the gallery holds temporary exhibitions of major art and is the only part of the gallery that charges a fee to visit it.

On Level 5 you can visit two fine exhibitions: Energy and Process with Arte Povera, nineteen sixties Italian Modern Art. In the second gallery, called States of Flux you can admire Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism (20th century British Modernism) and Pop Art. You will find works by Picasso, Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Why You Should Visit:
Something for amateur art lovers as well as serious art folk.

Tip:
Time your run so you can check out the 10th-floor terrace as the lights come on across London. Awesome views, especially with a drink in your hands from the small bar up there.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-10pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Shakespeare Globe Theatre

11) Shakespeare Globe Theatre (must see)

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, which officially opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse in the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. It is approximately 230 metres from the site of the original theatre. Jack Shepherd's 'Prologue Production' of The Two Gentlemen of Verona starring Mark Rylance as Proteus, opened the Globe to the theatregoing public in August 1996, a year before the formal opening Gala. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by the playing company, Lord Chamberlain's Men, to which Shakespeare belonged, and was destroyed by fire on June 29, 1613. The fire was caused by an accident with a cannon during a production of Henry VIII. The theatre was rebuilt by June 1614 (the exact opening date is not known), but was officially closed by pressure of Puritan opinion in 1642 and demolished in 1644. Replicas and free interpretations of the Globe have been built around the world and in the virtual world.

Why You Should Visit:
A brilliant location in which to see Shakespeare's plays, complete with a usually high standard of production.

Tip:
Gets rather cold during the evening (due to the theatre being only semi-covered) so bring a blanket.
Taking a hat or sunglasses for the sun moving across the sky should also help.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
South Bank Walk, Part 2

South Bank Walk, Part 2

Continue your cultural walk along the southern bank of the River Thames and enjoy the unique attractions it hosts. Buzzing with life and joy, London's South Bank will eagerly reveal all of its secrets. Take this tour and check it out yourself.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

All across the globe William Shakespeare is referred to as the preeminent writer in the English language and the leading dramatist. His London was a very small world, and the theatrical world within that was even smaller. This 3-hours walk will take you to the significant Shakespeare places in London.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Bloomsbury Museums, Part 2

Bloomsbury Museums, Part 2

There are over 240 museums in London and they welcome about 42 million annual visitors nationwide. This wonderful tour will lead you to the most famous and significant museums of London Bloomsbury area, such as Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Wellcome Collection, The Crypt Gallery and others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Kensington/Knightsbridge Walk

Kensington/Knightsbridge Walk

London is definitely a great cultural experience. With more than 240 operating museums and theaters dating back to Shakespeare's Globe, London guarantees something unique for every taste. Today's variety of cultural attractions presented in London is enormous. Take this tour around South Kensington, Kensington and Knightsbridge and enjoy London's culture.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1

Bloomsbury Museums, Part 1

There are over 240 museums in London and they welcome about 42 million annual visitors nationwide. This wonderful tour will lead you to the most famous and significant museums of London Bloomsbury area, such as British Museum, Charles Dickens Museum, London Canal Museum and others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of the must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades and from snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street there are a host of shops selling items which typically depict this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs for yourself or gift for friends, here are a few ideas to give you some great inspiration.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km

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