Discover the trendy and photographic neighbourhood of Southbank, renowned for the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe and multicultural street food stalls!
On this tour narrated by a local historian, you will walk through the colourful Southbank Centre, beautiful National Theatre and bustling Gabriel's Wharf. Explore the Tate Modern and Blackfriars, stroll along Ernie's Beach, and start a pub crawl at Doggett's Pub.
Venture off the tourist trail, and discover the dynamic neighbourhood, its mix of crazy stories, famous residents, and great food, as you get a more intimate and local feel for the area.
Discover how this area became the birthplace of British theatre and the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral. Learn more about its history, rich culture, and architectural gems, in a captivating adventure in a must-see neighbourhood.
The tour starts outside the Royal Festival hall as we learn about Southbank’s place in London, sitting outside the old city wall, and how this became the heart of London’s count-culture. Touch on the area’s rebirth with the Southbank Centre in the late 20th century after being bombed during the Second World War.
6 years after the war ended, a movement began to promote a sense of recovery after the war’s devastation. On May 4th, 1951, the Festival of Britain opened to the public which celebrated British industry, arts and science, hoping to spark a feeling of hope around the country. The main site of the Festival was constructed right here, as London’s Southbank Centre.
Mark the turning on the millennium by gazing over at the London Eye, before wandering eastward, towards the National Theatre. Stand next to Laurence Olivier as we discuss the democratization of British theatre and how the end of the Second World War saw the creation of an arts council alongside the NHS?
Decide whether you love or hate the brutalist architecture of the theatre before heading on to Ernie's Beach and Gabriel’s Wharf. Stroll around the lively, creative buzz of the wharf, checking out the eclectic mix of designers, crafts shops, and general bric-a-brac.
Southbank is one of London’s best spots to grab a drink by the river Thames, and what better place to go than Doggett’s, home to the oldest rowing race in the world! Then head through an underpass and check out a few of Blackfriars bridge’s various designs and construction.
Take in the breeze and stand on the little platform right next to the Thames to get a great view of not one, but two Blackfriars Bridges! Learn about their Victorian origins and the third bridge that once stood right between them.
Wander down to the Tate Modern, home to a national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day, as well as international modern and contemporary art. The Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world, with many of its exhibits being free!
Gaze down Millennium Bridge at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London. From here, you can also take in London’s beautiful skyline that includes the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie, Cheesegrater and the Shard.
Finish your riverside walk at William Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre. The cheapest ticket for The Globe is £5, the best valued theatre ticket in London, attracting 200,000 visitors every year. Many of Southbank’s great institutions, from the National Theatre to the Tate Modern to the Globe, have remained true to the affordable and vibrant essence of the Southbank.
The Vidi Guides experience is enriched with on-screen photos and videos. We also point out where to take the perfect Instagram photos during the tour, and include recommendations for food, drinks, and local attractions. Don't worry, none of our recommendations are sponsored - they are simply favourites of the locals who helped craft the experience.