South Bank

London’s cultural promenade has architecture that captures the optimistic, pioneering spirit of post-war and Millennium Britain to form Europe’s largest arts centre

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The Second World War wrought death and destruction across London but it also left a spirit of pioneering hopefulness that is embedded in the architecture of the South Bank. It has also led directly to its reputation as one of the most celebrated arts centres in the world. The stellar parade of concert halls, theatres and galleries dotted along the South Bank are the symbolic remnant of the seminal 1951 Festival of Britain and the whitewashed, streamlined modernity of the Royal Festival Hall in particular powerfully encapsulates the brave new world of egalitarian accessibility to the arts that the architecture here aspires to deliver to this day. All of this is set against the spectacular riverside panoramas that unfurl along its broad riverside promenade. And in the London Eye, the electrifying spirit of recreation and fun that was established in the 1951 festival is revived in contemporary form.

 

Highlights:

  • Royal Festival Hall

  • County Hall

  • National Theatre

WALK START LOCATION:      Westminster tube station (Exit 1) / Map

WALK ENDS: Bankside

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ALL WALKS KEY:

STYLES / PERIODS Featured

GO   GOTHIC / PRE-

         MEDIEVAL

 CL    CLASSICAL

MO   MODERN /

        CONTEMPORARY

1   BIG BEN / PARLIAMENT

2   BRITISH MUSEUM

3   BUCKINGHAM PALACE

4   GHERKIN

5   LONDON EYE

6   OLYMPIC PARK

7   ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL

8   SHARD

9   TATE MODERN

10  TOWER OF LONDON /

      TOWER BRIDGE

11  TRAFALGAR SQUARE

12  WESTMINSTER ABBEY

LANDMARKS Featured