A two-mile procession of arts and entertainment options, from the Royal Festival Hall to Tower Bridge, the Southbank now has an estimated 14 million visitors each year.
Its attractions are obvious. Cultural landmarks such as the Southbank Centre and National Theatre have been joined by Tate Modern (and its new extension), the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market.
The riverside offers relaxed, traffic-free strolling as you take in everything from ancient Southwark Cathedral to the very modern Shard, along with the city skyline and St Paul’s opposite.
The area is also becoming increasingly popular for business with a growing number of global companies taking up residence in its hugely diverse building stock.
David Bailey Photographer
If you are curious, London is an amazing place.
Four of the best
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
A unique opportunity to witness The Bard’s finest works performed in a venue that replicates, as closely as possible, the original setting and conditions he would have written for.
Borough Market was first recorded in the 10th Century. There are over 300 languages spoken in London and almost as many national cuisines. Borough Market caters for a huge array of them, serving everything from Jordanian falafel to Argentinian street food, and from English cheeses to Irish oysters.
No Southbank visit should omit this awe-inspiring fortress of contemporary art, whether to view the latest turbine hall installation, the permanent collection or the regular high profile exhibitions.
Blending contemporary style and retro chic, this bar’s cathedral-like ceilings and vast windows offer fantastic views of the river, the city skyline and much else besides.