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South Bank is an entertainment and commercial district in central London, next to the River Thames opposite the City of Westminster. It forms a narrow strip of riverside land within the London Borough of Lambeth (where it adjoins Albert Embankment) and the London Borough of Southwark, (where it adjoins Bankside). As such, South Bank may be regarded as somewhat akin to the riverside part of an area known previously as Lambeth Marsh and North Lambeth.
While South Bank is not formally defined, it is generally understood to bounded by Westminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, and to be centred approximately half a mile (800 metres) south-east of Charing Cross. The name South Bank was first widely used in 1951 during the Festival of Britain. The area's long list of attractions includes the County Hall complex, the Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye, the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, and BFI Southbank. In addition to their official and business functions, both the County Hall and the Shell Centre have major residential components.
Due to it often being waterlogged in winter, the area was slower to develop than the "North Bank" of the Thames . Throughout its history, it has twice functioned as an entertainment district, interspersed by around a hundred years of wharfs, domestic industry and manufacturing being its dominant use. Restoration began in 1917 with the construction of County Hall at Lambeth replacing the Lion Brewery. Its Coade stone symbol was retained and placed on a pedestal at Westminster Bridge and is known as the South Bank Lion. The pedestrianised embankment is The Queen's Walk, which is part of the Albert Embankment built not only for public drainage but also to raise the whole tract of land to prevent flooding.
In 1951 the Festival of Britain redefined the area as a place for arts and entertainment. It now forms a significant tourist district in central London, stretching from Blackfriars Bridge in the east to Westminster Bridge in the west. A series of central London bridges connect the area to the northern bank of the Thames Golden Jubilee and Waterloo Bridge.
Gabriel's Wharf Reviews
We walked around this part of the Southbank and found it extremely enjoyable. We looked through the shops, did plenty of window shopping and checked out some of the eateries and cafes. The views from.... more »
I can't remember seeing Gabriel's Wharf on previous visits to London but I'm glad I stumbled across it this time. It's a really cool little area with lots of specialist shops and places to eat. My..... more »
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42 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in London BY A USER FROM BRAZIL September, culture, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, culture, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in London BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in London, Bath & Amesbury BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in London BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy