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Things to do in South Bank

Our most recommended things to do in South Bank

London: River Thames Speed Boat Tour

1. London: River Thames Speed Boat Tour

Experience a wild and fantastic River Thames boat cruise that is fun for all ages. You will climb aboard a high-speed vessel that offers non-traditional views of England's capital at speeds of up to 30 knots. You will be given a full safety briefing and a life jacket - just in case! Named by leading listings magazine Time Out as a "must-do" experience, both visitors and residents of London will be thrilled with this outing. Speed under the capital’s bridges, and marvel at landmarks such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and South Bank from an exclusive vantage point. Music floats through the air via the onboard sound system, as you power out toward the Docklands. High-brow banter is provided by an award-winning comedian guide, whose cheery anecdotes include narration about the headquarters of MI5 and the modern skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

2. London: River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

Explore the River Thames as it weaves through the heart of London and discover fascinating history around every bend. Today, you can experience the splendor of this great city from the relaxed comfort of a modern, all-weather and wheelchair-friendly sightseeing boat. Informative commentary interlaced with colorful tales of the city's past will keep your mind engaged as you cruise down the Thames! Cruises depart frequently from Westminster Pier, Greenwich Pier, London Eye Pier, and Tower Pier, sailing every day of the year except Christmas Day. With a regular timetable, and evening cruises all summer, you can enjoy a full-day on the river in comfort. Hop on and off the boat as many times as you wish to explore sights such as the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Borough Market, South Bank Centre, and the London Eye. Or grab a refreshment from the on-board bar and relax as you sail past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, the Royal Festival Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, Somerset House, the Millennium Footbridge, Shakespeare's Globe, Monument, H.M.S.Belfast, and much more. During the festive season from December to January, all boats will be decorated and kids will get Christmas coloring sheet and pencils to keep them entertained while parents relax by sipping on a cup of mulled wine and a mince pie from our fully stocked bar. 'Tis the season to be jolly!

London: Classic Gold 3.5-Hour Bike Tour

3. London: Classic Gold 3.5-Hour Bike Tour

Enjoy a 3.5-hour bike ride around the classic sights of London to see many of the city’s most historic sites. Meet your guide, then head off on your ride, hosted by London's original guided bicycle sightseeing tour. Starting at Big Ben, admire the Houses of Parliament across the river, and continue past Lambeth Palace to cross Lambeth Bridge. Cycle past small red brick houses lining the streets, which offer an enchanting contrast to the imposing historical monuments. Appreciate the belfry of Westminster Abbey. Then cycle over to St. James’s Park. Catch the pomp and pageantry of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Then head back to central London to walk safely through Trafalgar Square, with Lord Nelson looking down from his column. Cycle over to Covent Garden, and take a break to watch some street theater in the market’s central piazza. Then, climb back on your bike for the ride through London’s legal district, and over to the colorful Leather Lane Market and Smithfield’s Market, London’s lively meat market. Pass Wren’s amazing St Paul’s Cathedral, and cross back to the south side of the Thames on the famous Westminster Bridge for the end of the tour.

London: Vintage Bus Tour and London Eye Ticket

4. London: Vintage Bus Tour and London Eye Ticket

Travel back in time on a 4-hour tour of London. The combined sightseeing tour includes a ride on a vintage double-decker Routemaster bus and a short trip along the River Thames. End your excursion with spectacular views of the city from one of the panoramic pods of the London Eye. Head off for a tour of the city onboard a vintage double-decker bus. Pass historic attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London. Admire Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. Swap land for water and take a short trip along the River Thames, looking out for Shakespeare’s Globe, HMS Belfast, London Bridge, and much more. Back on dry land, re-join the bus and head for Buckingham Palace, home to the British royal family. On the morning tour, you'll arrive in time to see the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony, as soldiers dressed in their iconic uniforms march to military music. If there is no Changing of the Guard, you'll have a photo stop at the palace instead. Complete your London excursion with spectacular views across London’s rooftops as you enjoy a complete circuit of the London Eye, the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. Settle into one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules, which take approximately 30 minutes to revolve entirely. See Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey from a unique, elevated perspective.

Great British Food Tour: South Bank and Borough Market

5. Great British Food Tour: South Bank and Borough Market

London is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, and that is evident in the markets that can be found all over the city. On this tour, you will taste plenty of delicious treats from Great Britain and discover the landmarks along the South Bank and River Thames. You will begin your tour along the South Bank which follows the River Thames, stopping at renowned landmarks such as Shakespeare’s Globe, The Anchor Pub and eventually arriving at Borough Market. On either a private tour or in a small group you will discover the South Bank and Borough Market. You will nibble, taste and try food all along the route such as British favorites like scones and pies, while also learning unusual facts and stories about this incredible part of town and its famous landmarks. You will also stop at at traditional British pubs to sample unique ales and beers.

London 1- or 2-Hour Professional Photo Shoot

6. London 1- or 2-Hour Professional Photo Shoot

Experience London like never before and hire a professional photographer for an exclusive photo session against some of the city’s most striking backdrops. Choose between a 1- or 2-hour session, with a choice of focus for the session as well. Your friendly personal photographer will create stunning photos of you against London backdrops as you discover the city’s charms. The photo-documentary style of photography is unobtrusive and natural, and perfect for capturing special occasions or simply candid moments during your trip. In the vibrant street life of London, there’s plenty of photo-worthy scenes to be found at every street corner. You could be cycling around the city, taking a stroll along trendy shopping streets, relaxing in one of the many parks, reveling in London’s cultural offerings, or just kicking back and enjoying a beer and a meal at a traditional pub. Photo sessions are held in some of the most picturesque neighborhoods. The most popular itineraries include: • Jack The Ripper’s London: Take a walk through the East End of London and retrace the footsteps of Jack the Ripper. From Whitechapel to Brick Lane, you’ll have lots of photo opportunities in the dark heart of London's East End. Travel back in time to the late 1800s. Take a walk through the sprawling markets of Petticoat Lane and Commercial Road, and on to the darkened corners of Mitre Square and Bucks Row! • Royal London: Explore the area around Buckingham Palace and see the Changing of the Guard. See Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, the London Eye, and South Bank. • Beatles London: Re-enact the Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing and explore Carnaby Street, the London hub of the swinging 60s. Alternatively, the photographers encourage you to choose your own locations that suit your personality and style.

London: Westminster Walking Tour & London Dungeon Entry

7. London: Westminster Walking Tour & London Dungeon Entry

Start with a walking tour of the Westminster area, where your tour guide will escort you to 20 different famous sites. Head through Green Park to Buckingham Palace, admiring the well-manicured trees and flowers along the way. At the palace, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Afterward, your tour continues as you see 17 other iconic London sights such as Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. Then, head into the London Dungeon and prepare to be scared. Explore a uniquely thrilling attraction that will whisk you way back to the capital's perilous past. Walk through London's plague-ridden streets. Witness Guy Fawkes as he attempts to blow up Parliament. See Jack the Ripper's horrific Whitechapel. Explore haunting exhibits and sets in the vast underground vaults of County Hall on the South Bank. Watch talented actors bring history to life as they perform in shows with outrageous special effects. Ride the London Dungeon's 2 exciting thrill rides.  During your tour you will see 20 famous landmarks in 1 day, these include: Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, Changing of the Guard, Queen Victoria Fountain, Green Park (Royal park), St James's Park (Royal Park), Admiralty Arch, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, The Royal Horse Guard, Horse Guard Parade, Downing Street, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, and the London Eye.

London: Private Personalized Tour with a Local Host

8. London: Private Personalized Tour with a Local Host

Prepare to be amazed by London on this totally customized experience of the city. With your host, discover that this city is more than a place but a feeling.  You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Wander through the tangle of streets and alleys to the city center and breathe in the rich aroma of coffee and delicious food wafting up from nearby cafes and street vendors.  At every turn, find pieces of London's rich history as you explore the city's iconic landmarks and attractions. Explore the cultural diversity of Westminster, one of London's super unique neighborhoods with an interesting balance of ancient history and modern living. Think hipsters, goths, and punks walking past Parliament.  Perhaps you see yourself taking a leisurely stroll along Southbank and being in awe of London Bridge. Browse the myriad of contemporary shops and designer boutiques, rock out at independent music venue, or indulge in the city's delicious food culture at one of its street food markets.

London: Iconic Theatres Walking Tour

9. London: Iconic Theatres Walking Tour

The legendary walking-tour of London theatres - featuring the best stories from over 400 years of the English stage. The greatest anecdotes, biggest hits and most infamous disasters! Involving an all-star cast including William Shakespeare, Laurence Olivier, Julie Andrews, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis..and many more! Discover the history behind the most legendary theatres in London - including The Duke of York's, Noel Coward, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Her Majesty's Theatre, Harold Pinter Theatre, Prince of Wales, Lyric, Apollo, Gielgud, Sondheim, Palace, Ambassadors, St Martin's, The Arts, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Fortune, Lyceum, National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe..plus a final top-secret theatre location! If you'd like to know more, head to londontheatrewalk.com

Love London 3-Hour Bike Tour

10. Love London 3-Hour Bike Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour afternoon bike ride around central London to see many of the city’s most historic sites. Meet your guide on the south bank of the River Thames, close to the Southbank arts complex, and select your bike. Then, head into the back streets of Waterloo and for the first 'Theatre' stop, Kevin Spacey's Old Vic. Banksy's graffiti tunnel installation follows the street food markets of Lower Marsh, and all of a sudden, it's back onto the river at the majestic Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury (the Church of England's equivalent of the Pope!). Cycle along the River Thames to Lambeth Palace, one of London's oldest buildings, and home of the head of The Church of England. Now, cross to the north side of the river to explore the lanes of traditional red brick houses, cycling though a back gate into Westminster Abbey School courtyard, the first school in England. Just outside the school, you will be standing on the place where so many kings and queens have had their coronation, and been buried in the crypt of Westminster Abbey. Cycle past Horse Guard’s Parade - site of the 2012 Olympic Beach Volleyball Competition - St. James's Park, Clarence House, and Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. Then, bike up Constitution Hill into the open spaces of Hyde Park. From Hyde Park, travel through the exclusive Mayfair district, past the US Embassy, New Bond Street, Carnaby Street, and into Soho, the party center of London. Pedal to Covent Garden, home of the Royal Opera House, street theater, and much more. The trip is nearly over, as you wind your way back to the river and cross Waterloo Bridge, where you will get one of the best views of London on a curve of the river.

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What people are saying about South Bank

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,304 reviews

Brilliant. Fun funny commentary by Bill who was fantastic. Exciting and interesting. It was pouring with rain but made no difference to the trip. Well organised and informative. An absolute must if you are visiting and want a thrilling experience. Bill & Nick ran our trip and they were fabulous. Worth every penny.

Fabulous experience! 14 work colleagues in our group were treated to the sights and tastes of Borough Market and South Bank, great guides with good knowledge and organised very well.

It was awesome! Mark and Nathan made it extra fun, the little bits of London history added to the whole experience, I highly recommend this activity!

A great way to visit streets and attractions in London that we would never had the time to see on our own. Our guide was awesome and informative.

First Class Trip Friendly & Helpful Staff Great Way To See The Sights From The Thames !! Must Do !!