The vibrant Udderbelly in the Summer, the enchanting German Market in the Winter and the carnival atmosphere created by the buskers, breakdancers, beatboxers, magicians and mimes make the South Bank a wonderful visit at any time of year.
Travel West along the River and you find the centerpiece of this great Carnival: the famous Ferris-wheel that has become such an icon of the London sky-line: the London Eye.
But there are other nuggets to explore as you travel West. For a colourful interlude, the Dali exhibit offers a fun journey into the mind of the artist with engaging displays, mind-bending pictures and sumptuous sculptures. Or for another artistic take, you can try the Manga Art Exhibit.
However, perhaps the most wonderful part of travelling West along the South Bank is the way you are watched over by Big Ben and the majestic City of Westminster, whose views across the river I believe to be especially spectacular when illuminated at night.
There are also many enjoyable experiences a you travel East. Just up from Waterloo station is the Southbank Centre and Royal festival Hall. Aside from the hall itself, which contains a series of magnificent spaces, it is surrounded by a large number of restaurant chains from American diner to Dim Sum.
Walking further East leads to even more culture. After a leisurely walk past the Oxo tower and the fascinating boutiques hidden under its shadow, you reach the Globe pub. Rebuilt to the precise design of the original Elizabethan Globe Theatre, it hosts Shakesperian performances delivered as they would have been, with the audience having the option of standing down in ‘the pit’ whilst others enjoy the luxury of seated perches higher up. To boot, The Swan at the Globe, an adjoining pub restaurant, is one of my favourite bars in London, and is a wonderful place to while away Sunday afternoons with live music from a series of interesting artists.
Finally, just beyond the Globe, you reach the magnificent if controversial building of the Tate Modern. Following technological developments, this old Power station was converted into a magnificent art gallery, with surely one of the largest installation spaces in the world. I have found some Installations more engaging than others, but I am always stunned by the amount of work required to put them together and the sheer scale of them!
The above is only a small selection of the things to do along a small chunk of the South Bank’s waterfront, but hopefully this gives you a small taste of the thriving hub of fun and culture to be found in this dynamic part of London’s waterfront.