did you know?
- The roof of the National Theatre is home to approximately 60,000 bees; they keep bee hives to promote the declining bee population and sell the honey in the National Theatre shop.
- The Royal National Theatre was founded at the site of The Old Vic in 1963 until it found its permanent home on the South Bank in 1976.
- Sir Denis Lasdun is the architect behind one of the countries most celebrated brutalist buildings.
- Sir Laurence Olivier was the theatre's first Artistic Director in 1963.
- It's completely free to access the Sherling High-Level Walkway, which offers visitors views into The National Theatres busy backstage area.The walkway is high above the production workshops for set construction and assembly, scenic painting and prop-making.
the national theatre
Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
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Totally Thames Festival
Totally Thames is an annual celebration of the River Thames with a creative and diverse programme that inspires, connects and enthrals.
A free gallery space and a host of exciting events and talks all year round.
Zip World London
Soar through the London skyline from a height of 35 meters experiencing never-before-seen views of London!
Discover this new gallery gem in Oxo Tower Wharf.
Take a stroll along South Bank's leafy riverside.
Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Thames as it winds through the capital. Soak up the South Bank atmosphere, London's home of art, culture and unique architecture. Cross the bridges for circular walks with spectacular views.
The Riverside Walkway attracts visitors from all over the world and is also a valuable resource enjoyed by all who live or work in the area. It is also used as a venue for unusual and unique events - keep your eyes peeled for exciting pop-ups.
The Green Room
A new dining destination located behind the National Theatre.
The Green Room is a contemporary restaurant, bar and garden developed by local social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders in collaboration with the National Theatre.
Serving delicious, ethically-sourced British diner food and roast dinners on Sundays, it’s a unique temporary architectural experiment which offers an airy, contemporary space featuring props and scenery recycled from National Theatre shows.
gallery@oxo showcases a varied programme of photography, contemporary design, architecture and issue-based exhibitions.
The No.1 sightseeing tour on the Thames - choose from afternoon tea, sundowner and even Elvis cruises.
MBNA Thames Clippers
Stylish river fleet, running every 20 minutes between key London piers.
Jubilee Gardens is a beautifully landscaped park situated in the heart of South Bank, behind the London Eye.
Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar
South Bank's premier steak restaurant and cocktail bar.
Steakhouse & Bar
If you're headed to Gillray's, bring an empty stomach and high expectations. Situated in full view of Parliament, the seat of British democratic administration, Gillray's fine food is as remarkable as its surroundings.
Everything about Gillray's is a seeming nod to British culture and heritage. Their meat is sourced from British farms. Their bar boasts not only fantastic staff but over 100 types of gin. Their service is of the highest quality in the British sense - subtle, yet polished. Even their decor is reflective of the old-world grandeur of the Houses of Parliament. During afternoon tea, a tray is neatly delivered to your table and drinks are filled (or refilled) in a smooth, near unnoticeable ballet of table service.
Their bar is open late and serves a mixture of classic and contemporary cocktails, a wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits.
Secret bar in the BFI Southbank (behind the bookcase!)
For the more explorative of South Bank frequenters, the Drawing Room at BFI Southbank will make for an interesting and altogether more private experience. To enter, look for the secret door behind a bookcase at BFI Southbank. Find it, and you’ve found the way to the Drawing Room – an intimate cocktail bar (which is also available for private parties).
The Drawing Room is also perfect for hosting a stylish, intimate private party or event.
Caffe Vergnano 1882
Classic Italian cooking, piping hot coffee and more to be found in this cafe and restaurant
Caffe Vergnano serves up the finest Italian coffee in a sophisticated cafe bar located opposite the Royal Festival Hall.
The chain has a long history (since 1882) and a penchant for serving some of the best coffee available in London (possibly even the best according to some critics). 1882, while being a nod to the company's beginnings, is similar to the other coffee shops it runs in London, however this time it comes with a twist in the form of a fully-fledged restaurant serving the best in Italian cuisine on top of the usual offering, all within walking distance of the London Eye and National Theatre.
Vergnano is busy during the weekends so it's advised to book ahead.
Kitchen National Theatre
Kitchen is National Theatre's all-day cafe.
Kitchen is the National Theatre's all-day café - it's the perfect pit stop for lunch with friends, tea and cake or a pre-show light bite.
The contemporary cafe serves up a range of freshly cooked meals - with a menu that changes daily, but affordable examples include tuna provencale linguine and steak and ale pie.
Alternatively choose a baked treat from the giant cake table which you can't miss in the centre of the cafe. With it's location directly opposite the river, enjoy the large outdoor eating areas in warmer months.
Seductive and striking, Mondrian London brings a bold new energy to London's South Bank, blending the style and sophistication of the boutique brand with South Bank’s artistic vibe.
A four-screen cinema venue showing a huge selection of classic and contemporary films.
IWM London tells the stories of those whose lives have been shaped by war through the depth, breadth and impact of their Galleries, displays and events.
Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger, or 'ready to eat' is a hugely successful UK brand of cafes, renowned for its organic and fresh produce.
Pret creates handmade natural food avoiding the obscure chemical, additives and preservatives common to so much of the 'prepared' and 'fast' food on the market. Pret operates a bit like a restaurant. They build kitchens in (or very near) every shop. They also offer their unsold food to charity at the end of each day rather than keeping it to sell the next day.