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Southbank Centre Tours

Southbank Centre is one of our national treasures, described as ‘The most vibrant arts centre in the country’ and ‘Britain’s leading arts institution’.

Created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, Southbank Centre draws on its heritage as a festival site, with art and activities inside and outside.

Architecturally speaking, the centre itself was only completed relatively recently, in 1968, on the site of the rather eccentric Festival of Britain, a national event which attempted to rouse spirits in post-war Britain.

Designed by a team from the London County Council architects department, the Southbank Centre is a stunning example of the future as envisioned at the time. Now you can explore the history and architecture of this world-famous arts centre with a Southbank Centre Tour.  

See how 63 years of history has shaped Southbank Centre’s iconic landscape and learn more about the inner workings of Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery.

Discover Southbank Centre


There’s always something to see and do at Southbank Centre, the bustling arts centre by the river Thames. See shows and exhibitions, take part in vibrant festivals, and look out for free music and events. Enjoy a drink or a meal in one of the many bars and restaurants or soak up the atmosphere at the iconic Royal Festival Hall. 

In addition to the Royal Festival Hall, the expansive site includes Hayward Gallery (scheduled to reopen in 2018), Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Rooms and the Poetry Library.

The arts centre hosts a festival programme of over 5000 events every year across the genres of art, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, literature and debate. For 2017 Southbank Centre places a focus Nordic art and culture - find out more about sustainable food and communal singing, hygge and saunas, paternity leave and the struggle for gender equality

Find the Venues

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XX