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Great South Bank Outdoors

June 25th, 2019 | by Ella Stern

Great South Bank Outdoors

Whether it’s a winter’s walk down the river, hot chocolate in hand, or summertime al fresco dining, get down to London’s South Bank to enjoy the great outdoors! We’ve got family friendly picnic areas, the perfect winter walking route, best terraces and due to unreliable British weather, even a few spots that feel outdoors but the rain can’t get to you.  

  • Riverside Walk

    We can’t talk about outdoor spaces without mentioning the riverside walk. The South Bank area, as the name suggests, runs along the South Bank of the River Thames (and then back in-land to encompass the Old Vic and IWM London too).  Along the whole of our stretch of the river there is a wide, open, pedestrianised walkway that allows you to stroll right beside the river and take in all the major sights and sounds of London.

    In the summer, you’ll often find this space scattered with performers entertaining you for free, there will also be street food markets and pop-up bars to satisfy your appetite.  Despite the cold weather, the Riverside Walk is still alive with activity in Winter. You will find traditional German Christmas markets lining the walk, serving hot drinks and catering to your every Christmas gift need with arts and crafts.

  • Gabriel’s Wharf

    The cafés and restaurants of Gabriel’s Wharf share an outdoor dining area, ideal for a summer snack. Escape the bustle, enjoy a drink and watch the world go by. 

    For more information on Gabriel’s Wharf, click here.

    Gabriel's Wharf
  • OXO Tower Rooftop Terrace

    As if a harbinger of the coming warmer months, OXO Tower’s famous rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to soak up the gorgeous views of the city, as well as a bit of sun! Spring and summertime al fresco dining at this London landmark is an experience not to be missed. Just don’t forget to book in advance!

    For more information on OXO Tower, click here. 

    OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

    The Southbank Centre’s "secret" garden is a true oasis in the heart of London, complete with allotments and fruit trees, not to mention stunning views across the city. It’s the perfect place for refreshment before you head into the centre to enjoy the exciting and diverse programme of events on offer. 

    For more information on Southbank Centre, click here.

    Southbank Centre
  • Geraldine Mary Hemsworth Park at IWM London

    For a family day out on a budget, look no further than IWM London (Imperial War Museum). Admission to the main galleries is free of charge, while the surrounding gardens are perfect for a picnic. The Geraldine Mary Hemsworth Park was opened in 1934 and gifted to the mothers of Southwark. Today it is a haven for frazzled 21st-century parents, who can relax on the grass while their kids let off steam. There’s even an outdoor café so you can treat them to an ice cream when they’re tired out.

    For more information on IWM London, click here. 

    IWM London
  • Thames Clippers/ River Roamer

    If you wilt at thought of a stuffy tube train, and London traffic jams get you down, why not take to the river with Thames Clippers? The River Roamer tickets offer unlimited travel for a whole day, so you can hop on and off at your leisure and enjoy the sights of London in the fresh air.

    For more information on MBNA Thames Clippers, click here. 

    Uber Boat by Thames Clippers
  • Bernie Spain Gardens

    The 26,000 sq ft Bernie Spain Gardens are located just minutes away from Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark stations and is ideally located next to a host of boutiques and independent cafes and restaurants which can be found within Oxo Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf.

    Bernie Spain Gardens
  • 12th Knot Terrace

    The nautically named 12th Knot at Sea Containers London pays homage to the Bright Young Things: the decadent set of Londoners who filled 1920s gossip columns. Indulge your inner bohemian with a cocktail in the sumptuous bar, before gliding out to the magnificent balcony to drink in the panoramic vista as the sun sets across the city.

    For more information on Sea Containers London, click here. 

    Sea Containers London
  • Coca-Cola London Eye

    Take a trip on one of London's most iconic landmarks and enjoy one of the best views the City has to offer. 

    As the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel, this is nothing short of spectacular. 

    Book now. London Eye
  • Jubilee Gardens

    Located at the foot of the majestic Coca-Cola London Eye, Jubilee Gardens is a landscaped park where visitors can relax and take in the riverside views.

    Jubilee Gardens
  • Marriott Hotel Pool

    We can’t always rely on the English climate so we’ve included this one, even though, strictly speaking, it’s indoors. A dip in the 25m pool at the Marriott Hotel with its vast skylights and palm trees will give you that holiday feeling whatever the weather!

    For more information on the Marriott Hotel, click here.

    London Marriott Hotel County Hall
  • Skylon

    Another one that’s not, technically speaking, outdoors, but Skylon’s floor-to-ceiling windows affording unobstructed views across the Thames mean that you might as well be. We recommend indulging in an aperitif at the famous central bar, right in the middle of the restaurant and covered in climbing plants and flowers, giving you the feeling of being in an English garden.  

    For more information on Skylon, click here. 

    Skylon Restaurant & Bar
  • Underbelly

    Underbelly Festival Southbank is back for their 11th year on London’s South Bank with their biggest programme yet to keep you entertained all summer long!

    As well as all the great acts, you can fuel up at one of the international street food vendors and grab a drink at one of the city’s largest outdoor bars at the best pop-up festival in the capital.

    Underbelly Festival South Bank

Find The Venues

  • 2 - Gabriel's Wharf

    Gabriel’s Wharf,
    56 Upper Ground,
    South Bank,
    SE1 9PP

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  • 3 - OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie

     Oxo Tower, Barge House St, London SE1 9PH

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  • 4 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 5 - IWM London

    Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ 

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  • 6 - Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

    Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JH, UK

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  • 7 - Bernie Spain Gardens

    Bernie Spain Gardens, next to Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH

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  • 8 - Sea Containers London

    Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank London SE1 9PD 

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  • 9 - London Eye

    County Hall
    Riverside Building
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7PB 


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  • 10 - Jubilee Gardens

    Belvedere Rd,
    SE1 8RT

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  • 11 - London Marriott Hotel County Hall

    London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, South Bank London SE1 7PB

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  • 12 - Skylon Restaurant & Bar

    Royal Festival Hall
    Belvedere Road
    London SE1 8XX 

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  • 13 - Underbelly Festival South Bank

    Belvedere Road Coach Park
    London SE1 8XX

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