We’ve rounded up all of the best things to do in the heart of London’s cultural scene.
There’s something to do in South Bank at any time of year, but during the summer months you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. From exotic foods, daring zip lines and unusual artworks, it’s definitely the place to head.
The River Stage
What better way to spend a weekend than with dancing, drinks and DJs? The River Stage festival at the National Theatre is back once again and is promising an even more exciting lineup of events than last year. We’re talking live music, family workshops, club nights and theatre performances – and they’re all for free.
If you’d rather soak up the sun and enjoy the view, there’ll be plenty of deckchairs outside the theatre where you can spend a few hours sampling the food pop up stores and craft beers on tap. Find all the information here.
We’re big fans of street food over at Secret London HQ and if you’re anything like us, your ears will have pricked up at the thought of trying new dishes. If so, the Southbank Centre has an event just for you. Widely regarded as one of the city’s best street food markets, you’ll find everything from aromatic Indian curries to Korean BBQ, German Sausages, Turkish sweets, Sicilian arancini and steak and chips. We’d definitely recommend visiting with an empty stomach to make the most of your trip. Here’s where to get a taste of what’s on offer.
Gallery @ OXO
This gallery is on the ground floor of the iconic OXO tower, so you’ll be seeing the sights before you’ve even taken a step inside. Most of the exhibitions are free and there’s a huge variety of art on offer for when you fancy a cultural afternoon. We recommend the Evolving Landscapes photography exhibition for some ethereal views or Roger Hooper’s wildlife images if animals are more your thing.
Head for a coffee at Gabriel’s Wharf, a bustling enclave of shops, restaurants and cafes, right next door, afterwards. For more information on the exhibitions, find out more here.
Witness For The Prosecution
Court might be somewhere we try and avoid most of the time but you’ll be queuing to take a spot on jury duty this summer at Agatha Christie’s landmark stage production. Based in the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall, Witness For The Prosecution takes you on a journey of murder, money and betrayal at the old county hall law courts, and the outcome is up to you.
Due to high demand, the show has been extended until March 2019 – you could say it’s almost criminally impressive. Book your tickets here.
Whether you’ve got a few hours to spare or an entire day, Underbelly Festival is the place to be if you’re looking for fun. Celebrating its 10th birthday, the festival is promising a jam-packed summer of entertainment. It’s also run by the same company that’s in charge of Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, so you can be sure they know how to throw a party.
The outdoor bar is completely free to enter and offers a huge range of international food and drink, or head inside for the likes of cabaret, circus, comedy and family entertainment. Book three shows or more to receive a 20% discount or get a group of 10 together for 10% off your ticket price. It’s the perfect place to spend a long summer evening. Plan your visit here.
More than four million people a year hop on London’s city cruises to see the best sights from the water and we can see why. Whether you fancy floating along while eyeing up the landmarks or you’d prefer some onboard entertainment, you’ll find the ideal boat docked by South Bank.
Head to the top deck to feel the wind in your hair while you enjoy afternoon tea, or enjoy a three course dinner and live jazz while you sail past Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and more. Here’s where to choose your route.
Think it’s impossible to travel from Westminster to Battersea in only a couple of minutes? Think again, because Zip Now has launched three 225 metre zip wires that’ll allow you to take a breathtaking journey across the city. Adrenaline junkies looking for an alternative way to spend an afternoon can even take things one step further with the Mega Drop – like a bungee jump, but without the bounce.
Best of all, the starting point is only a 10 minute leisurely stroll from the London Eye, so you can launch yourself off of the 35-metre high wire in no time. Find out more here.
A full list of all the events at South Bank this summer can be found on their snazzy website.
You can also download the Riverside app to create your own itinerary of these events (and more!) to make sure you don’t miss out.
This post was sponsored by South Bank. Nearest stations are Waterloo, Embankment, Lambeth North and Southwark.
Also published on Medium.