Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall, located on the South Bank, which stretches along the river Thames, overlooks the City of Westminster within the very heart of London. The river itself is the perfect backdrop for a gentle stroll, moving around the medley of people that frequent this riverside location. Street performers, musicians and food stalls add to the hubbub of this vibrant part of town. Take a seat outside one of the many cafés and restaurants overlooking this scene and enjoy watching the activity both on and off the river. There are a number of hotels near to the Royal Festival Hall to choose from, all offering a convenient base from which to explore some of the top attractions in the Capital.
Things to do and see around the South Bank
The London Eye is one of the most distinctive landmarks in the Capital and a great way to gain a birds-eye view of the city. Book a champagne flight and sip some bubbly as you take in the views from your large glass capsule. For a more theatrical attraction, visit the London Dungeon with its gory re-enactments of notorious historical events throughout London’s history. Actor led, with many special effects and rides, it offers an interactive experience for older children and adults alike.
If you fancy some exercise but don’t want to be on your feet all day, the London Bicycle Tour Company, operating from the Southbank enables you to see all the major attractions of central London, from your bike. Alternatively, take a boat tour on river and see London from a different perspective. Pleasure boats operate regularly from Putney to Greenwich, passing some of the most iconic landmarks in London along the way.
The Royal Festival Hall is a huge indoor concert venue situated within the Southbank Centre. With a wide selection of entertainment showing at any one time, it also houses several bars and restaurants with spectacular views over the river. With a whole array of theatres close by, catering for all tastes, there’s something for everyone.
Somerset house is renowned as one of the leading arts and cultural centres in the Capital. Contemporary art programmes, design exhibitions, guided tours and London fashion week are all held here. The courtyard alone is an image to behold, with 55 active water fountains in the summer and it’s ice skating rink in the winter. It also houses the Courtauld Gallery, with its acclaimed collection spanning early Renaissance to 20th-century art. The elegant setting plays host to some notable Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by the likes of Monet, Cezzanne and Van Gogh.
For an insight into the human anatomy and surgical procedures, visit the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons where the life works of the celebrated surgeon, John Hunter (1728-1793) is on display. Be warned, this may not be for the squeamish, as preserved human parts are on show in specimen jars and glass cases.
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