A Mini Guide to Bankside, London

Just east of Blackfriars bridge, in the borough of Southwark, is Bankside, an area so rich in history, culture, and foodie delights that I honestly don’t know why I didn’t spend more time there when I lived in London.

I dunno you guys, I think in hindsight I might have been one of those east London idiots who only ventured south of the river if I reeeeeaaaally had to. Oh and for work. Because my office was at Tower Bridge.

Anyway, I have no idea why I didn’t spend more time in London’s Bankside in the 3 years I called this fair city home. Luckily I was able to redeem myself in October when I visited London properly for the first time since I moved back to Leeds which I had MANY FEELINGS ABOUT OK.

So, if you’ve yet to explore this awesome area, here’s where to eat, stay, and play in Bankside.

Eat Your Way Around Borough Market

Merchandise stand at Borough Market, London

Man handing money over at a chocolate stall in Borough Market, London

Flower stall in Borough Market, London

One of the biggest (and oldest) food markets in London, Borough Market is must-visit if you’re in Bankside. I’d encourage you to support the local traders and actually buy something, of course, because there’s so much to choose from; fresh bread, fruit and veg, flowers, meats, sandwiches, cakes, chocolate. But if you’re not feeling flush it’s still a lovely market to wander around. It does get busy though, so get there early if you can.

Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL

Get Your Flat White Fix at Monmouth Coffee

Storefront of Monmouth Coffee shop, Borough Market, London

Or, you know, a latte, a cappuccino. Whatever.

Normally found with a loyal queue of customers waiting outside, Monmouth Coffee is just outside Borough Market and definitely worth the wait. Sit and watch the world go by or get a coffee to go and have a wander around the stalls inside the market.

Monmouth Coffee, 2 Park Street, SE1 9AB

Take a photo of St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral, as seen from Millennium Bridge, London

It’s one of the most cliched images of St Paul’s on the internet but do we care? Not really. Get yourself in position at the Tate end of Millennium Bridge, and get ready to snap away at the gorgeous cathedral across the river. Best take a few, though, this bridge is almost constantly busy.

Admire London from Millennium Bridge

Old couple looking towards Millennium Bridge with bubbles in the foreground

Linking Bankside with the City, Millennium Bridge is a great place to get uninterrupted views across London and the river Thames. From here, you can see the Shard, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and more so remember to take your camera and stop for a while amongst the crowds.

Visit Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare's Globe, London's Bankside

The Globe at Bankside is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599 where many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed and definitely worth a visit whether you’re a Shakespeare fan or not. Book yourself tickets to see a play, take a tour of the theatre, or visit the Globe Exhibition which explores the life of Shakespeare and allows you to imagine the Globe as it would have been.

Shakespeare’s Globe, 2 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT

Discover Modern Art at The Tate

The Great Hall at Tate Modern, London Bankside

Is there anything more calming that wandering around an art gallery? Escape the bustling streets of London for a while and spend an hour or two at Tate Modern. If there’s a specific exhibition you want to see you’ll need to book tickets, but otherwise you can wander straight in.

Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG

Get a good night’s sleep at Novotel London Bankside

Double Bedroom at Novotel London Blackfriars

If you want to be close enough to Bankside’s action to not have to rely on public transport, but not so close that you can’t sleep at night, I’d recommend Novotel London Bankside where I stayed.

The room was super comfy, it was a stone’s throw away from the tube if I did want to explore further (which I did), and the bathroom had this AMAZING screen that kinda made you feel like you were showering in the middle of the room.

Novotel London Blackfriars, 46 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NZ

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Pinterest mini guide to Bankside London

Beverley x

p.s. I worked with Visit London on my trip to London but all photos and recommendations are my own obvs.

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  1. says

    I love Borough Market! The smells from all the different food stalls are just amazing, it’s such a mouthwatering place to explore! And just out of curiousity, do you know how much does it costs to take a tour of the globe theatre? I’d love to try it one day!

    • says

      Me too, Alice! It’s such a lovely place to walk around and explore :)

      I don’t know the price of a tour off the top of my head but I just had a look at the Globe’s website and I think it’s around £16pp. Hope that helps!

  2. says

    I love this area of London so much. The views, the hustle and bustle, the food at the markets all give it such great atmosphere that I can’t help but return to whenever I’m in the capital. I might have to pop into Monmouth for a hot chocolate next time I’m there. If there are queues to get in, it must be good right?
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