A family afternoon on London's Southbank

If you are ever planning a weekend in London with your family, make sure you plan an afternoon walking along the Southbank as part of your itinerary. We spent a fantastic few hours taking in all of the sights - there really is so much to do and see and most of it is free!

As you climb the steps from the tube at Westminster, you will immediately see Big Ben in front of you and the London Eye across the river Thames so make sure you have your camera handy!

We stayed in the Premier Inn County Hall which is perfectly situated behind the London aquarium (the building next to the London eye). I was so impressed with this hotel and will not hesitate to book again. 

Reason's I loved the Premier Inn County Hall:-
  • Perfect Central location
  • Efficient self check in, wi-fi code, multiple key cards and invoice printed in seconds
  • Chilled water and clean glasses in reception for you to help yourself - a must after walking around the city
  • Phone charging stations (extra charge), vending machines and a 24 hour reception if you need anything
  • Super friendly staff who all say hello and ask you about your day
  • Fantastic price - we paid £125 for four people
  • Wi-fi can be bought at £3 per 24 hours for up to two devices - bargain!
  • A breakfast that is outstanding value - £9.50 for all you can eat including hot drinks, fresh juice, cooked items, cereal, omlettes, fresh fruit, pastries, yoghurts and more. This really is a good deal in London - it is served until 11am on weekends so fill your boots and you won't need to eat again until early evening. Plus 2 children EAT FREE per paying adult.

The rooms were modern and contained everything we needed including fans, extra pillows, shower gel, full length mirrors, hairdryers, lots of plug sockets, hangers, a flatscreen tv and tea and coffee making facilities. I really did think this is one of the best value family hotels I have ever stayed in!

We checked into our room (a little early at no extra cost), quickly unpacked and started on our adventure. This picture of the London eye was taken 30 seconds away from our hotel.

There is lots to see and do on the South Bank with a huge selection of restaurants (hubby and the kids dined at Giraffe later in the evening). There is a lot of street theatre to admire as you walk along - we encountered everything from bubble artists to clowns to buskers and magicians as well as a very scary looking grim reaper who appeared to be floating in mid-air!

We all had a ride on the carousel (£2 each), played in the adventure park at Jubilee gardens (free) and watched the street theatre and the skateboarders at the skate park as we walked along the banks of the Thames.

We headed to the Real Food festival for lunch which is held just behind the Southbank centre every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (check website for details). The atmosphere was fantastic with families, tourists, friends, couples and workers all enjoying some of the delicious food and drink on offer. We walked around and really took our time deciding what to order as there was so much to choose from.

Mini Sliders from Ate (£7)

Crepes with Jam from Creperie Nicolas (£3.50)

Dorset Lamb wraps from Ladle and Skillet (£6)

Fresh juices and traditional lemonade.

Harry also devoured a legendary burger from Jacob's ladder farms (£4.50). It was gone before I could take a photograph! All of the food was absolutely superb.

I really loved visiting this part of London for lunch - it was nice to walk around and try new things, everybody was extremely friendly and took the time to chat as they cooked for us and I liked the communal seating areas around the market meaning everybody could sit together. The prices really were not over-inflated for the quality and quantity of food we sampled and I really will visit again next time we are in the area.

After our lunch we walked further down the Thames passing the Tate art gallery (free), the OXO tower, the national theatre, the British film institute whilst admiring the views across the river of the shard, St Paul's cathedral and the city skyline.

We ended our walk at The Globe theatre. In total it probably took about a 25 minute slow walk from our hotel to the Globe theatre if we didn't stop so not far at all. We only just managed to take shelter under an arch during a flash thunder storm!

There were plenty of seats on the walk back to our hotel where we could sit and admire the view and take in the atmosphere - I said to hubby if we weren't with the kids I could have sat there for hours! There were musicians and sand artists on the banks of the river Thames to watch too.

Overall, we spent about 2 1/2 hours walking along the South bank and taking in the attractions. I loved it and can't wait to return.



  1. Plenty of lovely outdoor fun and so much going on along the South Bank too.

  2. I'm from just outside London and spent many a commute getting there for work, it's nice to see someone appreciate it for what it is instead of how I used to see it, rushing in and out. And that food looks amazing!

  3. I love southbank there is sooo much to do although sometimes it is so packed that I worry with children!! Sounds like you all jad such a lovely day and you did quite a lot!


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