The South Bank - from London Bridge to Bermondsey.

MAY 05,2013 - MAY 05,2013 (1 DAYS)

Citywalk

South Bank - the section from London Bridge to north-west Bermondsey:

Start: London Bridge tube station.

End  : Bermondsey tube station.

Weather: any weather.

Distance: 5-6 km.

Orientation: The route can be extremely busy, especially at weekends and during the summer months. Watch for cyclists, skateboarders and
rollerbladers. Please be aware of your valuables as pick-pockets,
unfortunately, operate in this area. Note: Bermondsey is quite extensive. A special trip is devoted to this quarter. You can combine this trip with the Rotherhithe section of the "Around Surrey Quays" trip.

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From London Bridge station head southeast on London Bridge St. Turn right toward Joiner St and the Shard is on the left (150 m. walk).

The Shard: The Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union. It is the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station in West Yorkshire. The pyramidal tower has 72 accommodation floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244.3 m. It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and replaced the Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block built on the site in Southwark in 1975. It is jointly owned by a British property company and the State of Qatar. 306 metres, 87-storey skyscraper in London. Part of the London Bridge Quarter development. The Shard's construction began in March 2009, it was topped out on 30 March 2012 and inaugurated on 5 July 2012. Practical completion was achieved in November 2012. Its privately operated observation deck, the View from the Shard, opened to the public on 1 February 2013. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) in the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, architects and structural engineers worldwide began re-evaluating the design of tall structures. The Shard's early conceptual designs were among the first in the UK to be progressed following the publication of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology report into the collapse of the WTC.

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Opening Times: Sunday to Wednesday 10.00 - 19.00 (last entry 17.30), Thursday to Saturday 10.00 - 22.00 (last entry 20.30). All tickets are dated and timed for your arrival, but once at the viewing platforms - no time restriction on your stay. Adult (16+) - Advance (must be booked the day before) 24.95 GBP, Child (4-15) - Advance 18.95 GBP, Adult (16 +) - On the day (subject to availability) 29.95 GBP, Child (4-15) - On the day 23.95 GBP, Infant (0-3) Free. Guests are allowed to bring handheld cameras to take photographs for personal use. It is not possible to bring tripods or other large items of photographic equipment into The View.

The Shard entrance is on Joiner Street which leads to: London Bridge Underground Station (Northern and Jubilee line lines), London Bridge Main Line Station, Tooley Street, St. Thomas Street. There is a bus station outside the main entrance to London Bridge Station. The buses that stop here include: 43, 48, 141, 149, 521.

The Shard offers spectacular views over London for up to 64 km.
In the unlikely event that you can't see at least three of the following landmarks - London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin, Tower Bridge and One Canada Square - on the day of your visit, The Shard authorities will issue you a ticket to return for free within three months.

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Return to the Thames (north and then east). Head west toward London Bridge St and turn right onto London Bridge St. Turn right onto Borough High St. Turn right toward Battle Bridge Ln. Take the stairs. Turn right toward Battle Bridge Ln. Continue straight onto Battle Bridge Ln. The London Bridge City Pier is on your left. You pass the London Bridge Hospital and Hay's Wharf on your right. The Hay's Galleria will be, later,  on the right. 

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BETTER OPTION: return to the Thames and walk along the Thames EASTWARD. Take photos of the north bank.

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The skyline of London, along this bank (both of the banks) is changing every month. Pass the London Bridge City Pier on your left.

File:London Bridge City Pier 3.jpg

Walk eastward until you'll see the Hay's Galleria on your right and the H/M Belfast ship (a bit forward) on your left.

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Hay's Galleria is named after its original owner, the merchant Alexander Hay, who acquired the property - then a brew house - in 1651. It was converted into a 'wharf', in fact an enclosed dock, in 1856 and it was renamed Hay's Wharf. During the nineteenth century, the wharf was one of the chief delivery points for ships bringing tea to London. In the 1980s, a decision was made to retain the dock and to restore its tea and produce warehouses surrounding it to provide office accommodation and shops. After completion of the plan and opening in 1987, Hays Galleria became the first new visitor attraction of that period on the south of the river. Due to its location on the southern Thames Path, its panoramic views over the City of London from the riverside, and the location between London City Hall and Southwark Cathedral, Hay's Galleria is visited by many tourists and local workers. For twenty years it housed a year-round market The Hays Galleria Market which operated seven days a week.

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In a fountain at the centre of the Galleria is a 60 ft moving bronze sculpture of a ship, called 'The Navigators' by sculptor David Kemp, unveiled in 1987 to commemorate the Galleria's shipping heritage:

File:The Navigators David Kemp 1987.jpg

Almost opposite the Hay's Galleria, in the Thames,  is the HMS Belfast. Open daily: 4 November to 20 February 10.00 – 17.00 (last admission 16.00), 21 February to October 10.00 – 18.00 (last admission 17.00).  Adults 15.50 GBP, Child (under 16) Free, Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled) 12.40 GBP. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Built in Belfast in 1936. Anne Chamberlain, wife of the then Prime Minister launched Belfast on St Patrick’s Day 1938. HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 5 August 1939. Designed for the protection of trade and offensive action she was immediately called into service patrolling the northern waters in efforts to impose a maritime blockade on Germany. However, disaster struck after only two months at sea when HMS Belfast hit a magnetic mine. There were few casualties but the damage to her hull was so severe she was out of action for three years. On rejoining the home fleet in 1942 she was still the largest and most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy and most importantly she was equipped with the most advanced radar systems. Most notably in her role during the Battle of North Cape which saw the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst and the loss of all but 36 of her 1,963 crew. HMS Belfast remained protecting the arctic convoys until 1944. In this year it took part also in supporting the D-Day landings and reportedly fired one of the first shots on D-Day itself. After the Second World War HMS Belfast played an active role in the Korean War from 1950-1952. Her final years were spent performing peace-keeping duties until she was retired from service in 1963:

File:London November 2013-14a.jpg

File:HMS Belfast - geograph.org.uk - 1472313.jpg

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Continue eastward along the Thames path and during the 3-5 following minutes you pass, on your right, near the impressive More London Riverside Development. It includes the City Hall, a sunken amphitheatre called The Scoop, office blocks, shops, restaurants, cafes, and a pedestrianized area containing open-air sculptures and water features, including fountains lit by colored lights. The Hilton London Tower Bridge hotel opened in September 2006 is nearby. The area contains many professional, global corporate firms, including Ernst & Young whose headquarters is 1 More London Place, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PWC) at 7 More London Riverside, Hewitt Associates whose European headquarters is 6 More London Place. THIS IS A VERY IMPRESSIVE AREA.

The Shard and 6 More London Place Tower:

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More London Riverside Buildings:

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The City Hall. Greater London Authority offices. Designed by Sir Norman Foster, is one of the contemporary buildings on the South Bank.The brand new headquarters for London's Mayor and Assembly, a radically-designed glass fronted and rounded building. Based in this building is the Mayor of London and the London Assembly, made up of 25 elected members. The GLA has powers over four strategic areas: transport, policing, economic development, and fire and emergency planning. Power over other areas such as housing and environment is shared with
local councils.

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File:City.hall.london.arp.jpg

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The Scoop Amphitheatre in More London Riverside. Great place for free theatre and music events in the summer in glorious iconic surroundings:

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There are frequently outdoor exhibitions and cultural events in More London, usually associated with City Hall:

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The North Bank from Hay's Wharf (in the South Bank):

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We recommend that you cross the Tower Bridge to watch its opening. Get to walk FREE along the bridge on both sides to see stunning views of the city. Tower Bridge itself is open for walking across the river at road level. If you check on line you can find out when the bridge is scheduled to be raised and it's worth timing your visit to coincide with it ("Bridge Lift Times"). http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/TBE/EN/.

Tower Bridge Exhibition Opening times: Summer: April - September 10.00 - 18.00 (last admission 17.30), Winter: October - March 09.30 - 17.30 (last admission 17.00). Admission prices: Adults - 9.00 GBP, Child (aged 5-15) 3.90 GBP, Child (under 5) Free, Concessions 6.30 GBP, Family tickets from 14.10 GBP. You move from room to room on your own time. There are small sliding windows for clear picture taking. There is a short film that shows the inception, design, and building of the bridge structure and drawbridge features which are large enough to let cruise ships pass. You can go down into the engine rooms where you can walk around the drawbridge motors and see the mighty engine powered mechanisms that open and close the center spans. The Bridge Experience Tour is not all that great, but it's cheap. Free if you have the London Pass.

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Iconic London at its best. It does offer spectacular views and get some great photos from both river banks or from over the bridge. This is a huge tourist attraction and a definite must see for anyone visiting London. The Tower Bridge will provide you with some of your favorite photos from your trip. The view walking across the walkway (glass walls) is unparalleled of the: river Thames, architecture and London's city skyline. It is very majestic close by or from a distance both by day or/and night.

Continue eastward along the Queen's Walk (Thames Path) along the Thames. Head north. Turn right toward Tower Bridge Rd. Turn right onto Tower Bridge Rd. Take the stairs. Turn right. Take the stairs.

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The Tower Bridge opens. If you are lucky the bridge will be raised to allow a ship to sail underneath it. Wow, what an experience !

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Costs nothing to do this - fabulous views:

City Hall and More London Riverside (South Bank) from the Tower Bridge:

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The Shard and More London Riverside from the Tower Bridge:

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North Bank from Tower Bridge:

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The Tower from the Tower Bridge:

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Butler's Wharf from the Tower Bridge:

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Worth visiting at night time too when it is all lit up as it looks even better than in daylight:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/66/Tower_Bridge_opening_at_night_for_a_ferry.jpg/800px-Tower_Bridge_opening_at_night_for_a_ferry.jpg

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Continue along the Thames Path, which goes underneath Tower Bridge. Continue eastward along the Queen's Walk (Thames Path) along the Thames. Two minutes further you arrive to Butler's Wharf. Butler's Wharf is used as a term for the surrounding area, now housing luxury flats and restaurants - lying between the picturesque street Shad Thames and the Thames Path. Butler's Wharf is also an English historic building on the south bank of the River Thames. The Butler's Wharf overlooks both the Tower Bridge (in the west) and St Katharine Docks (north) on the other side of the river - the North Bank. Butler's Wharf was built between 1871-73 as a shipping wharf and warehouse complex, accommodating goods unloaded from ships using the port of London. It contained what was reputedly the largest tea warehouse in the world. During the 20th century, Butler's Wharf and other warehouses in the area fell into disuse. Since the 1980s, Butler's Wharf has been transformed from a derelict site into luxury flats, with restaurants and shops. The surrounding area is also today called Shad Thames, or Butler's Wharf (after the largest of the riverside warehouses). Both names refer to a 350m × 250m rectangle of streets, converted warehouses and newer buildings, bounded by the River Thames, Tower Bridge Road, Tooley Street and St Saviour's Dock (or arguably Mill Street); it forms the most north-easterly corner of the SE1 postcode district.

Butler's Wharf, once a riverside warehouse and now luxury apartments:

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Continue along the Thames Path, which goes underneath Tower Bridge. Stop on the cobbled street of Shad Thames (south to the Queen's walk),  with brick warehouses on either side and small bridges overhead. Step back in time to the 1870s and we would have been in the centre of one of London’s busiest riverside wharves. The iron bridges above us were used for moving goods between warehouses. At its peak, this space would have employed thousands of dock workers like shipwrights, lightermen, riggers and lumpers – all handling untold wealth from every corner of the globe. By the 1960s, containerisation had completely changed the nature of shipping. Places such as Butler’s Wharf were completely unsuited to modern ships and the way that they carried goods. So in 1972 – exactly 99 years after it opened – Butler’s Wharf was closed and left derelict. But some people have an eye for a bargain. In the early 1970s, many of the buildings were bought by property speculators with a view to redevelopment. Their opportunity came in the 1980s when the Conservative government introduced a new form of ‘entrepreneurial urban policy’.

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Sculpture and play yard in Shad Thames:

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Tower Bridge raised - from Butler's Wharf:

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Continue along Shad Thames between the warehouse buildings. When you reach the Design Museum bend right (south) with Shad Thames Street and follow the muddy section of the Thames, between the warehouse buildings (Knights Hose on your left, St. Andrews Wharf on your left, St. Saviours Wharf on your left, Dockhead Wharf on your left). 

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The Design Museum near the east end of Shad Thames, which houses frequently changing exhibitions of graphic and product design, and is a fairly well known haunt of designers and tourists. As well as an interesting shop and cafe, the museum features the "Design Museum Tank", a large outdoor glass box, which contains a selection of items from the current exhibition. The museum is also used as a venue for corporate events. Unlike most large London museums, the entrance is not free. OPENING HOURS: Daily 10.00 - 17.45, Last admission 17.15. 1 TICKET FOR 3 EXHIBITIONS: 12.40 GBP Adult, 9.30 GBP Student, 6.20 GBP Children under 16 (6-15 inclusive), free entrance to members and children under 6 years old.

File:Design Museum.jpg

Turn LEFT to Jamaica Road (Devon Houses on your right, the Coop store on your right) and then LEFT to Mill Street. (shortcut: continue along the Thames, the Tea Trade Wharf on your right and cross over the bridge/path to Bermondsey):

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Walk the whole Mill Street (there is a Concordia Wharf signpost) from south to north (Lloyds Wharf and Unity Wharf on your left, then, again, St. Saviours Wharf on your left, and China Wharf almost in the north end).

The Windmill 6 - 8 Mill Street:

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Turn right to Brmondsey Wall Way (Providence Square on your right). We are in the nort-west end of Bermondsey. To the west of Bermondsey lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham. To the north is the River Thames. For many years the overground and underground connections of Bermondsey with the City of London were very poor. This was remedied in year 2000 with the opening of Bermondsey tube station on the London Underground's Jubilee Line Extension and the East London Line forms part of the new London Overground system reopening direct links with the City and north London. From Brmondsey Wall Way turn right to George Row and in its end turn left to Jamaica Rd. In the 2nd turn to the right is Bermondsey tube station.

Houses in Bermondsey:

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North Bank and St. Katherine Docks from North-West Bermondsey:

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The Thames and the City from Bermondsey:

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Shopping

Divine Chocolate Ltd Shop, 4 Gainsford Street, Butler's Wharf:

Divine Chocolate is made with the finest cocoa from farmers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana who co-own the company. Because the cocoa is certified Fair Trade, they get a guaranteed income. Made for Chocolate Lovers. Divine is a successful independent chocolate brand available nationwide, and offering a wonderful diverse range of flavours, gifts and seasonal specialities in beautiful packaging. It is also a truly innovative business model, putting people first and proving fairer trade is commercially viable on a large scale:

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