It may have been a long time coming, thanks to the Oxford Trip, Circle Line Pub Crawl and other events, but hopefully this blog post will impress.
Part two left us at the Blackfriars bridge diversion. You will be diverted due to the creation of a new railway station (Blackfriars) which will span the whole of the River Thames, placing the first station on the South Bank for over 50 years. Just down the road from the diversion is Southwark tube station, should you want to start the tour from here. So after you have de-toured, you will see a rather impressive brick structure. This is the Tate Modern.
The Tate Modern is a modern art museum house in a disused Power Station which was decommissioned in the 1980s. Curated in the 2000, the galleries hold works from artists as diverse as Matisse and Picasso. With over 4.7m visitors a year, the space carries over twice the number of people as it’s nearest rival, the New York Museum of Modern Art, yet it only has half the space, which is why you will see development works on the site here too. Something which I’m sure many of you will have realised by now is that London is a constant building site; the city’s image changes constantly. The Tate modern is famous of its series of installations- the Unilever Series. Tacita Dean is the latest artist to be housed here, and although it may not be as fun as the famous slides, or the sun, it is surely worth a watch. Like most museums and galleries in London, the Tate Modern is free but comes with a suggested donation. If you wanted to make a day trip, you could also take a ferry from the pier outside of the Tate Modern, and take a boat to it’s sister gallery in Pimlico, the Tate Britain.
From the Tate Modern, not only can you get a pretty decent view of the City of London (which is slowly developing the nickname ‘fruit-bowl’, due to the eclectic design of the various current and future (+more) skyscrapers), you can snap a picture of one of the most famous views of St Paul’s Cathedral (main picture), focused thanks to the Millennium Bridge. The bridge is now famous amongst Londoners, thanks to it’s shaky start, literally, but it’s gaining fame world wide thanks to it’s destruction in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (picture below). Take a quick peak inside St Paul’s (TIP: there is a service at 5pm which means you can enter and hear the choir for free) and then pop back over the bridge and head left towards the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, is a venue built in 1997, based upon the original building which was in a location near by but destroyed in 1613. The Globe is one of the few theatres which is seasonal. No shows are currently being played for the rest of 2011 because the theatre is open air. Guests have to stand up and brave the elements in order to experience the majesty of Shakespeare’s plays. So while there is no much to do now (a proper blog post will be written in the future), it is worth a look when you pass. All the more reason to stay in London in 2012!
After the globe, you can keep heading further East where you’ll pass some pubs and restaurants and a few other tourist attractions such as ‘The Clink Prison Museum' and 'The Golden Hinde' which is a replica of a tall ship where kids can also have slumber parties! You'll then find yourself winding into Borough Market which is where the fifth and final part of our South Bank series will end!